MENâ€™S TENNIS FALLS TO SANTA CLARA, LONG HOME WINNING STREAK SNAPPED
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento State’s top three singles players (Kiryl Harbatsiuk, Anton Stryhas and Jason Smith) were each victorious, but it was not enough in a 4-3 loss to Santa Clara Thursday afternoon at Rio Del Oro Racquet Club.
The loss for Sacramento State (15-10) was the team’s first at home this year as the Hornets had been 10-0 when playing on the home courts. In fact, Sacramento State had won 29 straight home matches, and hadn’t dropped a contest inside the friendly confines since April 20, 2006 (a 4-3 loss to Fresno Pacific).
Eight of the Hornets’ 10 losses this season have now come against ranked opposition as the team fell to 1-8 when playing a nationally ranked program. The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) ranks the top 75 teams, and Santa Clara is currently 57th. Six of those losses to ranked teams have come by scores of 4-3, 4-2 or 5-2.
Santa Clara avenged its 6-1 home loss to Sacramento State last season and improved to 15-6 overall. That includes victories in eight of the team’s last 10 matches.
The doubles point loomed large in this match as Santa Clara swept all three matches to earn the point. After that, the two teams split the six singles matches to provide the 4-3 outcome.
The program-record winning streak continued for Harbatsiuk who won his 23rd consecutive singles match. The Minsk, Belarus, native, who is ranked 84th in the nation by the ITA, improved his record to 24-1 this season. In addition, he is 16-0 at the No. 1 spot in the team’s lineup and, for his career, is now 63-11 in dual-match singles play.
Smith improved to 21-4 this year and won his fifth straight, while Stryhas improved to 15-8. Harbatsiuk won his match in straight sets (6-4, 6-4) while Stryhas (6-0, 3-6, 6-3) and Smith (3-6, 7-6, 10-3 super tiebreaker) both won in three sets.
Holden Ching lost his match at No. 4 (6-3, 6-4), Marko Starcevic lost at No. 5 (6-2, 6-4) and Jimmy Roberts (6-1, 6-3) fell at No. 6.
Harbatsiuk and Starcevic, who are the Hornets’ top doubles team and just received their first national doubles ranking (No. 60) fell at No. 1, 8-6.
Sacramento State has just one more tune-up match remaining before the team hosts the Big Sky Tournament (April 24-25) at the Gold River Racquet Club. That tune-up comes this Saturday when the team travels to UC Santa Barbara for a 1 p.m. match.
#57 Santa Clara 4, Sacramento State 3
1. #84 HARBATSIUK, Kiryl (SAC) def. Brian Brogan (SCU) 6-4, 6-4
2. STRYHAS, Anton (SAC) def. Kyle Dandan (SCU) 6-0, 3-6, 6-3
3. SMITH, Jason (SAC) def. Jay Wong (SCU) 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 10-3
4. Nicolas Vinel (SCU) def. CHING, Holden (SAC) 6-3, 6-4
5. Tom Pham (SCU) def. STARCEVIC, Marko (SAC) 6-2, 6-4
6. Eugene Muchynski (SCU) def. ROBERTS, Jimmy (SAC) 6-1, 6-3
1. Brian Brogan/Jay Wong (SCU) def. #60 HARBATSIUK, Kiryl/STARCEVIC, Marko (SAC) 8-6
2. Andrew Kells/Nicolas Vinel (SCU) def. STRYHAS, Anton/CHING, Holden (SAC) 9-7
3. Grant Fleming/Kyle Dandan (SCU) def. ROBERTS, Jimmy/SMITH, Jason (SAC) 8-0
Santa Clara 15-6; National ranking #57
Sacramento State 15-10
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (4,6,1,5,3,2)