Cal Poly men’s tennis took down UC Irvine 4-2 on Sunday, Apr. 3 at the Anteater Tennis Stadium. 

The No. 61 ranked Mustangs (11-4, 2-0 Big West) snapped the Anteaters’ (11-5, 1-1 Big West) 10-match win streak to start off Big West play 2-0. 

Cal Poly will have three more Big West matchups in the next seven days. 

A couple of hours south of San Luis Obispo, the team opened up with a win in the doubles play. The No. 2 duo of Estonian graduate Hendrik Inno and the redshirt sophomore from England Joe Leather won 6-2. 

In the three spot, the duo of sophomore Noah Berry and redshirt sophomore Fernando Fonseca won 6-4. Berry and Fonseca are on a seven-match win streak and sit a 9-2 overall on the season. Both of these are team-best. 

Redshirt sophomore Colter Smith and Dutch freshman Bastiaan Westrate were down one, 4-3, in their doubles match, but did not have to finish play because the other two duos secured the point. 

In singles play, the Mustangs went 3-5, getting wins from No. 3 Smith, No. 4 Fonseca and No. 6 Westrate.

At No. 5, redshirt junior Gary Vardanyan finished his singles match first with 6-3 and 6-2 losses. Vardanyan has lost three straight and is 4-5 on the season. He has found more success in the No. 6 spot with a 6-3 record, compared to a 1-3 record at No. 5.

Fonseca evened up singles competition, going 6-3, 7-6 (8-6) on the scorecard. This is his first win after a pair of losses to No. 32 Cal and No. 75 Hawaii. The Mustang then took a 3-1 lead with Smith’s 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 win. Smith’s match follows a unique sequence with a commanding win leveled by an even more commanding 1-6 loss. However, he shot right back to end the match with a 6-2 third set.

No. 2 Leather kept both matches close, but fell back to back times 7-6, 7-6. Leather holds an 8-4 record, which is second only to No. 1 Berry. Berry’s sets went 3-6, 7-5, and unfinished with him leading 4-2 in the final set. 

No. 6 Westrate then clinched the win on a 6-4, 6-7 (7-9), 6-1 sequence. This was Westrate’s fourth singles match of the season and he holds a record of 2-2. 

Cal Poly has the best win percentage in the No. 6 spot this year, taking 76.9% of their matches. The No. 1 spot, which has been held by Berry all season, takes the second-best win percentage at 69.2%.

The Mustang will not return home as they take on UC Riverside on Monday, Apr. 4 at 11 a.m. This match starts only 22 hours after their match began on Sunday against Irvine.

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