The men’s and women’s tennis teams traveled to Idaho and Utah for a series of four match-ups April 11-14. Unfortunately, for the Vikings, neither team was able to bag a win.
Idaho State proved to be the first roadblock during a difficult trip, when its teams defeated the Portland State women 5-2 and the men 7-0. The Bengals swept the men in the doubles competition before moving on to do the same in singles play. The women fared slightly better, though their doubles teams were similarly unable to find a win. Viking Denise Cockrell defeated ISU’s Melanie Kranz in singles play 6-4,3-6 (10-4), while Lisa Bessman found success against Carol Tolsma 3-6,6-4 (10-0).
The Vikings moved on to Logan, Utah, on April 12 for matches with Utah State. The PSU women were able to grab wins in two out of three doubles competitions but were swept in the singles matches. Despite the winning play of doubles teams Katie Slizewski-Lisa Bessman and Haley McDonald-Blaze Wadum, the team lost 6-1. The PSU men were also unable to pull off a win, falling to Utah State 7-0.
The teams traveled to Ogden to battle Weber State on April 13. The PSU men were once again shut out 7-0, despite solid play from Cole Shelton and Beau Smith in their singles matches, where they were each able to win one set.
“The guys were really playing their hearts out,” said Viking head coach Leslie Lewis. “Not having our number two, Kapil Desai, hurt morale, but he just couldn’t get out of his classes that week.”
Katie Owens was the only Viking woman to score for PSU in its face-off with Weber State, a competition it lost 6-1. Owens outplayed WSU’s Maria Bublik in the singles competition before teaming up with Denise Cockrell to defeat Bublik and Drews in a doubles match, 8-3.
The Vikings were no doubt relieved to cap off this unsuccessful road trip the next day in Salt Lake City, even if that meant yet another loss for both teams. The men and women were unilaterally swept by the University of Utah, 7-0.
The Viking women are now 7-16 overall, while the men have dropped to 3-19. Both teams will end their regular season at home April 19 at the Portland Tennis Center, where they will take on Green River Community College.
“The altitude really made the ball jump in crazy ways on that trip,” Lewis said. “But the play kept getting better and better. We should be able to take care of Green River Community College pretty easily and will head into the championships with confidence.”
Following the Green River matches, the Big Sky Championships will take place in Portland as well on April 24.