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Zhia Hwa Chong has improved to 10-3 in singles play this season.
Courtesy: Explosive Illusions

Zags Lose Close Battle With No. 63 Vandals In Home Opener

Courtesy: Gonzaga Athletics
          Release: 02/04/2012
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SPOKANE, Wash. - Zhia Hwa Chong extended his win streak in singles to five matches but the Gonzaga University men's tennis team came up one point short from upsetting a nationally ranked team, dropping a 4-3 non-conference decision to 63rd-ranked University of Idaho in the Bulldogs home opener Friday evening.

The Vandals (4-3) opened the match with a win at No. 1 doubles, but the tandem of Muzeen Ismath and Alvaro Nazal never lost the lead in their 8-3 victory at the No. 3 spot. At No. 2 doubles, the team of Chong and Scott Sullivan trailed Abid Akbar and Cristobal Ramos Salazar throughout the entire match, but the two seniors picked the right time to execute a comeback. They tied the match 7-7 and won the next two games to secure both the match and the doubles point for the Bulldogs (3-2).

Levin Guillermo, who made his first appearance at No. 1 singles in the young season, posted a 7-5, 6-4 win to help the Bulldogs take a 2-0 lead. The Vandals would come back and tie the match 2-2 with wins on courts three and four.

Nazal and his opponent, Ramos Salazar, played for more than three hours on court two. Ramos Salazar won the first set 7-6 before Nazal came back and won the second set 6-4. The two battled in the third set but it was Ramos Salazar clinching a 7-6 victory over the freshman Nazal.

Sullivan won his first set over Jose Bendeck at court five but lost the second set 6-0. Sullivan fought back in the third set, but Bendeck won 6-4 to secure the win for the Vandals.

Chong closed out the night with a 6-2, 7-5 win over Cesar Torres at the No. 6 spot.

The Bulldogs will welcome Seattle University to the Spokane Racquet Club Saturday at noon. The Bulldogs were also scheduled to face the University of Northern Colorado at 6 p.m., but the Bears flight to Spokane was canceled due to inclement weather.


Singles competition

1. GUILLERMO, Levin (GON) def. CIRSTEA, Marius (UI) 7-5, 6-4

2. AKBAR, Abid (UI) def. NAZAL, Alvaro (GON) 7-6, 4-6, 7-6

3. SALAZAR, Cristobal (UI) def. JAMIN, Olivier (GON) 6-4, 4-6, 6-1

4. SHIN, Alan (UI) def. MIJATOVIC, Vladimir (GON) 2-6, 6-4, 7-5

5. BENDECK, Jose (UI) def. SULLIVAN, Scott (GON) 5-7, 6-0, 6-4

6. CHONG, Zhia Hwa (GON) def. TORRES, Cesar (UI) 6-2, 7-5

Doubles competition

1. CIRSTEA, Marius/DOBBS, Andrew (UI) def. GUILLERMO, Levin/JAMIN, Olivier (GON) 8-3

2. SULLIVAN, Scott/CHONG, Zhia Hwa (GON) def. AKBAR, Abid/SALAZAR, Cristobal (UI) 9-7

3. NAZAL, Alvaro/ISMATH, Muzeen (GON) def. BENDECK, Jose/KNOX, Jake (UI) 8-5

Match Notes:

IDAHO VANDALS 4-3; National ranking #63


Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (1,3,4,2,5,6)

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