The Bobcat tennis teams entered a tough stretch of the season, with the men playing four matches in three cities in just over a week and the women finally getting some hard earned rest. They began the stretch with a road matchup against the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks on March 7. The MSU men emerged with a resounding 6-1 victory over UND while the women beat University of Minnesota-Moorhead 6-1, but fell to the UND women 4-3 the next afternoon. After the pair of road matches, the women had a bye week and will return to action this Friday, March 20 at home against the Thunderbirds of Southern Utah.
The men, on the other hand, returned home to face off against SUU last Tuesday, March 10, and continued their hot streak, dominating across the board for the 7-0 victory. Only halfway through the gauntlet, the men then hit the road once more, this time heading West to face two more Big Sky Conference rivals. Meeting the teams in Spokane, Washington, the Cats faced off against the Eastern Washington Eagles on Friday, March 13 and the league leading Idaho Vandals on Saturday, March 14.
The Bobcats got off to a tough start against the Eagles after they dropped the doubles point, but wins from sophomore Andre Napoliatano and seniors Niklas Brandes and Javier Martin Morillas kept the Cats in the match. The clincher came from true freshman Dylan Harvala when he rallied from a 0-6 deficit in the first set and came from behind to win the match and grab the win for the Bobcats after winning the last two sets 7-5 and 6-4.
Montana State’s run came to a grinding halt the next morning against the Idaho Vandals. The Cats lost 6-1, with the sole win coming from Harvala in the No. 6 matchup. The Bobcat men will get little time to recuperate though as they will head to Missoula this Friday, March 20 to take on the Grizzlies and return home to face Weber State on Sunday, March 22.