Jul 22, 2019
Fresno State’s Georgia Lawson returns a shot during a singles match against Pacific at the Spalding G. Wathen Tennis Center on Jan. 27 th , 2019. (Jose Romo Jr./The Collegian).

Fresno State tennis starts of season strong

Both the Fresno State men’s and women’s tennis teams started the season by winning in convincing fashion at Spalding G. Wathen Tennis Center, as the men’s team finished a doubleheader on Saturday with two victories and the women’s team won both of its matchups on Friday and Sunday.

The men’s team won its fourth-straight match to improve its record to 4-1 (1-0 in the Mountain West), earning its first win in conference play with a 4-3 win over Air Force, and finishing the doubleheader with a 7-0 domination of Holy Names.

Fresno State showcased a new doubles lineup in the first match against Air Force, with Mantas Bugailiskis and Angus Bradshaw at the No. 1 position, Cem Erturk and Zdenek Derkas at the No. 2 position and Patrik Pech and Jeremy Moser at the No. 3 position.

Erturk and Derkas defeated their opponents at the No. 2 position, 6-4. Moser and Pech fell to Air Force in a tiebreaker.

Bulldogs head coach Luke Shields was impressed by his team’s performance, but is still searching for more in the season.

“We battled through some nerves and found a way to get through the match after starting slow in doubles and early in singles,” Shields said. “We have to get more intense and way more enthusiastic to compete at the level we want.”

In singles play, Derkas grabbed the Bulldogs’ first point of the match, retiring his opponent at the No. 1 position. The Bulldogs captured a 2-1 lead and never looked back as Bradshaw bested his opponent 6-3, 6-1.

The Bulldogs made it three points in a row when Bugailiskis defeated the No. 4 position 6-1, 7-6. Erturk clinched the match at No. 6, defeating his opponent 7-5, 7-5.

In the second matchup of the doubleheader, the Bulldogs swept doubles to win double point and take their 1-0 lead into singles, with help from Bugailiskis and Bradshaw once again at the No. 1 position, Erturk and Derkas at the No. 2 position and Bailey Gong and Moser at No. 3.

Fresno State swept the singles matches to shut out the Hawks, 7-0.

The women’s team opened its spring dual season with a 6-1 win over Stanislaus State, ending the day nearly perfect as the only blemish came from a walkover due to a non-participating opponent. The Bulldogs concluded their weekend with a 4-2 win over Pacific as they fell in doubles action, but found their groove in singles play for the win.

Bulldog freshmen were effective against Stanislaus State thanks to the play of the duo of Ella Husrefovic and Deniza Marcinkevica, who won their set 6-1. After the matchups were decided, another freshman pair of ‘Dogs, A.C. Hummel and Jane Ellis, came out on top over Stanislaus State’s, 6-3.

Following the success in doubles play, the Bulldogs finished their decisive victory by taking five out of the six singles matchups.

The Bulldogs women’s tennis team continued its success against Pacific as they won their matchup 4-2 after a shaky start in doubles play losing two out of three matchups, with one unfinished matchup.

Fresno State battled back by winning five out of six singles matchups thanks to a crucial win from Hummel, taking her matchup 6-2, 6-4. The Bulldogs were able to clinch the victory as Georgia Lawson secured the win with a 7-5, 7-6 finish.

Head coach Ric Mortera was ecstatic about the play of his team early on in the season.

“It was an absolutely great experience for this group to be in a tough and gritty match like that this early in the season,” Mortera said.

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