Courtesy: Idaho Athletic Media Relations
Marius Cirstea (left), Abid Akbar
Not done yet!
Courtesy: Idaho Athletic Media Relations
          Release: 11/09/2012
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FLUSHING MEADOWS, N.Y. - Idaho men's tennis players Abid Akbar and Marius Cirstea bounced back from an opening round loss at the ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships to beat USC's pairing of Yarnnick Hanfmann and Eric Johnson 8-5 on Friday.

"USC, if I remember correctly, has won three consecutive national championships," Idaho coach Jeff Beaman said. However, he was slightly mistaken, as the Trojans have won four consecutive NCAA National Championships. "They have been a dominant power in men's tennis over the past several years. To get a win over any team or player from USC is a really good accomplishment. To beat their team at the National Indoor Championships shows that when Abid and Marius are both playing to their potential at the same time, they can beat any team in the country. But any lull or lack of focus, and these teams are going to take it to you. We can play with the big boys now and we've shown that. We need to keep this focus and it looks great for the future of Idaho tennis."

The duo will advance in the consolation draw and play again Saturday against an opponent still to be determined. The tournament is being played at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, the home of the US Open, and is being hosted by Columbia University.

"The first day there were some nerves, it's a little overwhelming" Beaman said of the adjustment his players have made for the most elite fall tournament of the year. "We calmed the nerves and just made sure we were really prepared for this match and it worked. We'll be up early again tomorrow and we'll do the same routine and hopefully it continues to work."

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