Zag Doubles Break Through; Kamisar, Ismath Singles Winners
SPOKANE, Wash. – Even though his Bulldogs dropped a tough West Coast Conference match 4-3 to Saint Mary’s College Sunday at the Stevens Tennis Center, Gonzaga University head men’s tennis coach Peter MacDonald came away with some positives.
MacDonald was especially pleased with his doubles, which picked up the first Gonzaga (9-8; 0-4) point against a WCC opponent since April 22, 2011, when the Zags broke through in a WCC Championship consolation match against the University of Portland.
The No. 1 doubles team of Jack Schoebel and Muzeen Ismath defeated SMC’s (7-7; 2-2) Joakim Norstrom and Thomas Hunt 8-5 with Joey Brandt and Vladimir Mijatovic downing Samuel Bloore and Wil Martin 8-6 to give Gonzaga the doubles breakthrough.
“The guys competed really well. That’s the first doubles point we’ve got in a long time. I know we didn’t get one last season or the year before,” MacDonald said, jogging his memory. “The guys came out really tough in doubles, just executed everything we work on in practice and finally got over the hump in doubles so I was really excited to do that. If we can continue to get doubles in the WCC then we give ourselves a chance of winning matches.”
Gonzaga also got a big No. 1 singles victory from Nick Kamisar over Norstrom 2-6, 7-5, 7-6, taking the third set tiebreaker 7-5. Both players double faulted for points in the tiebreaker.
“Nick never goes away; that’s the great thing about him. You have to hit through this guy and finish with the winners, and unless you have that he’s going to force you to hit one more shot until you make a mistake. He’s doing great and I’m excited for him,” MacDonald said of the junior transfer.
The Bulldogs also got a strong effort from Pablo Mosquera Pérez although he fell to Martin 6-7 (7-2), 6-4, 6-4 at No. 6 singles.
“Pablo is back to form like he was earlier this season. He gave everything he had. Martin did what he needed to do. Pablo is going to force you to win the point and Martin made the transition, came to the net, forced the issue and came up with the goods,” MacDonald said.
Gonzaga also got a singles victory at No. 5 from Ismath who downed Mathias Olsen 7-5, 7-6 (9-7).
The Bulldogs have five WCC matches remaining leading up to the WCC Championship at the end of April and MacDonald is optimistic about the home stretch of the season.
“My main thing is I want us to stay sharp in doubles and continue to improve. We have a lot of tough tennis teams coming up. If we can continue to perform well in the doubles and get a couple of more guys to contribute in singles I think we can get some upsets toward the end of the season,” MacDonald observed.
The tough stretch begins Friday at Pepperdine University and Saturday at Loyola Marymount University.