BOISE, Idaho — Utah State men’s tennis (21-8, 6-1 MW) advanced in the Mountain West Championship with a 4-0 win against Boise State (5-24, 1-6 MW) on Friday. The win tied the school record for wins in a season (21) and was USU’s first win in a conference tournament since 2005 against Idaho in the Big West.
“I thought we did a good job of staying tough in big moments,” said USU head coach James Wilson. “We didn’t play our best tennis in certain spots, but we stayed the course and managed ourselves well. Tomorrow will be a difficult test, and we will need to improve our play.”
The match started with doubles, and USU’s tandem of sophomore Jonas Maier and senior Jack Swindells topped Pedro Platzeck and Greg Wischer, 6-2, at the second position. However, the Broncos evened the doubles competition as Kyle Butters and Jack Heslins defeated junior Kai Wehnelt and sophomore Samuel Serrano, 6-2, at the first position.
With the doubles point coming down to court 3, USU’s duo of juniors Jaime Barajas and Andrew Nakajima were up 4-3 over Ryland McDermott and Brian Tran with the Broncos serving. Barajas hit a strong forehand down the middle to earn a service break and a 5-3 lead. From there, Barajas served out the match to claim the doubles point for USU, as the Aggies took court 3, 6-3.
The teams then moved to singles play, and the Aggies took four out of the six first sets. Among those Aggies winning their first set included Wehnelt, who would be the first off the courts after completing the sweep against Butters, 6-2, 6-3, at the No. 1 spot. Then, Maier took down McDermott at the No. 6 spot in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3.
With the Aggies up 3-0, freshman Sergiu Bucur entered the match after sitting for doubles and swept past Wischer at the No. 5 spot, 6-3, 6-3, to clinch the 4-0 win for Utah State. It was Bucur’s 10th win in a row, the longest winning streak by an Aggie this season.
The Aggies will face San Diego State tomorrow in the semifinals of the Mountain West Championship at 6 p.m. (MT). Utah State posted a 4-1 victory against the Aztecs earlier this season in Logan.
Fans can follow USU’s men’s tennis team on Twitter @USUMensTennis, on Facebook at UtahStateMensTennis or on Instagram @USUTennis. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program on Twitter at @USUAthletics, on Facebook at Utah State University Athletics or on Instagram at @USUAthletics.
<strong>No. 45 Utah State 4, Boise State 0</strong>
1. Kyle Butters/Jack Heslin (BSU) def. Kai Wehnelt/Samuel Serrano (USU) 6-2
2. Jonas Maier/Jack Swinsells (USU) def. Pedro Platzeck/Greg Wischer (BSU) 6-2
3. Jaime Barajas/Andrew Nakajima (USU) def. Ryland McDermott/Brian Tran (BSU) 6-3
1. Kai Wehnelt (USU) def. Kyle Butters (BSU) 6-2, 6-3
2. Jaime Barajas (USU) vs. Brian Tran (BSU) 6-7 (7), 0-2, unfinished
3. Samuel Serrano (USU) vs. Jack Heslin (BSU) 3-6, 6-4, 0-1, unfinished
4. Jack Swindells (USU) vs. Pedro Platzeck (BSU) 7-5, 3-4, unfinished
5. Sergiu Bucur (USU) def. Greg Wischer (BSU) 6-3, 6-3
6. Jonas Maier (USU) def. Ryland McDermott (BSU) 6-3, 6-3