The Portland State men’s tennis finally caught a break in the conference and registered a convincing 7-0 victory against Big Sky opponents Northern Colorado on Saturday at the Club Green Meadows.
The Portland State men’s tennis finally caught a break in the conference and registered a convincing 7-0 victory against Big Sky opponents Northern Colorado on Saturday at the Club Green Meadows. The Vikings had narrowly lost 3-4 to Sacramento State and Weber State in their previous two conference games.
The women’s team won its conference game against Northern Colorado at home on Friday as well. The Viks seized victory from the jaws of defeat in a come from behind 4-3 win.
On the men’s side, going into Saturday’s contest, head coach Jay Sterling knew his team couldn’t take Northern Colorado lightly.
“Northern Colorado is a tough team and we can’t take anything for granted,” Sterling said.
At the same time, he was adamant that the team not give up on creating chances after two narrow conference loses.
“It is imperative that we turn the corner and start to win key matches. We are 0-2 in the conference and we have played some tough teams, but we can play better,” Sterling said. “We have given ourselves the opportunities in both our matches, but we haven’t quite closed them out and taken advantages of these opportunities.”
The team followed Sterling’s advice and won all three doubles and all the six singles contests. At line two in singles competition, senior Alex VanDerschelden stood out with a 6-0, 6-0 clean sweep of Northern Colorado‘s Robbie Edwards. With this result, the Viks improve to 4-7 for the season and 1-2 in conference play. They stay in the hunt for a Big Sky playoff berth.
“I told them to keep giving themselves the opportunities that we have been, we are going to win the necessary points and get over the hump. They are doing the right things,” Sterling said.
For the women’s team, the weekend began on Friday with a 4-3 conference thriller against the Bears. Going into this match, the Viks had lost their previous two Big Sky games against Montana State (2-5) and Montana (1-6). However, Sterling was confident in the team’s ability.
“We are coming off a near victory against University of Portland, a near victory vs Montana State and once again, we are giving ourselves the opportunity but are not able to turn that corner and get the victory,” Sterling said. “This weekend is a great opportunity to do just that. I know that the girls have been working hard this week, so we will see if we can make that happen.”
Against Northern Colorado, the Viks scored the doubles point by winning all three doubles duels. Freshman Yuki Sugiyama gave the home team an early singles lead with a 6-1, 6-0 win.
However, Portland State lost the singles battles at lines three, five and six. The hopes of the team then rested on the shoulders of senior Anya Dalkin at line two and junior Marti Pellicano at line four. Both the Vikings overcame their opponents in three sets to give Portland State a hard fought 4-3 win. With these results, the Viking women are now 4-7 for the season and 1-3 in conference play.
Portland State 7, Northern Colorado 0
Portland State 4, Northern Colorado 3