FRESNO, Calif. —Utah State men's tennis (19-9, 6-1 MW) ended its season in the Mountain West tournament semifinals with a 4-2 loss to third-seeded Fresno State (17-10, 5-2 MW), 4-2, on Friday afternoon at the Spalding G. Wathen Tennis Center.
"I'm so proud of this group for fighting until the end today," said head coach James Wilson. "They showed great character, and congratulations to Fresno State. They played well and they deserved to win. I do believe the future is bright here and I know this is really tough for us to swallow. We're going to use this as motivation and be able to fuel us for the future. I'm so proud of this group and they did everything I asked them to do and more."
In doubles, juniors Duro Opacic and Sergiu Bucur fell, 6-3, at the third spot, and the Bulldogs clinched the doubles point at the second spot, as USU sophomore Felipe Acosta and freshman Isaac Arevalo Gómez lost, 6-4. Sophomore Jose Carvajal and freshman Rithvik Bollipalli's match at the top spot was tied, 5-5, but the match ended unfinished due to the other courts' results.
Opacic opened singles play by picking up his sixth consecutive singles victory with a 7-6 (2), 6-1 score. Bollipalli fell in straight-sets, 6-3, 6-4, at the No. 5 spot, and Bucur lost at the No. 3 spot, 6-3, 6-4 to all-Mountain West singles honoree Angus Bradshaw.
Acosta made it a 3-2 contest when he recorded a 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 win at the No. 4 spot. Carvajal won his first set at the No. 2 spot, 6-4, but lost his final two sets, 7-6 (5), 6-4, as the Bulldogs captured the win. The other remaining match at the No. 1 spot saw the all-MW freshman of the year and all-conference singles honoree in Arevalo Gómez face the conference's player of the year in junior Zdenek Derkas, as Arevalo Gómez lost his first set, 7-6 (4), and won his second second, 6-4. The third and final set went unfinished with the score tied a 2-2.
Utah State ended the season with 19 wins, as head coach James Wilson has now recorded 19 or more wins in all three season at USU. Opacic put his name on the all-time single-season singles wins, as he recorded a program-best 29 singles wins this season. Opacic and Acosta also put their names on the all-time program record books, as the duo both recordeded 20 dual match singles wins this season, which is the most dual match singles wins in program history.
Fresno State 4, Utah State 2
1. Jose Carvajal/Rithvik Bollipalli (USU) vs. Zdenek Derkas/Patrik Pech (FS) 5-5, unfinished
2. Mantas Bugailiskis/Cem Erturk (FS) def. Felipe Acosta/Isaac Arevalo Gómez (USU) 6-4
3. Cagatay Soke/Angus Bradshaw (FS) def. Duro Opacic/Sergiu Bucur (USU) 6-3
SinglesComment on this story
1. Isaac Arevalo Gómez (USU) vs. Zdenek Derkas (FS) 6-7 (4), 6-4, 2-2, unfinished
2. Mantas Bugailiskis (FS) def. Jose Carvajal (USU) 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4
3. Angus Bradshaw (FS) def. Sergiu Bucur (USU) 6-3, 6-4
4. Felipe Acosta (USU) def. Jeremy Moser (FS) 4-6, 6-4, 6-2
5. Cem Erturk (FS) def. Rithvik Bollipalli (USU) 6-3, 6-4
6. Duro Opacic (USU) def. Cagatay Soke (FS) 7-6 (2), 6-1
Fresno State 17-10, 5-2 MW
Utah State 19-9, 6-1 MW
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); singles (6,3,5,4,2)