Men's tennis pick up big wins as season comes to a close

By The Beacon | April 10, 2013 9:00pm

The Pilots’ rough five-game road trip prepared them for the final week of the season as they climb for a higher seed in the WCC

Junior Alex Ferrero lunges to return a serve against Pepperdine on April 6. Pepperdine was the only loss of the weekend for the Pilots (Becca Tabor | THE BEACON)

By Connor Snashall, Staff Writer

After a month away from home, the Pilots returned to the Louisiana-Pacific Tennis Center to host three consecutive home games, while picking up wins against Big Sky Congerence champion Sacramento State 5-2, WCC-rival LMU 5-2 and a tough loss against No. 10 Pepperdine 6-1.

On April 4, the Pilots matched up against Sacramento State and made it three consecutive years of Pilot victories over the Hornets with a 5-2 win. Junior Justin Guay handled his singles match 6-1 and 6-2 to put the Pilots ahead 3-2. The Pilots knew Sacramento would be a tough opponent and with a few players injured going into the match, the Pilots knew it would not be an easy match.

"We knew we were ready. It was a tough battle, but we ended up on top," Guay said.

Loyola Marymount was a much-awaited match for the Pilots after suffering a 7-0 sweep in Los Angeles last season. The Pilots turned it around this year with a 5-2 victory.

Senior Jackson Martin remembered the previous season and was ready for the Lions as he won his singles match 7-6 and 6-1. "It was kind of an emotional match because last year they creamed us," Martin said. "It was nice to have them come here and we beat them pretty soundly, which sends a message to them and puts us in a better position for the conference tournament,"

Junior Michel Hu Kwo also anticipated the match against LMU and was quick to set the tone winning 6-1 and 6-4.

"I think it was a good revenge for us because last year it was one of our worst performances, and we turned it around this time around," Hu Kwo said.

No. 10 Pepperdine proved to be a challenge for the Pilots as the Waves rolled 5-1. The lone win for Portland came from Justin Guay in a straight set victory.

"This season has been a little rough for me, but I feel like that win shows my improvement, especially playing at a higher level," Guay said. "Hopefully I get another chance to play players at that level."

After winning two out of three, the Pilots look to their final two matches of the season before entering the WCC Tournament on April 27. With away matches at San Francisco and Santa Clara, it won't be an easy last few weeks for the Pilots, but Martin is hopeful for the road trip.

"We're feeling good. I think beating LMU was good for our confidence," Martin said. "Even though the results against Pepperdine didn't go our way, we competed hard so I think our last three matches should go well."

The Pilots final home game of the season is today, April 11 against BYU before heading to San Francisco Friday, April 19.

The Pilots are trying to improve their record from 10-8 overall and 2-3 in the WCC to get a better seed in the WCC Tournament beginning April 27.

(Becca Tabor | THE BEACON)