April 3, 2014
Rice vs. UTSA | Rice vs. Abilene Christian
HOUSTON, Texas – Rice University men’s tennis fell in a tightly contested 4-3 match against league rival UTSA before rebounding for a decisive 5-1 victory over Abilene Christian on Thursday evening.
In the opening match, the Owls’ (8-11) doubles pairing of Max Andrews and Adam Gustafsson topped UTSA’s 29th-ranked top duo, 8-4. However, it wasn’t enough to overcome a pair of setbacks on the second and third courts, at 8-7 and 8-2, respectively.
Just before most courts completed one set in the singles, rain moved into the area and forced a suspension of the match. The teams moved indoors to the downtown MET to complete the match.
Despite being without the services of Tommy Bennett due to injury, the Owls quickly fought back with straight-set wins by Gustavo Gonzalez (6-2, 7-6) and Henrik Munch (6-0, 6-3) on Courts 5 and 6.
Gustafsson and Andrews then suffered three-set defeats on Courts 2 and 3, but an impressive 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-3 win by Srikar Alla on Court 1 to even the score at 3-3 for the match.
It came down to the third set on Court 4, where Diogo Casa outlasted Rice’s David Warren for the 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 win and the match.
In the nightcap, the Owls claimed 5-of-6 singles matches at The MET and the squads did not face off in doubles.
Four Rice players topped their Wildcat opponents in straight sets, including Gustafsson on Court 2 (6-1, 6-1), Andrews on Court 3 (6-0, 6-1), Court 4’s Warren (6-3, 6-4) and Munch on Court 6 (6-5 with a 7-3 tiebreak, 6-2).
Alla capped off a solid day with a resilient 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 win on Court 1 for the Owls and Gonzalez suffered Rice’s lone defeat of the night. After a dominating 6-1 opening set win, the sophomore fell 6-3, 6-3 in the final sets.
The Owls have a week to prepare for a regular season finale road trip. Rice heads to the Metroplex to face TCU next Saturday (April 12) and SMU the following day.