Fresno State Opens WAC Successfully
April 3, 2009
FRESNO, Calif. - No. 40 Fresno State made a statement on Friday at the Spalding G. Wathen Tennis Center with a 4-3 victory over the defending WAC champions No. 63 Hawai'i Warriors.
"It's big to pick up a win against Hawai'i to start the WAC season," head coach Jay Udwadia said. "Hawai'i is one of the better teams in our conference and they are always tough."
The 'Dogs and Warriors met last season in the WAC Championship in Las Cruces, N.M., when Hawai'i came away with a 4-2 victory for the conference title and a bid for the NCAA Tournament.
Similar to the WAC Championship match, strong wind gusts affected the play. However the Bulldogs made the necessary adjustments to come away with the win.
Junior Mirko Zapletal continued his streak of dominance by defeating Leo Rosenberg in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1.
"Mirko played extremely well today," Udwadia said. "It's nice to see him finish first again."
Another junior Tejesvi Veerepalli finished shortly after Zapletal, to give Fresno State an early 3-0 lead including the doubles point. Veerepalli picked up a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Jeff Fitch.
The Warriors managed to cut the lead to 3-2, but senior No. 64 Rudolf Siwy clinched the match for the Bulldogs by knocking off No. 93 Dennis Lajola, 7-6 (7-3), 6-4.
"It was windy and the match went up and down," Siwy said. "We had to play hard for every point because it was so windy and anything could happen. You couldn't rely on any shot because of the conditions."
Siwy also said he felt focused and confident coming into the match because of how his teammates helped him prepare.
In doubles, the Bulldogs cruised to three wins, to earn the doubles point.
Zapletal and Siwy defeated Fitch and Rosenberg, 8-5. Remi Boutillier and Rikus de Villiers secured an 8-3 victory over Lajola and Andreas Weber. Taylor Leiby and Veerepalli finished off Sascha Heinemann and Spence Mendoza, 8-4.
The 'Dogs will conclude the weekend with a doubleheader on Saturday against Utah State and Idaho. Fresno State will start the day with a 9:30 a.m. matchup against the Aggies, then face the Vandals at 3 p.m. at the Wathen Tennis Center.
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