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For the seventh time in eight years, the Sacramento State men's and women's tennis programs will host the Big Sky Conference Tournament this Friday-Sunday, April 25-27, at the Gold River Racquet Club in Gold River, Calif. Admission to every match is free.

Six teams from the 11-member league qualified for the men's and women's tournaments with quarterfinal play taking place on Friday, the semifinals on Saturday, and championship match on Sunday.

The Hornet women qualified for their tournament as the No. 3 seed while the men will be the No. 5 seed. Both teams were injury riddled, especially late in the season. In fact, this will mark the first time in 13 years the women's team will not be the No. 1 seed, and just the second time in the last eight years the men didn't qualify as the top seed. The women had won 112 straight matches against Big Sky opponents (dating back to 2003) prior to the team's loss at Montana on April 11.

The women's tournament will begin on Friday at 10 a.m. with a pair of quarterfinal matches, including the Hornets taking on No. 6 seed Northern Colorado. The men's tournament also begins on Friday with its quarterfinal matches beginning at 2 p.m., including the Hornets facing No. 4 seed Montana State. The women's semifinals on Saturday will begin at 10 a.m., and the men's semis at 2 p.m. The championship matches will take place on Sunday with the women going at 10 a.m., and the men at 2 p.m.

Sacramento State's women's team (9-16, 7-3) will attempt to win its 13th consecutive Big Sky Tournament championship while the men's squad (9-15, 6-4) will attempt to win its 12th tournament title in 17 years.

The winner of the Big Sky Tournament receives the conference's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament (first and second rounds take place May 9-10). The Hornet men (1999, 2001-03, 2007, 2009-13) and women (2002-13) have combined to make 22 NCAA Tournament appearances since 1999.
WOMEN'S TOURNAMENT (all matches at 10 a.m.)
Friday - Quarterfinals
No. 3 Sacramento State (9-16, 7-3) vs. No. 6 Northern Colorado (9-9, 6-4)
No. 4 Portland State (9-6, 6-3) vs. No. 5 Montana State (9-10, 6-4)

Saturday - Semifinals
No. 1 Montana (15-7, 9-0) vs. Lowest Remaining Seed
No. 2 Northern Arizona (9-15, 8-2) vs. Highest Remaining Seed

Sunday - Championship
Winner of Semifinal 1 vs. Winner of Semifinal 2

MEN'S TOURNAMENT (all matches at 2 p.m.)

Friday - Quarterfinals
No. 3 Northern Arizona (12-8, 7-3) vs. No. 6 Northern Colorado (7-8, 5-5)
No. 4 Montana State (11-7, 7-3) vs. No. 5 Sacramento State (9-15, 6-4)

Saturday - Semifinals
No. 1 Weber State (14-9, 10-0) vs. Lowest Remaining Seed
No. 2 Montana (11-11, 9-1) vs. Highest Remaining Seed

Sunday - Championship
Winner of Semifinal 1 vs. Winner of Semifinal 2


Four of the team's top six players have missed matches due to injury this season. The injury bug has bit the hardest during the month of April which has seen the Hornets drop six straight since defeating North Dakota on March 30. That includes three consecutive road losses to Montana, Montana State and Northern Arizona, respectively. Prior to those defeats, the Hornets had won 112 straight matches against Big Sky opponents dating back to 2003. In Sacramento State's first seven conference matches of the season, the Hornets had outscored the opposition, 41-1, including five 7-0 victories.

Sophie Lohscheidt and Olivia Boija are the only regulars to not get injured this season. The Hornets are hoping to get some of those players back from injury in time for this week's Big Sky Tournament. Jennifer Nguyen, who was the team's No. 1 singles player, will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury.

The team, which is currently 9-16 overall and 7-3 in the Big Sky, has won the last 12 Big Sky Tournament championships and advanced to the NCAA Tournament each of those years, a streak which began in 2002. In addition, a Sacramento State player has earned Big Sky Most Valuable Player honors every year since 2003. This season will mark the first time since 2001 that the Hornets will not serve as the No. 1 seed in the tournament.

Both Boija and Lohscheidt are a team-high 14-7 in singles play this year while Boija is 8-2 against conference competition, and Lohscheidt 8-1. Katharina Knoebl was 9-6 overall and 7-0 against the league prior to missing the last four matches of the regular season. Daria Savchenko (10-7, 6-0), Deimante Bulatovaite (8-9, 5-2) and Alina Soltanici (10-13, 7-2) have also been regulars in the team's singles lineup.

Overall, the team has combined to go 45-29 in doubles matches, including a 24-6 record against Big Sky opposition.


Possibly the most injury-plagued team in the nation, Sacramento State (9-15, 6-4) had to forfeit its match last week at Nevada because it only had three healthy bodies. Prior to that, the Hornets had to forfeit a singles match in three consecutive contests because the team had just five healthy bodies. Because of those injuries, the Hornets went 1-3 over their final four matches of the regular season and are hoping to get healthy in time for Friday's matchup against Montana State in the quarterfinals.

Of the team's projected preseason singles lineup of Marek Marksoo, Sean Kolar, Roy Brandys, Tom Miller, Niranjan Ram and Oliver Andersen, only Ram has made it through the season injury free. Kolar is out for the year with a knee injury, and Marksoo, Brandys, Miller and Andersen were all unavailable to play against Nevada last week due to injury.

Since joining the conference during the 1996-97 academic year, the Hornets have won 11 regular season titles (1998-99, 2001-03, 2007-11, 2013), 11 tournament championships (1998-99, 2001-03, 2007, 2009-13) and have advanced to the NCAA Tournament 10 times (1999, 2001-03, 2007, 2009-13). The Big Sky champion did not receive an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament until the 1999 season.

Eight different Hornets have played at least five singles matches this season, led by Ram, who is 13-9 in singles play and 9-1 against conference foes. Brandys (12-11, 9-1), Andersen (10-12, 6-3), Joaquin Marquez (10-8, 7-3), Miller (8-7, 4-2) and Marksoo (6-5, 3-0) also have winning conference records.

Overall, the Hornets are 24-36 in conference play, including 15-14 in matches against Big Sky competition.

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