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Men’s tennis returns home early

The Portland State men’s tennis team traveled to Utah this past weekend to participate in the Big Sky regional tournament. However, before the tourney, the Vikings had a chance for redemption against Utah State, who had handed Portland State a loss just one week prior.

The Vikings used the game as a warm-up for the tournament, but they were not able to pull out the win. Utah State put away the Vikings in seven straight sets for the victory.

Over the weekend, Portland State took on the top three teams in the Big Sky Conference. First they matched up against Weber State, arguably the best team in the region.

Mark Simpson, the PSU’s number four player, provided a spark as he was the only Viking to win his match. Weber State took the win 6-1 and Portland State was left to contrive a way to beat Sacramento State and Northern Arizona University.

Unfortunately the Vikings weren’t able to come up with a win against Sacramento or NAU, both schools having highly ranked tennis programs. The score for the Sac State game was 7-0 in favor of Sacramento and NAU beat the Vikings 5-0.

In spite of the losses, head coach Leslie Lewis was happy with the way the team played and with they players’ individual efforts. Also, she is happy with the way the men played all year long and feels that they put down a good foundation with which to build a winning team.

“This year was a good springboard,” Lewis said. “This year has been the year for experience.”

Lewis also believes the team has made huge improvements throughout the season and feels that they are genuinely maturing towards a high level of play.

“They’re now realizing what it will take to take the next step up,” Lewis said. “The commitment’s there now.”

With the season now officially over for the men, they will take this time to practice and play in some individual tournaments that will help them gain experience for next season. Everyone on the team is still eligible to play at least two more years and with incoming recruits, Lewis is confident that the level of competition within the team itself will be at a much higher level.