Men’s tennis downs Saint Mary’s 4-3

Aaron Asmus

The Sacramento State men’s tennis team beat Saint Mary’s College today with strong singles play, especially at the top of their lineup.

The Hornets are learning how to play and compete in close competitions as the match against Saint Mary’s was the sixth in the Hornets’ last nine that was decided by a final score of 4-3. The Hornets are 2-4 in those matches.

Coach Kevin Kurtz said playing in so many close matches is beneficial as the team gets closer to the Big Sky Conference Tournament, which will be held in Sacramento this year.

“I think it’s great that we always have an opportunity to win,” Kurtz said.

The standout match came from No. 5 singles player Joaquin Marquez, who clinched the win for the Hornets after beating his opponent in a three-set match. He won 2-6, 6-4, 7-6. Marquez is now 6-3 in singles on the year.

“I didn’t know I was the clinching match,” Marquez said. “I wasn’t feeling comfortable in the first and started slowly settling in later in the match.”

Senior Tom Miller had a strong performance. He won his match in straight sets 6-4, 6-3 as the No. 3 singles player today. Miller is now 7-12 on the year in singles.

Senior Roy Brandys and freshman Kasparas Zemaitelis played as the No. 1 and No. 2 singles players respectively, and both won their matches in straight sets. Brandys won 6-4, 6-1 and Zemaitelis won 6-4, 6-3. This was an important win for Zemaitelis as it broke an individual four-match singles losing streak.

Sophomore Ayman Abdulwahab and freshman Christopher Clayton rounded out the singles roster for the Hornets, with both walking away with losses. Both matches went to three sets, but the two were not able to keep momentum going in order to win.

A key development for the Hornets is senior Marek Marksoo getting back on the court and competing in the No. 3 doubles slot. It was Marksoo’s first action since Feb. 14.

Sean Kolar and Niranjan Ram did not compete today and are expected to be back on the court soon.

The Hornets compete next on Saturday in a doubleheader against Northern Arizona University and Idaho State at the Sac State Tennis Courts.