|MTEN wins in comeback fashion|
SPOKANE, Wash. - The No. 63 Idaho men's tennis team won in dramatic fashion in a marathon match against Gonzaga Friday night, beating the Bulldogs 4-3 after trailing 3-1 in the match.
"It was a really tough, grueling, over five-hour match against the strongest team Gonzaga has had in years," Idaho coach Jeff Beaman said.
Marius Cirstea and Andrew Dobbs, the No. 23 doubles pairing in the country, won 8-3 at No. 1 doubles, but the Vandals dropped the doubles point after a 9-7 loss at No. 2 and an 8-5 loss at No. 3.
"I reunited Andrew and Marius, and they played up to their ranking level would indicate," Beaman said. "But, No. 2 and No. 3 doubles just didn't play smart and gave both doubles matches away."
Cirstea lost two close sets at No. 1 singles, and Cesar Torres lost in two sets at No. 6, but the middle of Idaho's singles lineup was able to get the job done, winning four three-set matches to pull out the victory for Idaho.
Abid Akbar won 7-6, 4-6, 7-6 at No. 2, Cristobal Ramos Salazar won 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 at No. 3, Alan Shin won 2-6, 6-4, 7-5 at No. 4 and Jose Bendeck won 5-7, 6-0, 7-5 at No. 5 to clinch the match.
"In singles we competed very well No. 1 through 6," Beaman said. "Abid fought back at No. 2 after facing multiple match-points against a player he had already lost to twice. Cristobal fought back and showed a much better level of focus than he did in doubles. At No. 4 Alan was slapped around in the first set then dug in and won a close second set and fought back with his opponent serving for the match in his third set. Jose lost his first set then came back with the match on the line to come back and clinch the match."
The Vandals improve to 4-3 on the season with the win, and will return to action on Feb. 11 with a visit to Boise State.
#63 IDAHO VANDALS 4, GONZAGA BULLDOGS 3