The UCLA Bruins (27-2) defeated the Idaho men’s tennis team, 4-0, on May 12 at the Los Angeles Tennis Center, ending Idaho’s season in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
(Vandal Athletics photo)
“I think the battle in our team was there,” coach Abid Akbat said. “Hats off to UCLA. They are No. 2 in the nation.”
The Bruins did not drop a single set in the completed matches Saturday, but the Vandals had their moments.
Senior Mark Kovacs played Martin Redlicki, the nation’s no. 1 player, in singles, and got out to a 4-3 lead. Redlicki closed out the set 6-4 and held a 5-2 lead when the match was stopped.
“Mark is a tough competitor,” Akbar said. “He gave the No. 1 guy in the nation a run for his money. What a great way to end his career.”
(Photo: Mark Kovacs, April 18, 2018)
Also in singles: Guilherme Scarpelli split sets with No. 103 Logan Staggs at the No. 4 position.
Idaho clinched the Big Sky’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament after winning the conference championship, shutting out Weber State in the semifinals before sweeping Montana in the championship match.
Idaho also won the Big Sky Championship last year and played No. 16 Stanford, falling 4-0 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Idaho senior Mark Kovacs was a Big Sky First Team honoree for singles. Kovacs won seven league matches totaling 11 wins playing mostly at the No. 1 spot, and he leaves Idaho as the program’s all-time leader in wins with 97.
“Guys like him do not come around very often,” Akbar said.
Kovacs also headlines the First Team All-Conference award winners for doubles along with Carlos Longhi Neto. Kovacs and Longhi Neto went 14-6 on the season and 7-4 in conference all at the top position. Additionally, the pair went 2-0 in the championship winning a pair of 6-4 matches versus Weber State and Montana
Felipe Fonseca was a the Men’s Singles Second Team All-Conference selection. Carlos Longhi Neto earned Honorable Mention. Lucas Coutinho and Esteban Santibanez earned Honorable Mention in Men’s Doubles.
Posted May 13, 2018