Cal Poly’s Men’s Tennis went 2-1 in their three non-conference matches last week, picking up commanding wins against Saint Mary’s and Sacramento State in the process. Their week rounded out with a loss at Fresno State to bring their overall record to 3-3 for the young season. 

Saint Mary’s

Despite starting earlier than expected due to potentially inclement weather, the Mustangs dominated the Gaels by a final score of 4-2 on Thursday, Feb. 11 at Korth Tennis Complex. 

No doubles matches were played due to the weather, but redshirt freshman Joe Leather started the match strong for Cal Poly, taking the first point with a straight-set win (6-1, 6-1) in the No. 5 position. 

Saint Mary’s tied the match at 1-1 after No. 6 Carter Crookston lost to Matis Bot in straight sets (6-3, 6-2). Freshman Noah Berry shifted momentum back in favor of the Mustangs after defeating James Watt in the No. 2 position, his second win of the season to that point (7-5, 6-1). 

Saint Mary’s evened up the score again as Damon Kesaris defeated redshirt senior Antoine Noel in straight sets (6-4, 6-1) at the No. 1 position.

From that point, Cal Poly secured the overall victory with wins by redshirt sophomore Gary Vardanyan and redshirt junior Alex Stater. Stater’s win was his third of the season to that point, winning in straight sets at the No. 3 spot before Vardanyan came out on top in a back-and-forth battle at the No. 4 spot that went all three sets (6-2, 4-6, 6-1).

The win moved the Mustangs to 2-2 while Saint Mary’s remained winless on the season to that point (0-3). 

Sacramento State

Cal Poly picked up their second victory in a row at Sacramento State by the score of 4-0 on Friday, Feb. 12. The match was ended prematurely due to rainy weather, but the Mustangs moved to 3-2 on the season with the victory while Sacramento remained winless at 0-2.

Cal Poly started off strong with the doubles matches, as Noel and Leather got their second victory of the season together over the Hornets’ No. 1 pair in a 6-2 result.

The doubles point was then secured by the Mustangs after the duo of redshirt freshman Fernando Fonseca and redshirt junior Roman Shenkiryk won 6-2 in the No. 3 spot.

Vardanyan and Berry completed the sweep in doubles play with a score of 4-2, their second victory of the season as a pair to that point. 

In singles play, Leather widened the Mustangs’ lead with a defeat over Sacramento’s Seiya Duran in straight sets (6-2, 6-1). Stater continued his successful season after a dominating straight-sets victory (6-2, 6-0) at the No. 3 Spot to move to 4-1 on the season. 

The domination of the Hornets was clinched after Fonseca bested his opponent in the third straight-sets victory of the match (6-4, 6-3), getting the Mustangs their fourth point.

Berry was in the middle of a close match against Sacramento’s Liam Liles when the match was canceled due to inclement weather. 

After blanking Sacramento State, the Mustangs had a day off before heading to the Central Valley to face Fresno State. 

Fresno State

Cal Poly’s efforts were not enough on Sunday, Feb. 14, losing to Fresno State by a final score of 5-2 at Spalding G. Wathen Tennis Center. 

The loss moved Cal Poly to 3-3 on the season and gave the Bulldogs their second win in as many matches. 

Fresno State took the doubles point with a sweep, handling Cal Poly in all three matches. Noel and Leather lost 6-0 at the No. 1 spot, and Fresno secured the point with a 6-2 win over Cal Poly’s duo of Shenkiryk and Fonseca.

The Bulldogs took another point from the Mustangs after Zdenek Derkas defeated Berry in straight sets (6-3, 6-0). Leather made the score 2-1 after a strong straight-sets victory (6-1, 6-4), moving his record to 3-2 on the season.

Stater tied the match after a close straight-sets victory (6-4, 6-4) over Fresno’s Dario Huber. The victory was Stater’s team-leading fifth singles win of the season.

Fresno then swept the final three matchups, with straight-set wins over Vardanyan (6-4, 6-2) and Fonseca (7-5, 6-2), closing with a close win against Shenkiryk, going all three sets (6-1, 7-5, 1-0).

Cal Poly will close out their seven-game road trip on Friday, Feb. 19 against Pepperdine in Malibu, California.

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