Utah State men's tennis (4-2, 1-0 MW), the two-time defending Mountain West champions, opened its title defense run on Sunday, sweeping Boise State (1-4, 0-1 MW), 4-0, at the Sports Academy and Racquet Club.
"We got off to a good start in doubles," head coach James Wilson said. "It was a bit of a struggle early on. There were some shifts in momentum, but in the big moments, we were able to come through. That really helped us. We got a lot of momentum from the doubles. In singles play, Sammy (Serrano) played very well. (He) played a complete match, didn't give anything away (and) just did a really good job. Sergiu (Bucur) was able to keep it together well. (He) did a good job. I didn't see much of Jose (Carvajal), but he had a really good start and was able to finish it off. That was great."
The doubles matches were tightly contested with teams unable to break through on either side. Senior Jaime Barajas and freshman Jose Carvajal finally broke the serve of juniors Kyle Butters and Jack Heslin to win at the No. 1 spot, 7-5. Junior Samuel Serrano and freshman Valdemar Holm secured the doubles point with a 6-4 win at the No. 2 spot over sophomore Ryland McDermott and freshman Matteo Tinelli. Freshman Felipe Acosta and sophomore Sergiu Bucur were tied up, 6-6, at the No. 3 spot with junior Wyatt DeMulling and freshman Stefan Lalovic, but the match ended unfinished due to the action on the other courts.
Carvajal never dropped a game in his opening singles set against DeMulling at the No. 4 spot, winning the match, 6-0, 6-4. Serrano had a strong match at the No. 3 spot, breaking serve to win it, 6-3, 6-2, against Butters. Bucur clinched the Aggie victory after winning in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4, at the No. 2 spot against Tinelli. The remaining singles matches ended unfinished.
Utah State next travels to Texas where it will first take on Texas on Friday at 6 p.m. MT, in Austin. The Aggies then head to San Antonio to face UTSA on Sunday at 10 a.m.
Ashley Springer is a student at Utah State University studying journalism and communication. Springer is an intern with the USU athletic department's media relations.