Thanks so much to those of you that came out to support our team throughout the weekend, it means a lot to have your support. To those that couldn’t make it, no worries, we felt your positive presence.
We had a solid weekend beating three very tough, gritty teams. In the quarter-finals, in a rematch of last years finals match, we played a talented University of San Fransisco team by the score of 4-0. The score doesn’t tell the whole story though. There were tense moments of adversity particularly in the doubles point.
At #1 doubles, the #17 ranked team in the country for the Lobos, Bart Van Leijsen and Hayden Sabatka were down a break 6-5 and stormed back to break serve and race to a comfortable win in the tiebreak to secure the doubles point.
The boys were able to stifle the comeback attempt by USF and clinched the match propelling the Lobos into the semi-finals against upstart Grand Canyon who upset Santa Clara 4-3 in a morning thriller.
The match with Grand Canyon started with singles first and we were able to get early breaks and stretch those leads in winning five out the the first six first sets.
Grand Canyon impressed our fans and coaching staff with their resolve and determination. In the end though, we were able to hold strong and see off their last ditch attempt to turn the match around beating them 4-0 to set up a blockbuster finals match with upstart conference foe Utah State.
With winds gusting up to 40 miles per hour we were forced to move the finals inside. We knew the danger that USU posed before the match. I only needed to remind them that they handed us our only regular season conference loss last season to get the boys fired up for this match.
Both teams came in very confident. The Lobos were riding a seven match win streak and Utah State had won eight in a row. Something had to give.
Doubles was highly competitive and it came down to the wire. Jorge Escutia and Ricky Hernandez-Tong were able to draw first blood winning handily 6-2 and #3 doubles. This set the stage for our #2 team of Rodolfo Jauregui and Augustus Ge to close out the match and doubles point winning 7-5.
In singles we rode the wave of winning the doubles point to winning five out of the first six singles sets which set the tone for rest of the match. Hernandez-Tong and Ge won their first sets 6-1 very quickly to spark the Lobos. At about the same time first sets were won at #1 and #2 singles by Sabatka and Van Leijsen.
True to fashion, USU tried to sink their teeth in the match. We knew they would fight to the end and we were ready for it. Sabatka and Van Leijsen closed out their matches stretching our team lead to 3-0. This put the team match and the championship on the shoulders of Ge who came through in the clutch breaking serve at 6-1 6-5 up to close it out with a 6-1, 7-5 victory.
It always feels nice to win a tournament, but we are especially humbled and honored to win our own tournament, a tournament we co-host with the University of the Pacific.
We feel like winning a tournament late in the season will provide us with much needed confidence heading into our conference slate.
Thanks for your continued support of our program and taking an interest in our talented student athletes.
We have a match tonight against NAU. The match is scheduled for 5pm at McKinnon but high winds are once again going to force us to go inside. Join us tonight as we try take on a talented and hungry NAU team.
Thanks again, and as always,
Bart Scott-Head Coach