by Chuck Pool (firstname.lastname@example.org) -
The Rice men’s tennis team saw a spirited rally fall short as Middle Tennessee State took a 4-3 win over the Owls at the George R. Brown Tennis Center on Wednesday evening.
The two schools who last battled in the semifinals of the 2017 C-USA Championship, faced off on the courts that will host the 2018 event at the end of April. The Blue Raiders leveraged a tiebreaker win to decide the doubles point as the final margin of victory, allowing them to snap a four-match winning streak for Rice in the series.
After the schools split the first set of singles, MTSU extended the lead to 3-0 with wins on courts five and six, but Rice rallied back with wins on the first two courts, leaving the outcome to be settled in third sets on courts three and four.
Mohamed Abdel-Aziz shook off a loss in the second set to take his match on court four to tie the match at 3-3, but the Blue Raiders clinched moments later with a win on three.
The Owls will be on the road for a pair of matches this weekend, facing Abilene Christian on Friday and Texas Tech on Sunday.