LOGAN, Utah - Utah State men's tennis, ranked No. 49 in the country, defeated Pacific, 4-0, in an outdoor match that took less than two hours. The top of USU's singles lineup did the most damage to the Tigers (8-8, 1-0 WCC), as USU took the wins in singles on courts one through three.
"It was an awesome match for us," said USU head coach James Wilson. "I definitely think it was our best match so far this year in terms of intensity and competitiveness. Doubles was great. We got off to a great start and played with good energy."
The Aggies (11-7, 0-0 MW) swept the doubles point to start the match. First, junior Kai Wehnelt and sophomore Samuel Serrano teamed up for a 6-3 win against Tadiwa Chinamo and Akram El Sallaly at the first position. Then, juniors Jaime Barajas and Andrew Nakajima defeated Lance Ngo and Miguel Diaz at the third position, 6-3, punctuated by an overhand winner from Barajas.
Then, the teams moved to singles with USU holding a 1-0 lead. The Aggies took four out of six first sets in competitive matches, but then the top of USU's lineup opened up a big lead at the same time. First, senior Jack Swindells swept past Alex Giannini, 6-3, 6-1, at the No. 3 spot. Then, Wehnelt defeated Diaz, the reigning West Coast Conference Singles Player of the Week, in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4. Less than a minute later, Barajas closed out Chinamo at the No. 2 spot, 6-3, 6-3, to clinch the match for the Aggies. The final three singles matches were left unfinished.
"In singles, I felt like on all six courts guys were competing hard, even when Sammy and Jonas lost their first sets. The way they were able to bounce back in the second set was awesome," Wilson said. "That's the best I've seen Jack play all year, and for Kai to close out that match was good for him. Jaime just continues to play very, very well for us. It was a great day, and hopefully we can keep building on this."
The Aggies return to action on Sunday, March 19, when they host Idaho at 10 a.m. The match is currently scheduled to be played at the Sports Academy & Racquet Club, but clear weather will move the match outdoors to USU's campus.
Fans can follow USU's men's tennis team on Twitter @USUMensTennis, on Facebook at UtahStateMensTennis or on Instagram at 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.
#49 Utah State 4, Pacific 0
1. Samuel Serrano/Kai Wehnelt (USU) def. Tadiwa Chinamo/Akram El Sallaly (PAC) 6-3
2. Jonas Maier/Jack Swindells (USU) vs. Ross Watson/Alex Giannini (PAC) 5-2, unfinished
3. Andrew Nakajima/Jaime Barajas (USU) def. Lance Ngo/Miguel Diaz (PAC) 6-3
Singles 1. Kai Wehnelt (USU) def. Miguel Diaz (PAC) 6-2, 6-4 2. Jaime Barajas (USU) def. Tadiwa Chinamo (PAC) 6-3, 6-3 3. Jack Swindells (USU) def. Alex Giannini (PAC) 6-3, 6-1 4. Samuel Serrano (USU) vs. Ross Watson (PAC) 4-6, 6-3, 0-1, unfinished 5. Sergiu Bucur (USU) vs. Akram El Sallaly (PAC) 6-4, 4-3, unfinished 6. Jonas Maier (USU) vs. Bryan Husin (PAC) 5-7, 6-0, 1-0, unfinished
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