LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Idaho senior Andrew Dobbs and junior Marius Cirstea became ITA Mountain Region doubles champions Sunday with an 8-5 win over the No. 1 doubles team in the region, Phil Anderson and Jadon Phillips of New Mexico.
Sunday's victory capped an outstanding tournament for the unseeded duo in which they upset the top two seeded pairings in the draw and won six consecutive matches in the 64-team field to claim the region championship and earn a spot in the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships. That event held at the site of the U.S. Open, the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y., Nov. 3-6. Cirstea and Dobbs will compete in a 20-team doubles draw in the event.
Cirstea and Dobbs narrowly escaped early elimination in the draw, winning 9-7 in the round of 32 before picking up a 9-8 win over the draw's No. 2 seed in the round of 16. The pair went on to win 8-4 in the quarterfinal and 8-5 in both the semifinal and finals.
The ITA Mountain Region consists of schools located in New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana.
"This is another step forward for Idaho tennis," said Idaho coach Jeff Beaman, the reigning ITA Mountain Region Coach of the Year. "It is great to see Andew's progress and perseverence to accomplish this his senior year. To be voted a team captain by his teammates, win a regional championship and qualify for nationals with Marius and also have strong singles results shows what hard work can do."
"Marius has continued to make great improvements to his mental approach to the game. When he came to Idaho he had the talent to beat anybody he played in singles, but has slowly started to put it together and work very hard to develop his doubles game, which is great to see him accomplish."