Owls Can't Sustain Early Momentum in Loss to Texas
Road matches with Tulsa and Oklahoma up next
March 23, 2013
Efe Ustundag's Rice men's tennis team took the doubles point to the wire, but could not sustain that momentum in singles and 17th ranked Texas swept to straight set wins in all six singles matches to take a 7-0 win at th3 Penick-Allison Tennis Center in Austin on Saturday night.
The win was the eight straight in the series for the Longhorns and was broadcast by the Longhorn Network.
"I was excited by the way we hit the courts in doubles," Ustundag said. "We were aggressive and were taking the play to Texas. But we had trouble converting our opportunities late in those matches and Texas showed their experience by capitalizing on the openings we gave them. We did not respond well to the loss in doubles and never found any rhythm in singles."
Rice blasted out of the gates early in doubles, battling toe-to-toe on courts 1 and 3. On court one, Rice's freshman duo of Adam Gustafsson and Tommy Bennett took Texas' top unit of Daniel Whitehead and Ben Chen to a tiebreak, while Jonathan Chang and Leif Berger were even through 14 games against Jacoby Lewis and Nick Naumann before falling 9-7.
In singles, Texas quickly captured first sets in four of six matches, while Bennett and Gustafsson took their opponents deep into the opening set. Bennett dropped his first set to Sudanwa Sitaram 7-5 while Gustafsson dropped a first set tiebreak to Lloyd Glasspool.
The Owls will be back on the road next weekend when they travel north for matches at Tulsa (Friday) and Oklahoma (Sunday). The return to Jake Hess on April 3 for a doubleheader with UTSA and Prairie View.