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Bobcats meet best air force challenge in men’s tennis season opener




BOZEMAN, Montana January 14, 2021 Montana State Men’s Tennis Coach Trey Morris had a simple message for his team after dropping the doubles point to the Air Force in the Bobcats’ season opener on Friday.

“I challenged our guys to show me what this season will be like,” Morris said. “Losing the doubles point can take your breath away a bit. What I saw was six guys who played each other with all their hearts and played really hard for the Blue and Gold.”

The result was five singles wins in six matches for a 5-2 tag team win over the Air Force at the Bobcat-Anderson Tennis Center. “It was a very solid win,” Morris said.

Jamieson Nathan sparked the comeback with a 7-5, 6-0 victory at No. 3 in singles, and after a victory for the Falcons in fourth place in the standings Matej Panic won at No. 1 and Daan Van Dijk staged a second-set comeback to win at No. 2 to give the Cats a 3-2 lead.

After winning the first set 7-6, Van Dijk trailed 4-3 in the second set. After a break of serve, he held serve to come back 5-4, then broke serve again for the win.

Van Dijk’s comeback started in an unusual way. “I actually felt my lower back tighten up a bit,” he said. “At first I was a bit nervous, but when it happened I relaxed and thought, ‘Now I can play more freely.’ I just started to play better, hit more balls, I didn’t want to hit too much, at the start of the second set I had too many unforced errors, but then I relaxed and started to better player.

Needing one more singles win to clinch the team win, Joaquin Espinoza picked up a 6-4, 6-4 win for sixth in the standings in a contest featuring long rallies. “They were so long,” Espinoza said, noting that AFA’s Kyle Garner started to “hit everything on my backhand. I started playing on his forehand to change the pace and it started to work. “

Nejc Sitar closed the game with a 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 triumph in fifth place in the standings. The Bobcats will be back next weekend, playing Gonzaga and Whitworth on Saturday and Eastern Washington on Sunday.

State of Montana 5, Air Force 2
January 14, 2022 in Bozeman, Montana (Bobcat-Anderson Tennis Center)

Singles competition

1. PANIK, Matej (MSU) def. BAYLON, Robert (AFA) 6-4, 7-6 (7-4)
2. VAN DIJK, Daan (MSU) defeated. MASCAGNI, Jonathan (AFA) 7-6 (7-6), 6-4
3. NATHAN, Jamieson (MSU) def. WALDMAN, Justin (AFA) 7-5, 6-0
4. VROMAN, Nick (AFA) defeated. BUCKLAND, Brad (USM) 3-6, 6-2, 6-0
5. SITAR, Nejc (MSU) def. KERSETN, Arjun (AFA) 5-7, 6-4, 6-3
6. ESPINOZA, Joaquin (MSU) def. GARNER, Kyle (AFA) 6-4, 6-4

Doubles competition

1. AZUMA, Jordan / BAYLON, Robert (AFA) def. VAN DIJK, Daan / PANIK, Matej (MSU) 6-3
2. KERSETN, Arjun/MASCAGNI, Jonathan (AFA) def. ZELVER, Marcos/SITAR, Nejc (MSU) 6-3
3. NATHAN, Jamieson/BUCKLAND, Brad (MSU) def. VROMAN, Nick/WALDMAN, Justin (AFA) 6-4

Air Force 0-1, Montana State 1-0
Finishing order: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (3,1,4,2,6,5)





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