Feb. 23, 2014
Tommy Bennett won for the first time playing #1 singles and Srikar Alla snapped a personal four-match losing streak, but the Rice men's tennis team could not overcome a pair of tiebreak losses and dropped a 5-2 decision to Louisiana-Lafayette on Sunday at Jake Hess Tennis Stadium.
A crowd of over 250 fans who turned out for the USTA/ITA Campus Kids promotion was treated to a fierce battle for the doubles point to open the day's action. After Rice's Adam Gustafsson and Max Andrews took an 8-3 win on court three, ULL won on court two and appeared to be ready to clinch as Bennett and David Warren were down 7-2 on the Hess stadium court. But the Rice pair ramped up the tension by winning four straight games before falling 8-6.
The Ragin' Cajuns added to their lead with singles wins at four and six before Bennett struck back for Rice with an intense 6-4, 6-4 win over Rick de Groot to even his record at 1-1 since taking over the top slot in the Owls rotation.
Alla bounced back from a second set loss to defeat Damian Farinola 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 to pick up his second singles win of the year.
Rice will hit the road next weekend in advance of spring break to compete in the 125th Annual Pacific Coast Doubles Tennis Tournament in La Jolla, California. In addition to the doubles competition, the Owls will also face St. John's, San Diego and San Diego State in dual matches.