Wednesday, March 7
#28 North Carolina at #74 Hawai’i, 2:00 p.m. HT
Thursday, March 8
Air Force at #53 New Mexico State, 1:00 p.m.
Friday, March 9
Utah State at UNLV, 10:00 a.m. PT
Idaho at St. Mary’s, 3:00 p.m. PT
Saturday, March 10
Idaho at Santa Clara, 10:00 a.m. PT
Northern Arizona vs. Utah State (Las Vegas, Nev.), 10:00 a.m. PT
#74 Hawai’i at #3 UCLA, 1:30 p.m. PT
Wisconsin at # 17 Fresno State, 2:00 p.m. PT
Sunday, March 11
Wisconsin at # 17 Fresno State, 10:00 a.m. PT
Idaho vs. Wisconsin (Fresno, Calif.), 11:00 a.m. PT
Nevada at #50 UC Santa Barbara, 1:00 p.m. PT
#53 New Mexico State vs. #42 San Diego State (Tucson, Ariz.), 1:00 p.m.
WAC MEN’S TENNIS ATHLETE OF THE WEEK (Feb. 27-March 4)
Fresno State’s Francis Alcantara has been named Verizon Western Athletic Conference Men’s Tennis Athlete of the Week for Feb. 27-March 4.
Alcantara, a sophomore from Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines (Xavier University High School), picked up a victory over No. 42 San Diego State’s Thorsten Bertsch and reached the quarterfinals at the Pacific Coast Men’s Doubles Championships. Alcantara’s victory over Bertsch was crucial in the Bulldogs 4-3 victory over the Aztecs on March 1. In doubles action during the dual, Alcantara, along with Partner Remi Boutillier, defeated San Diego State’s squad of Javier Pulgar and Hunter Nicholas. Later, with partner Jean-Charles Diame, Alcantara defeated doubles pairs from Arizona State and Southern Cal at the doubles championship, before falling in the quarterfinals to the runner-up duo of Kris Kwinta, an ex-UCLA assistant, and John Peers, a former Baylor player.
Other men’s nominees included: Hawai’i freshman Chas Okamoto … Idaho junior Marius Cirstea … Nevada senior Wessim Derbel … Utah State junior Sven Poslusny.
WAC IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
In the Feb. 28 ITA rankings, three of the six WAC teams are ranked in the top 75. Fresno State is the highest ranked WAC team at No. 16, New Mexico State is ranked at No. 69, and Hawai’i is ranked at No. 74.
Individually, the WAC has three singles players ranked in the top 100. Remi Boutillier of Fresno State is the top-ranked WAC player, at No. 17, while his teammate Francis Alcantara is No. 52. Wessim Derbel of Nevada garnered a ranking of No. 87. In doubles, the lone WAC team ranked is Idaho’s Andrew Dobbs and Marius Cirstea, at No. 42.
No. 17 Fresno State improved to 5-1 against ranked opponents on season with a 4-3 victory over No. 42 San Diego State last Thursday. After losing the doubles point, the Bulldogs came back in singles competition with wins from No. 52 Francis Alcantara, Jean-Charles Diame, David Ayoun and Zachary Leslie. The Bulldogs also sent select athletes to the Pacific Coast Doubles tournament in San Diego, where Alcantara and Diame reached the quarterfinals.
This week, the Bulldogs have two duals against Wisconsin, on Friday and Saturday.
In its last action, No. 74 Hawai’i fell to No. 14 Michigan, 4-0, in a dual that was delayed four times due to inclement weather and featured no doubles matches. Three Hawai’i athletes took Wolverine opponents to a third set, including Jared Spiker and Dimitrov Kovalyov, whose matches were called before completion.
This week, Hawai’i hosts No. 28 North Carolina on Wednesday, before travelling to No. 3 UCLA on Saturday.
Idaho earned two wins last Saturday, earning 6-1 victories over Eastern Washington and Lewis-Clark State College.
This week, the Vandals are busy, travelling for three matches in California. Idaho faces St. Mary’s on Friday, No. 37 Santa Clara on Saturday and Wisconsin on Sunday. The first conference match for Idaho will come the following week, against No. 17 Fresno State, on March 13.
Nevada went 1-1 last week, defeating Sacramento State, 4-1 and falling to Pacific, 4-3. Wessim Derbel won 6-0, 6-4 at No. 1, improving to 7-2 in dual play and 17-4 overall on the year
This week, Nevada travels to No. 50 UC Santa Barbara for a dual on Sunday.
NEW MEXICO STATE
New Mexico State is in the midst of a break that will last nearly a month, since Feb. 10. The Aggies return to action again on Thursday against Air Force. The Aggies then travel to Tucson, Ariz. to face No. 42 San Diego State on Sunday and Arizona on March 12.
Last week, Utah State fell to Boise State, 6-1, on Thursday and defeated Seattle, 5-2, on Saturday. Senior Nate Ballum went undefeated in singles play on the week.
This week, the Aggies travel to Las Vegas, Nev. for two matches, again UNLV on Friday and Northern Arizona on Saturday.