Jan. 24, 2014
Max Andrews and Zach Yablon won their first career dual singles matches to provide the clinching points as the Rice men's tennis team defeated UT-Arlington 4-0 at the MET in downtown Houston on Friday. The match was moved indoors after an ice storm hit the Houston area overnight.
"We've known for a few days from the forecast that we were likely moving inside today, but we weren't expecting things on campus or in town to be shut down the way they were," Rice head coach Efe Ustundag said. "I was pleased the way we handled the challenges of the day and that we were able to get a win under our belts."
The Owls (1-2) grabbed the doubles point for the second time in three matches this season, but the match's first point was hotly contested. After Tommy Bennett and David Warren picked up their first win of the season at #1, the match came down to tiebreak sets on the remaining two courts. Srikar Alla and Leif Berger emerged victorious at #2 while Adam Gustafsson and Max Andrews were in the midst of their own tiebreak at #3 to give the Owls the early lead.
Bennett maintained his momentum from his doubles match, racing to a 6-1, 6-0 win at #2 singles to extend the lead to 2-0 setting the stage for the pair of freshmen to clinch the match.
Andrews finished first, dropping Marek Pesicka 6-2, 6-4 to extend the lead to 3-0 and then Yablon closed things out with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Austin Robles. The final three matches of the afternoon were stopped at that point.
The Owls hope to take advantage of an improving forecast for the reminder of the weekend in order to host a pair of duals on Sunday. They are set to meet New Orleans at 11 a.m. and Prairie View at 3 p.m. on Sunday at Jake Hess Tennis Stadium.
"It was good to get in the win column today, but we need to come out a little sharper on Sunday," Ustundag said. "We need to improve on some of the things we've been working on, because we have some very tough road matches against Mississippi State and Texas Tech coming up next week," Ustundag said.