Utah State men's tennis (7-3, 1-0 MW) rounded out the weekend with a pair of victories in its 5-1 defeat of UC Irvine (1-5, 0-0 Big West) and 5-0 win over Montana State (1-5, 1-0 Big Sky) on Sunday at the Sports Academy and Racquet Club.
"It was a really good day for us," head coach James Wilson said. "We were tested, especially with UC Irvine. They fought really hard, and our guys did a good job of really keeping it together and handling the bigger moments well. Jaime (Barajas) did an excellent job today. That's one of the best days he's had just mentally really staying strong, and I was happy to see that. Then, it's not easy to play two matches in one day, especially since we had about an hour break. The guys did a really good job in the afternoon of taking care of business, not giving away any free points and really just playing hard."
In the first match of the day, senior Jaime Barajas and freshman Jose Carvajal dropped just one game in their 6-1 win at the No. 1 doubles spot against UCI seniors Mason Hansen and Luca Marquard. Senior Andrew Nakajima and sophomore Sergiu Bucur lost, 4-6, at the No. 3 spot to UC Irvine sophomore Daniel Gealer and junior Luis Lopez. At the No. 2 spot, junior Samuel Serrano and freshman Valdemar Holm took the match into a tiebreaker after tying it up at 6-6 against UCI junior Vatsal Bajpai and sophomore Bruce Man-Son-Hing. The Aggie tandem went on to win it in the tiebreaker, 7-6 (4), to clinch the doubles point for Utah State.
In singles, Serrano won his match in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3, at the No. 4 spot against Hansen. Barajas finished soon after with a 7-5, 6-2 victory at the No. 1 spot against Marquard, while Lopez defeated Bucur at the No. 2 spot, 7-6 (0), 6-2. Holm won his first set, 6-3, but lost the second set in the tiebreaker, 6-7 (5), at the No. 3 spot against junior Sasha Krasnov. Holm clinched the Utah State victory with a 7-5 win in the final set. Carvajal then won his match in straight sets, 6-2, 7-5, at the No. 5 spot against Bajpai to give Utah State the 5-1 victory.
In doubles against Montana State, freshmen Felipe Acosta and Addy Vashistha won, 6-4, at the No. 3 doubles spot against MSU freshman Joaquim Espinoza and junior Mateus Ceolin. Barajas and Carvajal clinched the point for Utah State with a 7-6 (3) win at the top doubles spot against Montana State junior Alexander Flink and senior Rik Sitar. Nakajima and Bucur led, 6-5, at the No. 2 spot against senior Adrian Torrico and sophomore Kasper Parlklo, but the match went unfinished due to the action on the other courts.
In singles, Barajas dropped just one game in the first set, winning the match 6-1, 6-3 at the No. 1 spot against Flink. Carvajal defated Parlklo, 6-4, 6-4, at the No. 4 spot. Bucur clinched the win for Utah State with a 6-2, 6-3 victory at the No. 2 spot against Sitar. Serrano rounded out the day's results with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Torrico at the No. 3 spot.
The Aggies will have a two-week hiatus before traveling to Denver, Colorado, to take on Denver (3-2, 1-0 Summit League) on Monday, March 5, at 11 a.m. Utah State then travels to Tampa, Florida, to take on Old Dominion (5-3, 0-0 Conference USA) on Friday, March 9; George Washington (0-9, 0-0 Atlantic 10) on Saturday, March 10, at 11 a.m. MT; and South Florida (2-6, 0-1 American) on Sunday, March 11 at 8 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.