Courtesy: Idaho Athletic Media Relations
Vandals Travel to Big Sky
Courtesy: Idaho Athletic Media Relations
          Release: 04/27/2016
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MOSCOW, Idaho—Idaho’s men’s and women’s tennis teams, both 2015 Big Sky champions, head off to defend their titles at the 2016 Big Sky Tennis Championship this weekend. The men begin play on Saturday, earning a first-round bye as the tournament’s No. 2 seed. The women earned the No. 3 seed and will open with No. 6 Eastern Washington on Friday.

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The Vandal men finished 9-2 in conference play. Idaho was the lone team to defeat No. 1 Weber State in conference play, 5-2. The men finished the season winning its final four Big Sky matches, concluding with a 7-0 defeat of Idaho State. Mark Kovacs and Lucas Coutinho finished the conference season with 10-1 records to lead the Vandals. Senior Odon Barta was 6-3 in the No. 1 position, finishing 7-4 overall in conference play.

“We are where we want to be heading into this weeekned,” head coach Abid Akbar said. "We will have three days to get ready for our semifinal. I think we are in a good spot to win our semifinal. We will have three days to prepare."

The Idaho women completed the Big Sky season with a 9-2 record. The two losses came to the top two seeds in the tournament, Northern Arizona and Sacramento State. Freshman Marianna Petrei was perfect for the Vandals in the spring, posting an 11-0 conference-record in No. 1 singles. She finished the regular season with a 20-2 record. Senior Belen Barcenilla finished Big Sky play with a 10-1 record, while Lucia Badillos was 9-1.

“Our goal is to win it this weekend,” head coach Mariana Cobra stated. “We had two 4-3 losses to the first and second seeds. That knocked us down, giving us that extra match as the No. 3 seed. We just have to make sure we come out stronger every day. We cannot be thinking about the finals before the first or second rounds.”

The women’s match on Friday will start at 10 a.m. PT. The men’s semifinal match will start at 2 p.m. on Saturday.