by Chuck Pool (email@example.com) -
Jacob Eskeland won for the third time in his last four decisions, but the Rice men’s tennis team could not capitalize on their opportunities, dropping a 4-1 decision to 33rd ranked Alabama in the opening round of the 70th Blue Gray National Tennis Classic in Montgomery, Alabama on Friday.
The Owls saw their hopes for defending their team title deflected by the Crimson Tide, who took the doubles point and then staved off an early charge by the Owls in singles. In the afternoon consolation bracket, Rice dropped a tight fight for the doubles point to Princeton and will trail the Tigers 1-0 when the singles portion of their match begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday.
“We knew we were going to be tested and we showed great fight today, but we also have to learn to take advantage of opportunities when they are there,’ Rice head coach Efe Ustundag said. “The doubles point against Princeton was a great example of that. We have to get ourselves ready to come back tomorrow for singles and build on the good things from today and be ready to finish when we have the chance.”
After completing the singles portion of the Princeton match in the morning, Rice will face either Boise State or Auburn in their final match of the weekend.