April 3, 2013
Efe Ustundag's 72nd ranked Rice men's tennis team snapped a three-match losing streak and avenged an upset loss the previous year by blanking the UTSA Roadruners, 6-0., in a match that was moved indoors to the MET at the Downtown Club on Wednesday.
"It was good to get back on track with a win after a couple of tough matches last weekend in Oklahoma," Ustundag said. "We had no business taking UTSA lightly after they beat us last year, and I was pleased how we responded to their challenge today."
The Owls dropped a 4-3 decision to UTSA last year, dropping the doubles point and then splitting the six singles matches. With the move indoors and starting with singles play, the Owls made an early statement and then closed out the match with a pair of third set tiebreaks to render the doubles competition moot.
Leif Berger and Jonathan Chang quickly gave the Owls a 2-0 lead with straight set wins on Court 6 and 1, and Adam Gustafsson, the current C-USA Male Tennis Athlete of the Week, added the third point with a 6-2 win in his second set. Gustafsson needed a tiebreak win in the first set to set the stage for his 11th win of the year and run his record at No. 2 singles to 8-5.
Philipp Seifert delivered the clinching point with a 7-5. 6-4 win on Court 4, but the final two points would come down to third set tiebreakers before Tommy Bennett and Peter Frank could complete the shutout win. Bennett battled back from a first set loss to capture his point with a 10-6 win in the third set tiebreaker, while Frank bounced back from a second set loss to take his tiebreaker in the third set by a 10-8 score.
"I was pleased to see how both Tommy and Peter fed off the momentum of the day and were able to finish their matches successfully," Ustundag added.
The Owls will travel to New Orleans on Sunday to take on 61st ranked Tulane at the City Park Pepsi Tennis Center. First serve is scheduled for 11 a.m..