|Vandals sweep tennis honors|
DENVER – The Idaho men’s and women’s tennis teams are making a habit of collecting Western Athletic Conference honors, and that trend continued Tuesday as Odon Barta and Victoria Lozano were recognized as WAC Men’s and Women’s Tennis Players of the Week, respectively.
On the men’s side, Idaho has claimed every WAC honor given out in 2013-14, as Jose Bendeck received WAC Player of the Month honors for September and October as well as the first WAC Player of the Week honor of 2014 on Jan. 27. Artemiy Nikitin picked up the monthly honor for November and Barta becomes the third Vandal to get in on the action with Tuesday’s recognition. The honor is the second for Lozano this season, as she was WAC Player of the Month for October.
Barta, a sophomore from Budapest, Hungary, won three of his four matches during the week, going 2-0 in singles and 1-1 in doubles. He picked up Idaho’s only point in a 6-1 loss against Fresno State on Saturday, winning a third-set tie break at the No. 2 singles spot. He moved up in the lineup to the No. 1 singles spot for Sunday’s match at Portland State, where he won in straight sets. He also teamed up with Cesar Torres for a 6-2 doubles win at PSU. Barta is 4-0 in singles this season.
“It’s great to see Odon gaining his confidence and with that the level of his game elevating,” Idaho Director of Tennis Jeff Beaman said.
Lozano, a senior from Guadalajara, Mexico, went a perfect 4-0 on the week competing at the No. 1 spot in both singles and doubles. Lozano won a three-setter at No. 1 singles in Idaho’s 6-1 win over Eastern Washington, and cruised to a 6-3, 6-1 win the next day at Gonzaga. Lozano improved to 3-1 in singles and 3-1 in doubles on the season, and the Vandals improved to 3-1 overall.
“Vicky has been a standout here for four years and for her to continue her success into her senior year is great to see,” Beaman said.
Both teams are off to nice starts in 2014, with matching 3-1 records. The men will be in Seattle this weekend where they take on San Francisco on Feb. 8 and Washington on Feb. 9. The women will be in neighboring Pullman, Wash., this weekend, taking on Seattle U on Feb. 8.