Jan. 21, 2013
After a close loss to 29th ranked Texas Tech to open the dual season on Saturday, Efe Ustundag's Rice men's tennis team were faced with an even tougher challenge on Monday when they welcomed 11th ranked Mississippi State to Jake Hess Tennis Stadium.
After nearly four hours of tennis, the Bulldogs had run their season record to 2-0 with a 6-1 win, but Ustundag saw many positives in the dual.
"I feel better after this one than I did after the Tech match." Ustundag stated. "We fought hard. We played with great energy and showed a lot of character in the face of some pretty stiff competition. We couldn't get the early momentum in doubles, but I liked the way we rebounded in singles and went toe-to-toe with them for every point. Mississippi State really attacked us early, but we didn't fold."
Freshmen Tommy Bennett and Adam Gustafsson, who saw a lead in doubles slip away at a crucial time vs. Tech, posted an 8-6 win in doubles. Bennett then ran his spring record to 2-0 by winning in three sets at No. 4 singles to score the Owls' point in the match. Gustafsson battled to a tiebreaker in his second set before falling at No. 3 singles, and Ustundag was pleased with the way his newest players performed.
"It's good to see our younger players bouncing back from adversity and playing hard. I had some people coming up to me and telling me how much they enjoyed the way they played in doubles. They bring a great energy to the court each time."
The Owls dropped the first set in each singles match, but Bennett and senior Jonathan Chang both extended their matches to three sets. Chang extended the Bulldogs' 25th ranked Romain Bogaerts to three sets by shaking off a first set loss to take the second, 6-1.
"Jonathan played a high quality match against a very tough opponent. He played a tremendous second set, but I think he get a little mentally fatigued in the third set. He's really embraced the role of playing at No. 1 and gave us two great efforts this weekend," Ustundag added.
The Owls will be back on the Jake Hess courts on Sunday when they host a doubleheader with Lamar and Texas Pan American, starting at 11 a.m.
Bennett and Warren Fall in NCAA Opener
05/26/2016 - Rice juniors Tommy Bennett and David Warren started fast but Tennessee’s Jack Schipanski and Luis Valero rebounded to advance in the opening ...
Bennett and Warren to Face Tennessee Duo
05/24/2016 - Rice juniors Tommy Bennett and David Warren will make their NCAA Men’s Tennis Doubles Championship debut on Thursday when they face Tennessee...
Owls Season Ends in NCAA Opener
05/13/2016 - After nearly three hours of momentum swings and tireless effort on all courts, Boris Arias of LSU outlasted Rice’s David Warren in three sets...
Bennett and Warren Qualify for NCAA Doubles
05/04/2016 - Rice juniors Tommy Bennett and David Warren will represent Rice and Conference USA as the conference’s automatic qualifier in the 2016 NCAA...
Owls Set for NCAA Action
05/03/2016 - For just the second time in school history, the Rice men’s and women’s tennis teams were each selected to the NCAA Tournament announced...
Ustundag and Hansen Earn C-USA Accolades
05/02/2016 - Rice men’s tennis head coach Efe Ustundag has been named Conference USA Men’s Tennis Coach of the Year while Jake Hansen was tabbed C-U...
Rice Tennis to Host NCAA Selection Party
04/29/2016 - Rice tennis fans are invited to join with the members of the Owls men's and women's teams in the R Room at Rice Stadium Tuesday, May 3 for the...
Energized Owls Race to First Title Since 2010
04/24/2016 - Spurred on by a raucous crowd of 537, the 26th ranked Rice men’s tennis team rode a blistering start in doubles and the steady play of their ...
- Top Videos /
- Online Store