May 31, 2020

Women’s Tennis: ‘Dogs beat Buffaloes

The Fresno State women’s tennis team took another big step forward at Boise State on Sunday, winning big against No. 44 Colorado. Perhaps running with the lessons they learned in their humbling defeat against Wichita State, the Bulldogs came out firing early and never let up.

“I was so impressed with the amount of heart our team showed as we have the mantra, ‘Head, Heart and Hustle,’ and we absolutely did each one brilliantly today,” Stotland said. “For all of the people who got to watch the match, they got to see a spectacular match by each and every one of the ‘Dogs. To beat a good ranked team like Colorado that way shows us what we are capable of doing as we are starting to really get our team moving in a great direction.

The team of Sofia Malysheva and Tanya Murtagh won their doubles match quickly 6-1, before Maiar and Rana Sherif Ahmed took their own set, a convincing 6-3 win. Anneka and Sophie Watts, playing together once again on the doubles court, held a 4-2 advantage which gave the other two teams a nice cushion.

Maiar Sherif Ahmed, playing in the No. 1 singles slot, gave Fresno State a 2-0 lead with a strong showing against Tina Bokua. In a back and forth three-set affair, Malysheva and Colorado’s Alexandra Aiello traded 6-1 sets before Aiello won the deciding set decisively, 6-0.

That win gave the Buffaloes life, but it was short-lived, as that would be the only point they would score. Sophie Watts finished off her opponent Julyette Steur in just two quick sets. Rana Sherif Ahmed completed the upset with a 7-5, 6-4 victory over Nuria Ormeno Ruiz.

The two remaining matches which went unfinished were both led by Bulldogs. Anneka Watts and Anne Susdorf each held a one-set lead over their opponents.

The big win gives the Bulldogs a lot to be proud of as they go into a five day break before returning home to face U.C. Santa Barbara on March 5 at 4 p.m.

Men’s Tennis: Dogs split first games of Mountain Pacific invite

A tough doubleheader for Fresno State men’s tennis on Friday at the Mountain Pacific Invitational proved a tough challenge, as the Bulldogs split their matches.

While the Bulldogs came out with a 4-0 shutout victory against Idaho to start the day, they were unable to sustain the momentum into the evening, with a hard-fought match against San Francisco falling out of their favor 4-3.

Against the Vandals, everything was clicking. The team of Sai Kartik Nakireddi and Nikolas Papic gave the Dogs a quick 6-1 one-set advantage. Joshua Zeoli and Youssef Hassan finished off the doubles point with their own 6-4 victory while Euan McIntosh and Adam Glynn didn’t have to complete their set.

While every Bulldog that finished a match finished quickly, Eric Komati led the pack with a thorough dismantling of his opponent Jackson Varney 6-1, 6-1.

With a comfortable 2-0 lead in hand, Fresno State stepped on the throat of the Vandals, leaving no doubt with a 6-1, 6-3 victory by Nikolas Papic and a 6-2, 6-3 win by Alexandros Georgios Vakouftsis to clinch. It was a special moment for Vakouftsis, his first win of the season.

A long break in between the two matches didn’t cause any visible signs of weariness for the Bulldogs early on, as they picked up the doubles point with Nakireddi/Papic and Zeoli/Hassan clinching the point with identical 6-2 scores.

Things proved more difficult in singles play for Fresno State. Vakouftsis maintained his momentum to a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Christian Brockstedt in the sixth slot.

However, the Bulldogs suffered two two-set losses just as quickly, with McIntosh going down 3-6, 4-6 at court No. 1 and Papic 2-6, 3-6 at No. 5. The match still held plenty of intrigue, as the final three singles matches were closely contested three-set results.

Unfortunately for Fresno State, it couldn’t pick up a win deep into the night, perhaps a sign of the weariness of a long day of tennis.

The turnaround for the Bulldogs is unforgiving though, as they have a rematch for with Cal Poly Saturday morning in the third-place match of the tournament. The last time the two met, the Mustangs took won 4-3.

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