Jan. 29, 2012
The 37th-ranked Rice Owls bounced back from a frustrating performance on Saturday to down #60 New Mexico State 6-1 in the consolation match of the ITA National Indoor qualifier at the Hurd Tennis Center in Waco on Sunday.
"I was really pleased the way we responded today and came out and played solid from the start," Rice assistant coach Efe Ustundag said. "We had to make some last-minute changes to the lineup because Peter Frank was hurt, but that didn't seem to bother us at all. It was nice to get a convincing victory over a nationally-ranked team."
After dropping doubles point during each match in a three-match losing streak, the Owls bounced back to swiftly take the point against the Aggies. Ustudag was noted that the effort of Rice's #3 team of Sam Garforth-Bles and Leif Berger set the tone for the day.
"They lost 8-0 yesterday (to Florida State), so it was a great statement to see them come out and win 8-0 today. Leif bounced back and played a much better match and helped Sam make that hapen," he noted.
Ustundag also was pleased that the Owls carried their momentum into singles.
"We came out and took the first set in all six matches, which was key. They didn't allow New Mexico State to get any momentum," he said.
Senior Christian Saravia, making his first appearance of the dual season in the singles lineup, pushed the Rice lead to 2-0 by winning 12 of 13 games at #6. Garforth-Bles moved into Frank's spot at #2 to win in straight-sets to up the lead to 3-0.
Sophomore Philipp Seifert clinched the match with a win at #5. Michael Nuesslein picked up his second straight singles win with a win at #4 and Harry Fowler closed out an unbeaten weekend of his own in singles to complete the Owls scoring with a win at #1.
The Owls will be back on familiar courts next weekend when they host a pair of matches on Sunday. They will host #33 Miami at a 11 a.m. and come back to face Tyler JC at 4 p.m. at Jake Hess Tennis Stadium.