Two is better than one: Hungarian national champions serve aces for Sac State

Mark Keki and Mate Voros bring European success to Sac State tennis


Chris Woodard

(L-R) Juniors Mate Voros and Mark Keki during their home match versus Saint Mary’s at Sacramento State Tennis courts on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023. The duo went 20-1 in doubles play during the 2022 season. Photos by Hugo Quintanilla. Graphic created in canva by Chris Woodard

Hugo Quintanilla

It all started back in Hungary with two tennis lovers who decided playing together was the best for them. 

The two grew up an hour away from each other, but juniors Mate Voros and Mark Keki didn’t meet until they were 14.  

Keki and Voros moved in together shortly after meeting so they could focus on school and tennis. Though they had to be very away from their families, they decided to go through with it.

“We went basically everywhere together with our coach, George Balazs,” Keki said. 

Voros and Keki grew up traveling around Europe with Balaz, participating in International Tennis Federation tournaments in both doubles and singles, according to Keki. 

Building a relationship like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, the two are best friends on and off the court. 

“Our confidence is very high in doubles together,” Voros said. “We just keep doing here what we started in Hungary.”   

Keki was the first of the two to come to Sacramento State in 2020, where he earned First Team All-Big Sky in both singles and doubles as a true freshman. Keki is now going into his third year at Sac State.  

“I had a really good year,” Keki said. “[Voros] was planning on going professional, but he had a couple of injuries. I mentioned to him there was a spot here if he wanted to come, and I was able to convince him.”  

Voros joined the Hornets a year later. 

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The Hornet duo went 20-1 during the 2022 season, ranking 34th in the Nation. In a previous season, they ranked 73rd, making them the first Hornet doubles team to be ranked twice since 2010. 

“Both are super coachable, super receptive to the things we want to work on,” head coach Kevin Kurtz said. “They’re both very disciplined in their matches.”   

Keki and Voros went 8-0 during the 2022 season in Big Sky and earned First Team All-Big Sky in doubles. Keki also earned First Team All-Big Sky in singles, while Voros earned Big Sky All-Academic.    

As Hornets, the two continued to share a roof. Keki said being together all the time has allowed them to even know each other’s thoughts while playing, helping them play better as a duo. 

The Hornets doubles team also played at the All-American in the fall. They went to Super Regional and lost in the finals; they also went to fall nationals at Barnes Tennis Center where, according to Kurtz, they defeated some “amazing” teams. 

During their run in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Norwest Super Regional, Keki and Voros defeated the 10th-ranked doubles team in the country on their way to the finals. 

During their appearance in the ITA Fall National Championships, Keki and Voros were eliminated in the 32nd round. They became one of the most accomplished ranked doubles teams in Sac State history — the first time a Hornets doubles team made their way into the Fall National Championships.  

This season, the duo is 4-1, losing their first doubles match to Saint Mary’s Feb. 4.

“Before the season we planned on going undefeated,” Voros said. “But now we have to do the same as last year.” 

Voros and Keki are back in action Saturday at Stanford University.