A perfect season came to an imperfect finish on Sunday for the Weber State University men’s tennis team, as they lost the Big Sky Conference championship match to the University of Montana 4-0.

After finishing the regular season a perfect 10-0 in conference matches, the Wildcats came into the Big Sky Conference tournament as the No. 1 seed. Following a bye in the opening round of the tournament, the Wildcats defeated the Sacramento State Hornets 4-1 in the semi-final match on Saturday.

The Montana Grizzlies made quick work of the Wildcats in the doubles matches, winning the No. 2 match (8-5) and No. 3 match (8-6) to secure the doubles point.

“Montana played incredibly well today,” WSU head coach Brad Ferreira said after the loss. “After we lost the doubles (point), everyone seemed a bit down, like we maybe lost the match because we lost the doubles.”

The Wildcats struggled in the singles matches too, as they quickly lost the No. 4 and No. 5 matches to fall behind 3-0. Weber State senior Oliver Good played hard in the No. 3 match, but was unable to get the win as he was swept (6-4, 6-4) to give the Montana Grizzlies its first Big Sky Conference men’s tennis title in program history.

“We played OK today. I don’t think we played badly,” Ferreira said. “But Montana definitely played a whole lot better today. They deserved to win with how well they played.”

The Wildcats finished the regular season 14-9 (10-0 in conference). It was the program’s first winning season since 2008, when they finished 13-11 (5-2 in conference).

Ferreira said that having most of his lineup returning from last season, as well as the addition of sophomore Landon Barlow, were key to the team’s success this year. Barlow and sophomore Sanjay Goswami give the team depth, he said.

“We’re strong from No. 1 all the way to No. 6. We’ve got Landon Barlow playing at five and Sanjay Goswami playing at six, and those two boys on any other team would be playing at three or four,” Ferreira said. “We had a pretty good run last year. I expected us to do better than last year, but I didn’t really expect a 10-0 season.”

Looking forward to next season, Ferreira said that he feels the team will be even stronger, and he is looking forward to adding to the team.

“I’ve got three recruits lined up right now, and if those three show up, I think we’re going to be quite a bit stronger next year than we were this year,” Ferreira said. “I think we’re doing the right things, and I’m hoping that the team just keeps getting better and better.”

SINGLES COMPETITION:

  1. Mikolaj Caruk (UM) vs. Jakub Gewert (WSU) no result
  2. Andrew Warren (UM) vs. Todd Fought (WSU) no result
  3. Semion Branzburg (UM) def. Oliver Good (WSU) (6-4, 6-4)
  4. Tomasz Soltyka (UM) def. Caio Poitena (WSU) (6-2, 6-2)
  5. Ethan Vaughn (UM) def. Landon Barlow (WSU) (6-2, 6-4)
  6. Peter Mimnagh-Fleming (UM) vs. Sanjay Goswami (WSU) no result

DOUBLES COMPETITION:

  1. Ethan Vaughn/Semion Branzburg (UM) vs. Oliver Good/Sanjay Goswami (WSU) no result
  2. Mikolaj Caruk/Tomasz Soltyka (UM) def. Todd Fought/Jakub Gewert (WSU) (8-5)
  3. Andrew Warren/Eric Braun (UM) def. Landon Barlow/Caio Poitena (WSU) (8-6)
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