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Tennis: ‘Dogs finish season strong, will host conference tournament

By | April 22, 2014 | Other Sports, Sports (4)
Fresno State’s Sai Kartik Nakireddi leads the Bulldogs into the Mountain West Tennis Championships that begin today at the Sierra Sport and Racquet Club in Fresno. Photo by Katie Eleneke/The Collegian

Fresno State’s Sai Kartik Nakireddi leads the Bulldogs into the Mountain West Tennis Championships that begin today at the Sierra Sport and Racquet Club in Fresno. Photo by Katie Eleneke/The Collegian

By Quinn Robinson

With the 2014 Mountain West Tennis Championships on the horizon, the Fresno State women’s team locked down the No. 1 seed for the tournament, while the men were given the No. 5 seed.

To secure the top spot, the Fresno State women finished the season winning 12 of their final 13 matches. Nine of them were consecutive, including a 6-1 win over Cal Poly in the regular season finale on April 18.

The Bulldogs’ lone loss that day came in the No. 6 singles matchup as Ane McPike defeated Fresno State’s Tanya Murtagh in straight sets 6-4, 6-4.

The rest of the matches saw Fresno State have little trouble with its opponents, except the No. 2 singles match in which the ‘Dogs’ Rana Sherif Ahmed needed a little extra time to wrap up her win against Emily Gibbens with a 6-3, 7-6 (8) win.

The Bulldogs enter tournament play ranked No. 68 in the nation with a 13-8 overall record and a 5-0 standing in conference play. They will play in the quarterfinals on Friday at 10 a.m. against the winner of the No. 8 UNLV Rebels and No. 9 Air Force Falcons.

Fresno State squared off against UNLV earlier this season (March 30), a contest that the Bulldogs won 4-3. The ‘Dogs did not face Air Force during the regular season.

On the men’s side, the ‘Dogs will face No. 4 Nevada (18-4, 4-2) in the quarterfinals on Thursday at 10 a.m. Fresno State has won 10 of its past 12 duals, which earned it a 13-9 overall record (3-4 in the Mountain West).

The Bulldogs were able to secure the No. 5 seed after they finished the season by beating Utah State 7-0 at the Sports Academy and Racquet Club in Logan, Utah.

Fresno State jumped out to an early lead in doubles play as the pairings of John Darmstaedter and Eric Komati secured an 8-3 win for the ‘Dogs. Bulldog duo Sai Kartik Nakireddi and Sam MacNeil followed suit with an 8-6 of their own to seal the point in doubles competition.

On the singles side of action for the men, Fresno State had a clean sweep, as it won all six matches. Three of the six matches went straight sets. No. 1 Nakireddi beat Utah State’s Dennis Baumgartner 6-3, 6-4. No. 5 Komati defeated Fredrik Peterson 6-2, 6-2, and No. 6 Alexandros Georgios Vakouftsis beat Tomas Cosami 6-1, 6-4.

Fresno State is the host this year for the 2014 MW Tennis Championship that will be held today through Sunday at the Sierra Sport and Racquet Club.

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