MENâ€™S TENNIS WINS TWO MATCHES, CROWNED BIG SKY CHAMPIONS FOR THE FOURTH STRAIGHT YEAR
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Despite playing two matches in the same day, Sacramento State combined to outscore its opposition, 13-1, defeating both Portland (6-1) and Portland State (7-0) in men’s tennis action Friday at the Rio Del Oro Racquet Club.
The victory over Portland State clinched the Big Sky Conference’s regular season championship for Sacramento State (15-7, 7-1). The Hornets have earned the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament, which will take place April 24-25 at the Gold River Racquet Club.
Sacramento State has now won four consecutive Big Sky regular season titles and has combined for a 30-1 conference record over that span. Since joining the Big Sky in 1996, the Hornets have now won nine regular season titles (1998-99, 2001-03, 2007-10). The winner of the Big Sky Tournament receives an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament, a place the Hornets have been six times (1999, 2001-03, 2007, 2009).
Additionally, Sacramento State has won nine straight matches, one win shy of the school record of 10 consecutive victories, set by the 2001 and 2008 squads. The Hornets have not lost a match since dropping a 5-2 decision to TCU on March 18.
Beginning with yesterday’s victory at Saint Mary’s, the Hornets are in the midst of a stretch that will see the team play five times in five days. That stretch continues tomorrow when Sacramento State plays at 29th-ranked Fresno State at 3 p.m.
The Hornets’ Kiryl Harbatsiuk, Jason Smith and Marko Starcevic all went 2-0 in singles play today. After defeating Portland in the morning with the team’s regular singles lineup, Sacramento State rested Anton Stryhas, Holden Ching and Tim Lantin against Portland State.
Harbatsiuk, who is the Big Sky’s reigning MVP and currently ranked 74th in the nation by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, has now won 20 straight singles matches. That ties the school record, originally set by Stryhas in 2008. Harbatsiuk is now 21-1 in singles play this season with 19 of those victories coming in straight sets.
With his victory at No. 2 against Portland, Stryhas ran his singles winning streak to 10 straight matches, and Starcevic has won nine straight. Smith, who is 18-4 this year, has won 17 of his last 19 matches.
Playing for the first time all season, freshman Nathan Wells defeated Portland State’s Zach Lubek at No. 5 by a 6-4, 6-1 score.
In doubles play, the Hornets’ tandem of Harbatsiuk and Stryhas defeated the 46th-ranked doubles team in the nation (Portland’s Filip Zivkovic and Evan Schleining) by a score of 8-4. Sacramento State didn’t drop a doubles match all day sweeping all three matches against both Portland and Portland State.
The Hornets have just four matches remaining on the regular season schedule, including the team’s final contest at Rio Del Oro Racquet Club on April 15 against Santa Clara.
Sacramento State 6, Portland 1
1. #74 HARBATSIUK, Kiryl (SAC) def. Filip Zivkovic (POR) 7-5, 6-2
2. STRYHAS, Anton (SAC) def. Bryan Thorp (POR) 3-6, 6-2, 10-3
3. SMITH, Jason (SAC) def. Evan Schleining (POR) 6-3, 6-2
4. CHING, Holden (SAC) def. Daniel Coelho (POR) 6-3, 6-3
5. STARCEVIC, Marko (SAC) def. Jackson Martin (POR) 6-4, 6-0
6. Mike Pigou (POR) def. LANTIN, Tim (SAC) 1-6, 6-3, retired
1. HARBATSIUK, Kiryl/STARCEVIC, Marko (SAC) def. #46 Filip Zivkovic/Evan Schleining (POR) 8-4
2. STRYHAS, Anton/CHING, Holden (SAC) def. Daniel Coelho/Mike Pigou (POR) 8-5
3. ROBERTS, Jimmy/SMITH, Jason (SAC) def. Nick Wales/Bryan Thorp (POR) 8-4
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (4,3,5,6,2,1)
Sacramento State 7, Portland State 0
1. #74 HARBATSIUK, Kiryl (SAC) def. Sean Eberle (PSU) 6-1, 6-4
2. SMITH, Jason (SAC) def. Kyle Erickson (PSU) 6-1, 6-0
3. STARCEVIC, Marko (SAC) def. William Nolan (PSU) 6-0, 6-2
4. ROBERTS, Jimmy (SAC) def. Jeff Cero (PSU) 6-1, 6-1
5. WELLS, Nathan (SAC) def. Zach Lubek (PSU) 6-4, 6-1
6. GWERDER, Nick (SAC) def. No player (PSU), by default
1. HARBATSIUK, Kiryl/STARCEVIC, Marko (SAC) def. Sean Eberle/William Nolan (PSU) 8-2
2. SMITH, Jason/CHING, Holden (SAC) def. Kyle Erickson/Jeff Cero (PSU) 8-1
3. GWERDER, Nick/WELLS, Nathan (SAC) def. No player/No player (PSU), by default
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (2,4,3,1,5)