Nejc Sitar leads Bobcat men’s tennis team to two wins at North Dakota

College football fans typically experience homecoming in the fall. Bobcat, male tennis player Nejc Sitar lived his this weekend.

The Montana State junior picked up two Bobcat victories in the building he once called home, winning a pair of emotional straight-set matches after dropping the opening set in both. The Bobcats beat North Dakota, where Sitar played in 2018-19 and won Summit League Newcomer of the Year honors 4-3 on Friday and Omaha 5-2 on Saturday.

“Winning two games this weekend was amazing,” Sitar said on Instagram after the two wins. “This facility and this city, I have such great memories here from my freshman year, but I couldn’t be more grateful to be a Bobcat. To get those two wins with this team is awesome.”

The Bobcats won the doubles point for the first time in several weeks against Omaha on Saturday, and when Joaquin Espinoza won easily at No. 6 and Daan Van Dijk won when their opponent retired, MSU led 3-0. Omaha won at No. 1 in singles, but Sitar sealed the win with his comeback effort at No. 5.

Friday’s game bounced back. North Dakota won the doubles point, but Daan Van Dijk countered with a win at No. 2 in singles. After the Fighting Hawks won third place in singles, Joaquin Espinoza continued his hot game with a win at No. 6 to draw the Cats even. Brad Buckland won at No. 4 and an UND win at No. 1 set up Sitar’s heroism.

“Our guys continue to improve, and this weekend is a good sign of things to come,” the Bobcat coach said. Trey Morris “Our guys are doing the little things on and off the pitch. We’re very excited about a week of training and another chance to improve next weekend.”

The Bobcats are now 10-3 this season and will travel to Boise for two games next weekend. MSU plays Boise State on Friday at 12 p.m. before facing Pacific (California) on Saturday at 11 a.m.

Montana State 5, Omaha 2
4 p.m. CT on 2/26/22 in Grand Forks, ND (Choice Health & Fitness)

1. Matt Hulme (UN) defeated. Matej Panic (USM) 6-2, 6-2
2. Daan Van Dijk (MSU) def. Davis Lawley (UN) 5-4, retired
3. Mikhail Korkunov (UN) defeated. Jamieson Nathan (USM) 3-6, 7-6, 6-1
4. Brad Buckland (MSU) v Todd Chen (UNO) 6-7, 5-3
5. Nejc Sitar (MSU) v Hugo Piles (UNO) 2-6, 6-4, 6-2
6. Joaquin Espinoza (MSU) def. Alvaro Quintana (UN) 6-4, 6-3

1. Matej Panic/Daan Van Dijk (MSU) def. Ethan Henry/Matt Hulme (UN) 7-5
2. Hugo Piles/Davis Lawley (UN) def. Brad Buckland/Nejc Sitar (USM) 6-4
3. Jamieson Nathan/Marcos Zelver (MSU) def. Mikhail Korkunov/Cameron Luhring (UN) 6-4

Recordings: Montana State 9-3, Omaha 5-4

Finishing order: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (6,2,1,5,3,4)

State of Montana 4, North Dakota 3

5 p.m. CT on 2/25/22 in Grand Forks, ND (Choice Health & Fitness)

1. Gerhard Sullwald (UND) def. Matej Panic (USM) 6-1, 7-6 (7-4)
2. Daan Van Dijk (MSU) def. Edmond Aynedjian (UND) 6-1, 6-2
3. Cian McDonnell (UND) defeated. Jamieson Nathan (USM) 6-1, 6-2
4. Brad Buckland (MSU) def. Riley Odell (UND) 6-3, 6-3
5. Nejc Sitar (MSU) def. Nikita Snezhko (UND) 3-6, 6-4, 6-2
6. Joaquin Espinoza (MSU) def. Dylan Leeman (UND) 6-1, 6-2

1. Nikita Snezhko/Gerhard Sullwald (UND) def. Matej Panic/Daan Van Dijk (USM) 7-6
2. Cian McDonnell/Edmond Aynedjian (UND) def. Brad Buckland/Nejc Sitar (USM) 6-4
3. Jamieson Nathan/Marcos Zelver (MSU) def. Riley Odell/Dylan Leeman (UND) 7-5

Recordings: Montana State 9-3, North Dakota 5-4

Finishing order: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (2,3,6,4,1,5)

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