Tennis struggles as Big Sky tourney looms

The Portland State men’s tennis team traveled to Utah this past Friday to take on Utah State. The match was ill fated from the onset as the team was without its number one player Michael Thoeresz who broke his arm in a recent match and will be out for the rest of the season.

Utah State won the match without a measure of doubt, 7-0. On the upside, Kapil Desai, who has taken over the number one spot for Thoeresz, kept his game close and was able to win one of his three sets against Utah’s Rudy Madersbacker.

With Thoeresz out for the season, Portland State is now running with just five players, which could be a major problem as the Vikings hope to keep their season alive. Strong showings from all of the active players will be necessary in the upcoming Big Sky tournament, which is less than a week away. Without a full roster the team is forced to forfeit points each match.

Saturday, the men traveled to Pocatello, Idaho where they met Idaho State. Coming off the loss to Utah State the day before, the Vikings weren’t able to pull themselves back together in time.

Idaho State took the win in decisive fashion, 7-0 and Portland State added another loss to its record, which now stands at 2-16. Despite the mounting number of losses, head coach Leslie Lewis believes the men’s team is full of good players, but they have had some motivational problems.

“There was some good playing there,” Lewis said. “They didn’t have the results, but you can only do your best.”

The men will now gear up to take on Utah State once again today in Utah and then head across the state to test their skills in the Big Sky tournament on Friday.

The women’s weekend wasn’t any better as they dropped both of their matches, the first against Sonoma State and the next, against Eastern Washington. And the injury report isn’t any better either.

Viking Blaze Wadum, the number two player for the women’s squad, is out for the season due to a recent emergency appendectomy. Fortunately for the team, their squad remains full even with the loss, which means no forfeited points in their upcoming matches.

A bright spot for the women was Friday and Saturday’s match against Eastern Washington. Even though the Vikings didn’t win the match, they were able to win all of the doubles games along with a singles victory from Melinda Johnson, who moved up to take Wadum’s number two spot.

Despite the losses, Lewis feels confident the women will put their best effort into the upcoming Big Sky tournament this Friday. However, before they brave the tournament the Vikings will face San Francisco State today.