The Viking men’s and women’s tennis teams fell in the quarterfinals of the Big Sky Championships last week, but not before putting up a fight. Portland State hosted the tournament, which was held at the Portland Tennis Center and Westview High School, Thursday thru Sunday.
The men’s match-ups opened the championships Thursday. The Vikings, who were ranked seventh, were able to give second-seeded Montana State some serious competition before losing 4-0. Beau Smith had the best match of the day against MSU’s Federico Ueltschi. Smith was neck and neck with the number-one singles player from Montana State, 6-7 (4), 2-2 before the match was called to a halt. Unfortunately for the Vikings, that match as well as several others was cut short when the Bobcats were able to reach the four-point plateau midway through the action. The Viking men ended their season at 3-20 overall.
The sixth-seeded Viking women squared off Friday against third seed Idaho State. PSU kept pace with the favored Bengals, but were finally defeated 4-3. Viking freshman Katie Owens provided some excitement when she came back from a set down to steal a match from Eka Jvania, ISU’s top-ranked player, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4. Denise Cockrell and Lisa Bessman also found success in singles play. Bessman overpowered ISU’s Armine Sarkavagyan 6-4, 6-2, while Cockrell dispatched Melanie Krantz 6-4, 6-3.
Despite the solid singles play against a deeper-ranked squad, the Vikings were unable to grab a win in the doubles competition to drop a close decision 4-3. The women ended their season with an 8-17 record.
Northern Arizona, Idaho State and Sacramento State joined Montana State in the men’s semifinals Saturday. Sacramento State, Northern Arizona and Weber State made the semifinals cut on the women’s side.