Singles Rebound Sparks Owls over Dartmouth
59th Rice Invitational next weekend
by Chuck Pool (email@example.com) -
Oscar Janglin led a Rice response to a sluggish effort in doubles as the 41st ranked Rice men’s tennis team shook off its early doldrums to post a 4-1 win over Dartmouth at the George R. Brown Tennis Center on Saturday afternoon.
Janglin won his fifth straight match to tie the score at 1-1 and David Warren, Tommy Bennett and Jake Hansen followed shortly after as the Owls improved to 16-5 on the year, overcoming a less than inspiring effort in doubles as the Owls dropped the point for the second time in the last three matches.
“Doubles hasn’t been as sharp as it needs to be,” Rice head coach Efe Ustundag said. “Today, the most disturbing part of doubles was that we got outplayed. Dartmouth came out really read to fire. That’s usually been our MO. At home especially, we come out fired up. We just didn’t have it today and they were all over us. I think we got a little bit of a wakeup call,” Ustundag added.
Summarily inspired at the start of singles, the Owls raced to first set wins on all six courts and then rode that momentum to clinch the match.
“I couldn’t have written it any better in terms of this was how a team should react to that kind of a doubles effort,” Ustundag said. “We took the fight out of Dartmouth within the first 20 to 30 minutes.”
Janglin was the catalyst for the early surge, downing Max Schmidt 6-2, 6-2 .
“Oscar was phenomenal adding that point quickly and evening out the match,” Ustundag said. “He’s was a guy who transferred in and didn’t get a lot of playing time in the fall or early on in the spring. But his work ethic on the practice court has been exemplary. That kind of work ethic rarely doesn’t show on the court. It was great today that he got done very quickly and really overpowered his opponent. If he keeps it up, it’s just going to get better and better for us.”
The Owls have won five straight and 12 of its last 13 and Ustundag said he hopes the lessons from the weekend will prove beneficial over the season’s final five weeks.
“I’m very happy how this weekend wound up for us, we just need to make sure that what happened in doubles, from an intensity and execution perspective, doesn’t happen again. "