by Zachary Knecht
Featured Image: Photo by Weber State Athletics
Weber State Tennis Big Sky Recap
The Big Sky Tournament has officially come to a close for Weber State Tennis, with polar opposite endings for the men’s and women’s teams. The men’s season came to an unfortunate end against the fifth-seeded Idaho State Bengals, while the women were crowned Big Sky champions. Though each roster couldn’t hoist the trophy, Weber State showcased its excellence in the 2022-2023 season.
Idaho State versus Weber State 4-2
The men’s team, unfortunately, couldn’t get the job done in the quarterfinals of the tournament, succumbing to the Bengals 4-2 in a disappointing effort. The Wildcats got the better of Idaho State in the regular season, dominating their conference rival 5-2, but when the lights got brighter, WSU struggled to compete.
The matchup got off on the wrong foot after Weber State lost the doubles point. Elyes Marouani and Tristan Sarap dropped the first hotly contested set, but the Connor Kruger-William Zulch duo bounced back with a 6-4 win. The decisive set leaned heavily in Idaho State’s favor, though, with Sebastian Buxman and Jordan Coutinho dropping their battle 6-2.
- V. De Pellegrin/Andreas Kramer (ISU) beat Elyes Marouani/Tristan Sarap (WSU) 7(7)-6(4)
- Connor Kruger/William Zulch (WSU) beat Patrick Kristensen/Wikus Robbertse (ISU) 6-4
- Victor Sklenka/Hiroki Fujita (ISU) beat Sebastian Buxman/Jordan Coutinho (WSU) 6-2
Order of Finish (1, 2, 3)
Singles play was a battle between two teams trying to advance in the tournament. Buxman came out swinging for the Wildcats by sweeping his sets 7-5 and 6-2 to get WSU on the board for their first point. Marouani would, unfortunately, fall after winning his first bout, losing 6-2, 3-6, 3-6. After Kruger’s quiet showing, Zulch kept Weber State alive with a commanding 6-1, 6-4 victory, but Coutinho’s defeat clinched the win for the Bengals. It was a great run for the men’s roster and a lot to be proud of heading into the offseason.
- Sebastian Buxman (WSU) beat Patrick Kristensen (ISU) 7-5, 6-2
- V. De Pellegrin (ISU) unfinished Tristan Sarap 6-1, 4-6, 5-2, 0-UF
- Andreas Kramer (ISU) beat Elyes Marouani (WSU) 2-6, 6-3, 6-3
- Victor Sklenka (ISU) beat Connor Kruger (WSU) 6-2, 6-0
- William Zulch (WSU) beat Wikus Robbertse (ISU) 6-1, 6-4
- Hiroki Fujita (ISU) beat Jordan Coutinho (WSU) 4-6, 6-2, 6-1
Order of Finish (1, 3, 4, 5, 6)
Portland State versus Weber State 3-4
The women survived a tight competition against the Portland State Vikings in their first battle of the Big Sky Championships. The Wildcats crept by the third seed with some clutch performances on the way.
As with the men, the day didn’t start well for Weber State. The Vikings dominated in doubles play, taking the first set 6-2 before Megan Lombardi and Dylan Lolofie took the next 6-3. Portland State didn’t sweat too much as they took the third 6-4 over Sicely Ferreira and Kenadee Semenik.
- Masha Ponomareva/Capu Sanoner (PSU) beat Ana Morett/Megan Davies (WSU) 6-2
- Megan Lombardi/Dylan Lolofie (WSU) beat Nike Beukers/Nell Arendt (PSU) 6-3
- Makoto Ohara/Emily Rees (PSU) beat Sicely Ferreira/Kenadee Semenik (WSU) 6-4
Order of Finish (1, 2, 3)
The Wildcats truly shined in singles play when it mattered most. After losing the doubles point, they were at a severe disadvantage against a formidable opponent. Ana Morett took her back-and-forth set by a score of 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 before Megan Davies won by opponent retirement. The Vikings evened the score at two with Lombardi’s loss and regained the lead by downing Cindy Ping An. With no more leeway, the Weber State women came in clutch, Semenik and Lolofie sweeping their matches to sending WSU to the championship round. It didn’t come easy, but the Wildcats earned every bit of this win.
- Ana Morett (WSU) beat Masha Ponomareva (PSU) 6-2, 3-6, 6-3
- Megan Davies (WSU) won by opponent retirement Capu Sanoner (PSU) 3-6, 6-1, 4-0, WR-0
- Elizabeth Strongina (PSU) beat Megan Lombardi (WSU) 6-2, 6-4
- Nika Beukers (PSU) beat Cidy Ping An (WSU) 6-2, 6-2
- Kenadee Semenik (WSU) beat Makoto Ohara (PSU) 6-2, 6-4
- Dylan Lolofie (WSU) beat Nell Arendt (PSU) 7-6, 6-2
Order of Finish (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
Weber State versus Northern Arizona 4-2
The Wildcats won themselves a trip to the championship game, where they faced off against the #1 seed Northern Arizona Lumberjacks. The Lumberjacks were a perfect 8-0 in the Big Sky heading into the tournament and were determined to maintain their flawless record. The Wildcats had other plans, stealing the game from their fearsome opponent.
There was something about the Wildcats dropping the doubles point to start their days in the tournament. Again Weber State couldn’t find success and fell to a one-point deficit heading into singles, with Ana Morett and Megan Davies the only duo to win by a dominating 6-1 score.
- Ana Morett/Megan Davies (WSU) beat Elinor Beazley/Ana Guadiana (NAU) 6-1
- Pat Niewiadomska/Laura Duhl (NAU) beat Megan Lombardi/Dylan Lolofie (WSU) 6-2
- Mimi Bland/Daryna Shoshyna (NAU) beat Sicely Ferreira/Kenadee Semenik (WSU) 6-2
Order of Finish (1, 2, 3)
Weber State shot out of the gates quickly again in singles, taking the first three matches to take a 3-1 lead. Morett continued her impressive performance by sweeping 6-2, 6-3 in the first battle, while Davies and Lombardi saw a more competitive series going into three sets. Ping An struggled again in singles, allowing the Lumberjacks to narrow their deficit to one, but Semenik put the nail in the coffin with her magnificent 6-2, 6-4 victory. By taking the Big Sky crown, the women’s team earned themselves a spot in the NCAA tournament where they will represent their school proudly at the national level.
- Ana Moret (WSU) beat Sofia Markova (NAU) 6-2, 6-3
- Megan Davies (WSU) beat Ana Guadiana (NAU) 6-1, 4-6, 6-0
- Megan Lombardi (WSU) beat Pat Niewiadomska (NAU) 5-7. 6-1, 6-4
- Daryna Shoshyna (NAU) beat Cindy Ping An (WSU) 6-4, 6-2
- Kenadee Semenik (WSU) beat Ava Neyestani (NAU) 6-2, 6-4
- Dylan Lolofie (WSU) unfinished Laura Duhl (WSU) 5-7, 7-6, 1-1, UF-UF
Order of Finish (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
What’s to Come
The women’s team will travel to Stanford, California, and represent the Big Sky in the NCAA tournament, facing the #7 Cardinal on Friday, May 5, at 2 pm MST.
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