March 15, 2013
Freshmen Tommy Bennett and Adam Gustafsson teamed with senior Peter Frank to win in singles and provide the Rice Owls with the required points to take a 4-2 decision over Radford in the first day of play in the 55th Rice Invitational at Jake Hess Tennis Stadium on Friday.
After a lengthy opening battle between #33 Oregon (13-1) and #53 Texas A&M Corpus Christi (7-6), which saw the Ducks emerge with a 4-1 win, the Owls (6-8) and Highlanders (2-6) hit the courts approximately 40 minutes late.
Rice grabbed a 1-0 lead after doubles, thanks to a quick win on Court three by Leif Berger and Jonathan Chang and a tight win by Frank and Philipp Seifert on Court 2. Berger and Chang raced to an 8-2 win over Nicholas Sayer and Patrick O'Keefe, while Frank and Seifert held off RU's Randall Carter and Joe Mills.
In singles, Frank and Bennett continued their hot play, posting straight set wins to move Rice to within a point of clinching the match. However Sayer and O'Keefe bounced back with wins at No. 1 and No. 6 singles to cut the margin to 3-2 before Gustafsson wrapped up the match with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Mills.
Second day play in the Rice Invitational begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday when Texas A&M Corpus Christi faces Radford. The Owls will take on Oregon after, with first serve set for noon.