MEN'S TENNIS CLINCHES BIG SKY REGULAR SEASON TITLE WITH WIN AT EWU
Marko Starcevic was one of three Hornets to win in both singles and doubles against Eastern Washington.
CHENEY, Calif. — The Sacramento State men's tennis clinched the Big Sky Conference regular season title and the top seed for the conference tournament with a 4-3 win at Eastern Washington on Friday. With the win, the Hornets improved to 11-9 overall and 7-0 in conference play. The Eagles fell to 9-12 overall and 3-3 in Big Sky action.
Sacramento State fell behind early, losing the No. 3 doubles match 8-1 before rallying back to win the point with wins at Nos. 1 and 2. The tandem of Kiryl Harbatsiuk and Marko Starcevic were victorious at No. 1 with an 8-4 win over Stefan Simkic and Kyle Koetje. The deciding point came from Jason Smith and Javier Millan who won 8-6 at No. 2.
EWU tied the match, 1-1, when Fernando Mussolini defeated Jason Smith, 6-3, 6-0, at No. 2. From that point, the Hornets clinched the contest with three consecutive victories to put the team up, 4-1.
Millan started the run with a 6-4, 6-2, decision over Julian Sanchez. That was followed by a 6-2, 7-5, win from Harbatsiuk at No. 1 and a 7-6 (7-4), 7-5, victory by Starcevic at No. 3.
Harbatsiuk improved to 18-2 on the season and has now won 18 straight matches. The senior's only losses this season have come against 18th-ranked Daniel Nguyen of USC and #15 Bradley Klahn of Stanford. Harbartsiuk has also not dropped a set since Feb. 13 — winning his last 23.
With the outcome already determined, the Eagles pulled closer with wins at Nos 5 and 6. James Russell downed Daniel Diaz, 6-1, 6-4, at No. 6 and Chad Henninger closed the action by outlasting Josh Lorentzen, 6-1, 7-6 (7-4).
The Hornets play their home finale on April 6 against Montana at Rio Del Oro Racquet Club at 1 p.m.
Sacramento State 4, Eastern Washington 3
1. HARBATSIUK, Kiryl (SACST) def. NAVARRO, Mario (EWU-M) 6-2, 7-5
2. MUSSOLINI, Fernando (EWU-M) def. SMITH, Jason (SACST) 6-3, 6-0
3. STARCEVIC, Marko (SACST) def. SIMIKIC, Stefan (EWU-M) 7-6 (7-4), 7-5
4. MILLAN, Javier (SACST) def. SANCHEZ, Julian (EWU-M) 6-4, 6-2
5. HENNINGER, Chad (EWU-M) def. LORENTZEN, Josh (SACST) 6-1, 7-6 (7-4)
6. RUSSELL, James (EWU-M) def. DIAZ, Daniel (SACST) 6-1, 6-4
1. HARBATSIUK, Kiryl/STARCEVIC, Marko (SACST) def. SIMIKIC, Stefan/KOETJE, Kyle (EWU-M) 8-4
2. SMITH, Jason/MILLAN, Javier (SACST) def. HENNINGER, Chad/SANCHEZ, Julian (EWU-M) 8-6
3. ERIKSSON, Chris/RUSSELL, James (EWU-M) def. LORENTZEN, Josh/DIAZ, Daniel (SACST) 8-1
Sacramento State 11-9, 7-0 BSC
Eastern Washington 9-12, 3-3 BSC
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (2,4,1,3,6,5)