MEN'S TENNIS FALLS, 4-3, TO MONTANA IN BATTLE OF UNBEATENS
Aliaksandr Malko was victorious at No. 1 singles to win his fourth straight match.
MISSOULA, Mont. — Aliaksandr Malko and Marek Marksoo each extended their singles win streaks but it was not enough as Montana outlasted Sacramento State, 4-3, in a Big Sky Conference men's tennis match on Sunday at the Lindsay Tennis Center.
Montana improved to 13-4 on the year and remained unbeaten in Big Sky play at 6-0. The loss dropped the Hornets to 7-11 overall and 5-1 in conference. Sacramento State also had its 24-match Big Sky winning streak halted which dated back to 2010.
The Hornets took an early lead by winning two of three doubles matches. Jonathan Hultkrantz and Roy Brandys defeated Carl Kuschke and Ben Demarois, 8-6, at No. 3. Tom Miller and Sean Kolar added a victory at No. 2 by the same score to give the team the doubles point.
In singles play, UM won the first two matches to take a 2-1 lead. Ethan Vaughn topped Hultkrantz, 6-2, 6-2, at No. 5 and was followed by a 6-2, 1-6, 6-2, win from Ethan Vaughn over Kolar at No. 4.
Malko evened the contest after winning his fourth consecutive match at No. 1, 7-6, 6-1, against Kuschke. However, Montana retook the lead, 3-2, following a 6-4, 6-1 victory by Mikolaj Caruk over Javier Millan at No. 2.
Marksoo kept the Hornets' hopes for a comeback alive with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 win over Andrew Warren at No. 3. The victory improved Marksoo to a team-best 13-3 on the year and was his seventh in a row.
Tied at 3-3, all eyes turned to the No. 6 match where Andreas Luczak outlasted Brandys, 6-3, 7-6 (7-3 in the tiebreaker).
Both teams have two matches left before the Big Sky Conference tournament which will take place at Gold River Racquet Club on April 21-22. Montana will host Eastern Washington and Montana State. Sacramento State will host Portland State on Monday, April 9, before hosting Idaho State on April 14.
The top four teams in the league will advance to the tournament. Currently, Montana, Sacramento State, Eastern Washington (5-1) and Weber State (5-3) hold the top four spots. Sacramento State has already defeated EWU and WSU this season.
Montana 4, Sacramento State 3
1. Mikolaj Caruk/Andrew Warren (UM) def. Marek Marksoo/Javier Millan, 8-5
2. Tom Miller/Sean Kolar (SAC) def. Michael Facey/Ethan Vaughn, 8-6
3. Jonathan Hultkrantz/Roy Brandys (SAC) def. Carl Kuschke/Ben Demarois, 8-6
1. Aliaksandr Malko (SAC) def. Carl Kuschke, 7-6, 6-1
2. Mikolaj Caruk (UM) def. Javier Millan, 6-4, 6-1
3. Marek Marksoo (SAC) def. Andrew Warren, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2
4. Michael Facey (UM) def. Sean Kolar, 6-2, 1-6, 6-2
5. Ethan Vaughn (UM) def. Jonathan Hultkrantz, 6-2, 6-2
6. Andreas Luczak (UM) def. Roy Brandys, 6-3, 7-6
Sacramento State (7-11, 5-1 Big Sky)
Montana (13-4, 6-0 Big Sky)
Order of Finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (5,4,1,2,3,6)