|Vandals fall in finals|
LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The Idaho men's tennis team came up short in its pursuit of its first Western Athletic Conference championship Sunday, as the Vandals fell 4-2 to No. 33 Fresno State in the championship match.
"We certainly had chances, it went down to the wire," Idaho coach Jeff Beaman said. "It's a disappointing loss, but it's a loss to a quality team that's spent a lot of time in the top 20 in the nation."
Idaho won the doubles point with wins at Nos. 1 and 2 as Jose Bendeck and Cristobal Ramos Salazer won 8-5 at No. 1 and Abid Akbar and Andrew Dobbs won 8-3 at No. 2.
In singles play, however, Fresno State took the lead with wins at the top three spots. Remi Boutillier beat Marius Cirstea 6-3, 6-2 at No. 1, Francis Alcantara beat Akbar 6-4, 6-2 at No. 2 and John Charles Diame beat Ramos Salazar 6-1, 6-3 at No. 3. Alan Shin kept Idaho in the match with a 7-5, 6-3 win at No. 6, while Bendeck's No. 4 singles match and Cesar Torres' No. 5 headed to third sets. But Torres fell 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 to Fresno State's Zach Leslie to seal the match.
The Vandals end their season with a 14-14 overall record. It was Idaho's first appearance in the WAC championship match.
"The seniors should be very proud of what they accomplished to get to that point," Beaman said. "For the younger players it's something that should make them even hungrier to see what new heights we can achieve next year."
Bendeck was selected to the all-tournament team at No. 3 singles, and he and Ramos Salazar were selected to the team at No. 1 doubles.