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Junior Stefan Cooper serves the ball to Idaho during the Mar 18 doubles match. (Abby Van Ess / The Signpost)

The Weber State University men’s tennis team got to enjoy some nice weather this weekend in Ogden, and they finally got the chance to play on the school’s outdoor tennis courts. This past weekend, the Wildcats took on both Eastern Washington University and the University of Idaho.

Eastern Washington came in good form on March 17, starting the doubles matches with two wins over juniors Shao-Po Yin and Stefan Cooper’s lone doubles win, giving them the doubles point.

The singles matches were gritty for three of the Wildcat players.

Cooper, playing in the No. 2 spot, crushed Eastern Washington’s Victor Pereira by a score of 6–0 in the first set, 6–2 in the second.

“I got that win today, and I thought I played really well,” Cooper said. “It is hard to adjust coming from indoor tennis to playing outside, and it took our team a few days to adjust. I just had to find a way to get to the net and play my strengths, and that is what I did today.”

Freshman Kris Van Wyk, who played in the No. 3 spot, came up big for the Wildcats, defeating his opponent 6–1 in the first set and a close 6–4 in the second.

Playing in the No. 5 spot was freshman Michiel Van Schoor, who took his opponent to the final tie-breaking set in a 10–6 victory.

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Freshman Michiel Van Schoor runs to get the volley Mar 18 against Idaho. (Abby Van Ess / The Signpost)

The ’Cats put up a fight but came up short, giving the match to Eastern Washington by a narrow score of 4–3.

“It was a very disappointing loss,” director of tennis Brad Ferreira told Weber State Athletics. “We did not play very well in doubles, and that put us in the hole. EWU is a solid team, and you cannot give them an opening like we did.”

The men’s team came back the following day for more action and were ready to take on the University of Idaho Vandals. The Wildcats were looking to get back into the winning column early in the day, winning two of the three doubles matches and stealing the doubles point from Idaho.

But the singles matches came with some difficulties for Weber State. Idaho came in strong, winning four of the six singles matches of the day.

Cooper, playing in the No. 2 spot, lost the first set 6–4 and the second 6–3.

However, Van Wyk defeated his opponent for the No. 3 spot, and junior Hou-En Chen defeated his opponent in the No. 4 spot.

Van Wyk took his opponent Carlos Longhi Neto into an extended tie-breaking round, emerging the victor in the final set by a score of 12–10.

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Freshman Kris van Wyk smashes an overhead ball on Mar 18. (Abby Van Ess / The Signpost)

Chen only needed two sets to defeat his opponent from Idaho, taking the first set 6–2 and the second 6–3.

Unfortunately, the ’Cats’ two singles points and one doubles point weren’t enough to claw past their opponents. The final score of the day was 4–3 in favor of the Vandals.

The Weber State men’s tennis team now has a 1–2 conference record, 5–6 overall.

The Wildcats will travel to Flagstaff on March 25 to face Northern Arizona University. Weber State will then head to Cedar City for a matchup against the Southern Utah Thunderbirds on March 26.

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