LOGAN, Utah - Utah State men’s tennis is set to begin its dual match season on Saturday as the Aggies host Southern Utah and Idaho State at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., respectively, at the Sports Academy & Racquet Club.
“I’m really looking forward to the start of the season with Saturday’s doubleheader,” head coach James Wilson said. “The guys are excited and looking forward to competing. For our four freshmen, it will be an awesome way to get their dual match career started. I’m sure there will be some nerves, but I’m confident that they will be able to handle the situation.”
USU competed in six events during the fall and was led by freshman Jose Carvajal with a 13-4 singles record. Freshman Valdemar Holm had a 12-5 singles finish during the fall, freshman Addy Vashistha finished 12-6, junior Samuel Serrano went 11-4, senior Andrew Nakajima was 11-6 and senior Jaime Barajas finished 10-4.
USU returns four letterwinners from last season’s squad after back-to-back regular season Mountain West titles, including the 2017 MW postseason championship — the first in Utah State history. The Aggies finished the year with a school record in wins, finishing 23-9, including 6-1 in the conference. USU had its highest ITA ranking at No. 39 and was in the top-50 for nine consecutive weeks, finishing at No. 45. Serrano was named all-MW in both singles and doubles, finishing 21-10 in singles and 20-14 in doubles, including 15-6 and 13-11 in dual matches, respectively. Barajas’ 74 total singles wins are the most in program history.
The Aggies and Thunderbirds have faced off just once prior to Saturday, with USU taking the 7-0 victory on Feb. 5, 2016. Both teams competed at the Idaho State-hosted Bank of Commerce Fall Tournament in the fall where the schools split the doubles matches 1-1. Last season, SUU was led in singles by Guy Feigin who went 10-9 and Cedric Rupa who went 10-8. In doubles, the Thunderbirds were led by Feigin and Conor Tordoff who each were 9-10.
Utah State is 33-44 against Idaho State, USU’s longest-standing opponent, including winning the last two matchups. ISU participated in four events in the fall, including the Bank of Commerce Fall Tournament and the ITA Regionals where USU also competed. During the fall season, Utah State held a 4-0 advantage in singles while the schools split the doubles matchups, 1-1. In the fall, Peter Trhac and David Felix advanced to the second round of the 2017 Oracle ITA Fall Championships in doubles after advancing to the finals at the ITA Mountain Regionals. The doubles tandem is ranked No. 39 by the ITA. Last season, the Bengals were led in singles by Bjorn Scheepbouwer who finished 12-8, Sebastian Edin was 10-8, and Francis Filipovich and Quentin Wacquez were 10-9. In doubles, Filipovich finished 10-7 to lead Idaho State.
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.
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