|Vandals open with pair of wins|
CHENEY, Wash. – With a 5-2 win over Seattle University and a 7-0 victory over Eastern Washington, the Idaho men’s tennis team got out to a 2-0 record to start the 2014 season on Saturday.
“It’s a good start to the season,” Idaho coach Jeff Beaman said. “It was important to be pushed and put into competitive situations to get ready for a tough weekend next weekend beginning with Fresno State, who will probably be a nationally ranked program at some point this year.”
The Vandals swept the doubles point against Seattle U in their morning match to set the tone for the day. Jose Bendeck and Cristobal Ramos Salazar won 6-2 at No. 1 doubles, Artemy Nikitin and Odon Barto won 6-1 at No. 2 and Andrew Zedde and Cesar Torres completed the sweep with a 6-4 win at No. 3.
The Redhawks got singles victories at Nos. 1 and 6, and Kevin Lynch beat Nikitin 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 at the top spot and Connor Leahy bested Zedde 6-4, 6-3 at No. 6, but Idaho victories at the 2-5 spots clinched the win. Bendeck won 6-0, 6-5(5) at No. 2, Barta got a 6-5(6), 6-4 win at No. 3, Ramos Salazar went the distance in a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 win at No. 4 and Torres won 6-4, 6-2 at No. 5 for the Vandals.
In the afternoon match against EWU, the Vandals again swept the doubles point with the same pairings as the morning match. Bendeck and Nikitin flip-flopped the No. 1 and No. 2 singles spots in the afternoon, and Bendeck earned a straight set win at No. 1 while Nikitin needed a tiebreak, but nonetheless got the victory at No. 2. Barta, Ramos Salazar and Torres each won in straight sets at No. 3, 4 and 5, respectively, and Zedde made it a 7-0 Idaho win with a 6-3, 3-6, 1-0 win at No. 6.
“I was very impressed with Jose,” Beaman said. “He continues to have a great senior year going 4-0 combined in singles and doubles today is definitely impressive.”
The Vandals return to action next week with a trip to Oregon to face Fresno State on Feb. 1 in Eugene, and Portland State on Feb. 2 in Portland.