Hornets sweep Hawaii 7-0, establish 3-match winning streak


Sacramento State sophomore Dom Miller hits the ball back to his opponent during singles play against Hawaii Wednesday at the Rio Del Oro Racquet Club. (Photo by Matthew Nobert)

Sami Soto

The Sacramento State men’s tennis team won its third-straight match after sweeping Hawaii 7-0 Wednesday afternoon at the Rio Del Oro Racquet Club.

The Hornets (10-10, 6-2 Big Sky Conference) fell to Hawaii last season 4-3, but entered today’s competition after a 6-1 win Sunday over the No. 1 team in the Big Sky, Northern Arizona.

“(There was a) ton of momentum,” sophomore Donald Hall said. “You could feel it. Everyone just seemed like they were really confident today.”

Sac State’s No. 3 doubles pairing of freshman Hermont Legaspi and sophomore Dom Miller began the contest by defeating Hawaii’s Eric Kenneth and Spencer Travalino 6-2.

The No. 1 doubles tandem of sophomore Mikus Losbergs and junior Kasparas Zemaitelis then clinched the doubles point for the Hornets after beating Felix Albert and Marcel Chan 6-4, despite serving issues from Zemaitelis and Losbergs coming off of a previous shoulder injury.

“Against Northern Arizona I was struggling with my serve and my serve is pretty much my main shot when I play tennis,” Losbergs said after mentioning issues he faced against NAU and Drexel. “You take that away from me and then it’s pretty hard to play.”

With the two doubles victories and a 1-0 team lead, Sac State freshman Louis Chabut and junior Christopher Clayton left their No. 3 match unfinished against Igor Kolaric and Fabian Woehrl at 5-4.

The Hornets kept their momentum during singles play as Zemaitelis defeated Woehrl at No. 3 in straight sets 6-4, 6-1. Hall then defeated Chris Cajigan (6-1, 6-2) after securing three deuce points early in the first match — two of which he scored in a row — at the No. 6 spot for a 3-0 team lead.

“Getting all three of those was huge,” Hall said in regards to the three points which anchored his early lead. “I was able to use that momentum for the rest of the match.”

Sac State continued to clinch straight-set victories in singles after Legaspi swept Travalino (6-2, 6-2) at No. 5, and Losbergs overpowered Kolaric (6-1, 6-4) at the No. 1 spot to take a 5-0 team lead over Hawaii.

The final two singles matches lasted three sets each with Chabut edging Chan (7-5, 2-6, 11-9) at No. 4, and Miller ending the day victorious over Albert (5-7, 6-2, 10-7) at No. 2 for a 7-0 Hornets’ sweep.

With only 23 days and three matches left before the Big Sky Tournament on April 28, Sac State will play two consecutive games on the road as it travels to play Montana Friday at 1 p.m. and Montana State Saturday at 9 a.m.

“Those are very important matches, conference matches. If we do well, we’re going to qualify for Big Sky straight away, so that’s our goal to win both, but we’ll see how it goes,” Losbergs said.