Local colleges: Fresno State tennis player earns national tournament invite

Fresno State’s Maiar Sherif Ahmed received an at-large bid to the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championship that’s held next week in Flushing, N.Y.
Fresno State’s Maiar Sherif Ahmed received an at-large bid to the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championship that’s held next week in Flushing, N.Y. Keith Kountz/Fresno State

Fresno State’s Maiar Sherif Ahmed received an at-large bid to compete in next week’s USTA/Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Indoor Championship.

Ahmed earned one of 10 at-large bids into the 32-player singles field for the tournament that runs Nov. 12-15 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y.

“She knows she wants to make the most of her invitation,” Fresno State coach Ryan Stotland said. “She wants to prove why they invited her.”

Though ranked No. 104 in the country, Maiar Sherif Ahmed earned an at-large bid to the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championship by finishing runner-up at the ITA Northwest Regional Championships and eliminating the No. 16 and No. 17 players in the country in straight sets.

The field includes eight of the ITA’s top 10, and 15 of the top 25. Ahmed is No. 104.

A sophomore from Cairo, Egypt, Ahmed positioned herself by finishing as the runner-up at the Northwest Regional at Stanford. On her way to the championship match, the ninth-seeded Ahmed defeated the Nos. 16 and 17 players in the country in straight sets before losing 7-5, 2-6, 6-1 to No. 15 Taylor Davidson of the host Cardinal.

▪ Cooper Gill was Fresno State’s top runner at the Mountain West Conference cross country championship, finishing the 8K in 28 minutes, 5.05 seconds for 31st place.

The Bulldogs were seventh among eight teams. Air Force captured the title.

On the women’s side, Fresno State’s Mackenzie Landa was 48th in the 6K in 25:21.78. The Bulldogs were last overall among 11 teams, with New Mexico finishing first.

▪ Fresno State (13-13, 5-7) was swept by host San Diego State (8-18, 5-8) on Thursday. The Bulldogs lost 25-18, 25-10, 25-18 after falling to the Aztecs in five sets on Oct. 10. The Bulldogs play Saturday at Nevada (9-15, 4-8). Libero Maggie Epright continues to lead the conference with an average of 4.92 digs per set entering the week. She has 467 total digs. Setter Brooke Legaux ranks fifth at 8.06 assists per set.

▪ The men’s tennis team fell in each of its singles and doubles semifinal matches at the Pacific Tiger Invitational to conclude the fall.

▪ Fresno State’s swimming and diving team travels to Stockton to face Pacific and Oregon State in a tri-meet Saturday.

Fresno Pacific – The men’s soccer team will play for a PacWest title and a potential spot in the NCAA Division II Tournament when it hosts Dixie State in its regular-season finale at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Ramirez Field.

Fresno Pacific (13-2-2, 10-1-1), ranked No. 15 by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and No. 6 in the West Region by the NCAA, is seeking its second league title in three years. The Red Storm (10-1-4, 8-0-4), ranked seventh in the region, is unbeaten in seven road matches at 4-0-3.

The top six teams in the West Region earn a spot at the NCAA D-II Tournament, which begins Nov. 12.

299-149-31career record for Sunbirds men’s soccer coach Jaime Ramirez entering a 7:30 p.m. Saturday home match vs. Dixie State for the PacWest title and a bid to the NCAA D-II Tournament on senior night.

Senior Renato Bustamante was named NSCAA and league player of the week Tuesday after the Sunbirds extended their winning streak to seven with two victories. Coach Jaime Ramirez is 299-149-31 in 25 seasons.

Saturday’s match is also senior night for the men’s and women’s programs. The women (9-5-2, 7-3-2) will play Dixie State (10-6-0, 8-4-0) at 5 p.m.

▪ The Sunbirds volleyball team won its fifth consecutive match, beating Hawaii Pacific 3-1 on Wednesday in PacWest play.

The Sunbirds (9-12, 9-7) limited the Sharks (12-10, 7-7) to a .076 attack percentage.

Fresno Pacific began the season losing nine of its first 10 matches.

Montana Lowe ranks fourth in the PacWest with a .296 hitting percentage. Hannah Butler is third in digs at 5.06 per set.

The Sunbirds on Saturday host BYU Hawaii (12-10, 10-4), which sports the second-best record in the conference.

▪ Fresno Pacific took fourth and sixth among the men and women at last week’s PacWest cross country championships in Riverside.

Connor Nolen paced the men by placing ninth, finishing the 8K in 25:21.38. Courtney Moore was fifth in the women’s race, running a 6K in 21:34.67. Cal Baptist swept the team titles.

▪ Fresno Pacific will close the men’s water polo regular season, hosting Air Force on Friday and visiting Santa Clara on Saturday in Western Water Polo Association action.

The Sunbirds (9-14, 1-3) lost to No. 10 UC Davis 21-7 a week ago. The Falcons are No. 18 despite being 7-15 overall, 1-3 in conference and having lost five of six. Santa Clara (9-17, 1-3) is ranked 17th.