MSU Men’s Tennis Plays Weekend Matches at Idaho State, Boise State – Bobcats Athletics

BOZEMAN, Montana – There were no hardhats, no caution signs or barricades, but Montana State men’s tennis coach clearly saw what was happening last weekend when his team dropped two of three matches in Seattle and Portland.
“We were still under construction as far as our lineup goes,” Morris said of his team that beat Seattle before dropping contests at Portland State and Portland. That three-matches-in-three-days stretch came as the team exited a month without competition. “We were able to figure out a lot of things last week. For being our third, fourth and fifth matches of the year we got some much-needed match reps , which showed me some things from the guys.”
The Bobcats head south this week for a Saturday match at Idaho State at 3 pm, and a 12 noon showdown at Boise State.
The weekend opener in Pocatello is a replay of MSU’s first two matches this season, when the Cats earned 4-3 and 5-2 wins in Bozeman. The Bengals earned wins over George Fox and Eastern Washington in their last three matches (sandwiched around a loss at Gonzaga), and stand 2-8 on the season. Patrick Trhac stands 2-5 as the Bengals’ top singles player, while Aleksander Petrovic (3-3), Jaime Castillo-Lopez (3-4) and Hiroki Fujita (3-4) all have three singles wins.
“It’s going to be a difficult match,” Morris said of his team’s Saturday rematch with the Bengals. “They’re a good team, with talent at every spot in the lineup. I think they’re a dangerous team and we have to be ready to compete, because playing them at their place is going to be different than playing them (in Bozeman).”
Boise State enters weekend play with a 10-1 record before Saturday’s home match against Weber State. The Broncos’ only loss was a 7-0 defeat at Utah, and BSU has wins over Big Sky entries Idaho State (5-2), Idaho (4-1) and Montana (6-1). Simon Arca Costas leads the Bengals with a 6-0 mark in singles play across the top four ladder positions, while Wyatt DeMulling is 6-1 playing in the middle three spots in the lineup.
“Boise State is a team with one or two new guys,” Morris said, “but most of the team is returning from last year. It’s a similar team to the one we know, and the guys on their squad have a lot of experience. We feel we can win any team we play, and without a doubt that goes for this match, but we’re going to have to do the things we do the best, control what we can control, and play well.”
This weekend’s action begins a difficult march through the month of March for the Bobcats. In two weeks, the Cats play non-conference contests at Utah State (March 28), BYU (March 29) and Weber State  (March 29) before crucial mid-April conference clashes with Idaho, Eastern Washington and the Grizzlies.
“I think going forward we have a group that’s ready to go, ready to compete, and we’re excited to jump into the swing of things and compete on a more consistent basis,” Morris said. “We’re looking forward to getting back some sort of normality.”
While Morris said he’s “starting to feel pretty good about” lineup construction in both singles and doubles, he knows “we have a lot of matches coming up against tough teams. But I want us to establish our way of doing things. I want our guys to be the most excited to be there, I expect them to be the hungriest team, and what comes with that is establishing strong team energy every match. We have a tough stretch coming up, but if we have to keep it simple, we have to have good team energy, and we have to want it more. If we do that I have no doubt that we can take care of business in every match coming up.”
Video of the Idaho State match Saturday and live stats of Sunday’s Boise State contest are each available.

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