|MTEN makes second straight final|
LAS CRUCES, N.M. – The Idaho men’s tennis team is in the Western Athletic Conference championship match for the second straight season after beating Texas-Pan American 4-2 in the WAC semifinals on Saturday morning in Las Cruces, N.M.
The second-seeded Vandals won at Nos. 1, 2,3 and 6 singles to avoid playing the doubles point against the No. 6 seeded Broncs.
Jose Bendeck earned a tough 7-5, 6-4 win at the top spot for the Vandals, and Artemiy Nikitin made it 2-0 Idaho with a three-set, 6-4,4-6, 6-0 win at No. 2. UTPA evened the match with a three-set win at No. 5 and a straight-set win at No. 4. However, Cristobal Ramos Salazar finished a three-set win at No. 3 and Andrew Zedde sealed Idaho’s 4-2 win with a 6-3, 6-4 win at No. 6.
"It's great to get this win in an intense match to get back to the WAC finals," said Idaho coach Jeff Beaman, who simultaniously coached the Vandal women to the WAC championship on Saturday. "It was very challenging coaching both teams at the same time but the players did a great job of keeping their focus high throughout the day."
It was the first time in Beaman's career he has had to coach both teams at the same time. Beaman is in his eighth season at Idaho.
The Vandals improve to 10-13 on the season with the win. Idaho will take on top-seeded New Mexico State in the championship match on Sunday. The Vandals reached the WAC championship match last season, falling to Denver 4-0 on the Pioneers’ home court. The start time for Sunday’s match will be determined later based on weather.