The Portland State men’s tennis team will hope to get its Big Sky campaign back on track and return to winning ways when the team takes on conference rivals Idaho State today and city rivals Portland tomorrow.
The Portland State men’s tennis team will hope to get its Big Sky campaign back on track and return to winning ways when the team takes on conference rivals Idaho State today and city rivals Portland tomorrow. The Vikings have a 4-8 record this season and are 1-3 in conference play. They currently stand seventh out of the nine teams in the Big Sky table.
The Viks are coming off nearly a month-long break from tennis. Their last match ended in a disappointing 0-7 loss to Big Sky opponents Northern Arizona in Flagstaff, Ariz. Their previous conference results include a convincing 7-0 win over Northern Colorado and two narrow 3-4 losses to Sacramento State and Weber State. Team head coach Jay Sterling believes that the team needs to do a better job finishing off matches.
“It is imperative that we turn the corner and start to win key matches. We have played some tough teams, but we can play better,” Sterling said. “We have given ourselves the opportunities in our matches, but we haven’t quite closed them out and taken advantages of these opportunities.”
On the other hand, Idaho State has yet to win a conference game this year. The team currently languishes in the eighth spot in the standings with no wins and three losses. In last season’s encounter, Portland State registered a 5-2 win over the Bengals. Friday’s game will be played at the Mountain Park Racquet Club in Lake Oswego.
Portland State will need to win as many of its remaining four conference games as it can, and hope for favorable results elsewhere to book a place in the playoffs. In 2010, the Vikings had narrowly missed making it to the semi-final round. They had finished fifth after a 4-4 performance in the conference.
On Saturday, the team will take on cross-city rivals Portland at the Club Green Meadows. Last year, the Viks began their season with a 0-7 loss to the Pilots. Senior Chris Rice was the only player who came close to stretching his match to three sets. Rice lost to Portland’s Filip Zivkovic 7-5, 6-3 at line one in singles competition.
The Viks hope to do a better job this time since their performance will set the tone for their three-game conference marathon against Montana State, Montana and Eastern Washington. The game against Idaho State kicks off at 7 p.m. today and the match against Portland begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday. ?