March 6, 2014
Tommy Bennett shook off a first set loss and led a trio of Owls to three-set wins in singles to spark the Rice men's tennis team to a 4-3 win over 69th ranked San Diego State at the Aztec Tennis Center in San Diego on Thursday.
The win snapped a seven-match losing streak for the Owls (3-9) this season and their first win on the road over a ranked opponent since April 1, 2012 when they downed TCU 4-3 in Ft. Worth. The Owls had lost 15 consecutive regular season dual matches on the road before the win on Thursday.
Rice jumped out to a 1-0 lead by taking a hotly-contested doubles point. After the two teams split wins on courts one and two by 8-6 counts, Adam Gustafsson and Max Andrews ground out a tiebreak win on court three to give the Owls their first doubles point in the last eight matches.
SDSU responded by taking a 2-1 lead with straight set wins on courts four and five. But the four remaining matches would all require three sets to determine the final outcome.
Gustafsson tied the match by downing Hendrik Jebens 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 and Gustavo Gonzalez followed with a 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 win over Maxi Boewer-Stelter.
Bennett quickly fell behind the Aztecs' Thorsten Bertsch, dropping the first set 6-1, but the sophomore rebounded to take the final two sets 6-3, 6-2 to clinch the match and wrap up the Owls western road trip on a winning note.
The Owls will be on the road again next weekend when they travel to Beaumont on March 15 to face Lamar and Texas Pan American in a doubleheader.
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