Idaho State pick up doubles point to edge out Aggies
Once again it came down to the doubles point.
With the team score tied, 3-3, following singles play, the Idaho State University men's tennis team picked up the doubles point to go ahead, 4-3, and edge Utah State Wednesday.
The match, held at the Sports Academy and Racquet Club in Logan, began outdoors with singles. Normally the three doubles matches are held first, but Aggie Head Coach Chris Wright said singles were held first so all six matches could start outside while the weather still permitted play.
Singles play only lasted an hour outside before rain drove the players inside.
The only match finished was No. 3 singles, where Aggie Jason Trask defeated Butch Stravidis in straight sets, 6-1, 6-0.
"It was a fun match," Trask said.
It was the only comment a grinning Trask would make about the match.
"Jason absolutely took it to him," Wright said.
Wright said the move inside probably helped some of the players but hurt others.
"Everybody is a little bit different in their style of play and things they like to do. We spent the majority of our time practicing on these [indoor] courts and some like a slower surface. I thought overall it would have been to our advantage to remain outside so I hated to do half-and-half," Wright said.
After moving inside, the Aggies picked up two of the remaining five matches for a tie in singles.
At No. 1, Andreas Madersbacher won the first set outside and then won again inside to defeat Vasico Devidze, 6-4, 6-3.
Clayton Thomas lost at No. 2, falling to Hestian Stoica, 6-1, 6-3.
In one of two three set matches, ISU's No. 4, Adam Krupp, was victorious over Jordan Butler, 6-7, 6-4, 6-2.
The other three set match, at No. 5 singles, was won by USU's Steve Peterson.
Peterson lost, 2-6, in the first set but won the second set, 7-5, and then blanked Chris Sedak, 6-0, in the third for the win.
Throughout the match, Peterson showed emotion, pumping his fist after points and cheering his teammates on nearby courts.
"If I don't have a little fire under me I can't play," he said. "I need a little boost. When I start pumping my fist then I know I'm going to be into the match."
Peterson said the key to his match though was the transition from outside to inside.
"I like to play indoors a lot better," he said. "I like serve-and-volleying."
In the final singles match, Vandal Mike Chester defeated Sam Harris 7-5, 6-4.
With the score knotted going into doubles, USU fell behind at No. 1 and No 3.
"Doubles just really got a slow start at No. 1 and No. 3," Wright said.
Stoica and Krupp went up, 4-1, on Madersbacher and Thomas and after a comeback that tied the match at 4-4, Idaho State pulled away for the victory, 8-5.
Stravidis and Chester accomplished a similar victory at No. 3, going up early and then going on to win, 8-4.
The lone Aggie doubles victory was at No. 2 where Trask and Peterson defeated Devidze and Sedak, 9-7.
After struggling to win at the beginning of the year, Trask said doubles play for him and Peterson has picked up.
"We started off with a lot of intensity and we were getting into the net pretty tight," Peterson said. "We just feed off each other. It's fun."
Trask said, "Our doubles are going really well now. We're playing really solid."
The loss moved the Aggies to 7-12 on the season.
Utah State will now be off for two weeks. The Aggies will play again when they travel to Ojai, Calif. for the Big West Conference Championships, April 25-28.
Wright said the loss to ISU may actually be helpful to the team in preparation for the conference championship.
"Maybe we don't want to squeak by right now doing the wrong things because then we go in with a false sense of we can just come out here and underestimate people and still do it," Wright said. "I'd rather have us just come out and everybody be completely focused and in control emotionally."
He said, "If we have 100 percent focus we have the talent to compete with any team around. We've proven we can play good tennis."