|MTEN successful in debut|
The Idaho men's tennis team wrapped up its first weekend of collegiate play with success in two tournaments, as the team split between the Baylor Invitational in Waco, Texas and the Eastern Washington Fall Classic in Cheney, Wash.
Marius Cirstea and Abid Akbar took part in the Baylor Invitational, one of the nation's elite collegiate tennis tournaments. Akbar won his first two singles matches before falling to eventual runner-up Hunter Reese of Tennessee, the tournament's No. 2 overall seed. Cirstea went dropped his first singles match before advancing to the third round of the consolation bracket. Akbar and Cirstea teamed up to go to the doubles quarterfinals with a pair of wins before falling 9-8 to eventual champion Jarryd Chaplin and Edward Jones of Tennessee.
"I am happy with Abid and Marius' performance at this high-level event," Idaho coach Jeff Beaman said. "We just started official practice last week and to jump right into an event with some of the best teams and players in the country and compete makes me excited for this upcoming year. Abid served for the second set against the No. 2 seed from Tennessee after beating a strong player from Baylor which is another top 20 program the round before. In doubles the guys showed that they can compete with any pairing in the country."
In Cheney, Idaho players finished first in two of the three main draws. Freshman Matt Oddonetto went 4-0 in singles play to win the White Flight and sophomore Cesar Torres teamed up with Montana's Eric Braun to go 5-0 in doubles, winning the doubles draw.
"Matt's win in the white flight shows that he is on his way to becoming a very strong college player," Beaman said. "He has a lot of talent and to win his first college singles tournament shows he also has a very strong mental part to his game to avoid the huge ups and downs from match to match that most freshman go through."
"Cesar had a great run in doubles, he was randomly paired up with a player from Montana after we had to withdraw one of our guys due to an injury," Beaman said. "They had a great run winning the finals over several very strong teams. This really excites me as Cesar was not in our doubles line-up last year but has worked at getting comfortable on the doubles court during practice and small group work outs."
Jose Bendeck advanced to the quarterfinals in the Red Flight in Cheney while senior Jake Knox won his first two matches in the White Flight to reach the semifinals. Senior Filip Fichtel reached the White Flight quarterfinals.
The Vandals continue their fall slate Oct. 5-7 when they head to Boise for the BSU Fall Tournament.