April 17, 2014
An injury-depleted Rice men's tennis team opens play in the 2014 Conference USA Men's Tennis Championship when they take on Middle Tennessee State at the Case Tennis Center in Tulsa Oklahoma.
The Owls (9-12) enter action as the fifth seed in the tournament while the Blue Raiders (10-13) come in as the fourth seed. The schools have split six previous non-conference dual matches, with the Owls taking the last meeting, 4-0 in 2008.
|No. 72 Middle Tennessee State||0|
Jake Hess Tennis Stadium
No. 17 Men's Tennis Stymies No. 72 Middle Tennessee State
The No. 17 Rice men's tennis team rolled to a 4-0 sweep against No. 72 Middle Tennessee State Saturday afternoon on day two of the 46th Annual Rice Invitational at Jake Hess Stadium.
Rice head coach Efe Ustundag said if the Owls can build upon their efforts last weekend without Berger and Bennett, they a chance to make a run through the weekend.
"We're excited to get on the court tomorrow after two great days of practice here in Tulsa," Ustundag said. "Middle Tennessee is a tough team and they are much like us. They are dealing with some injuries and will be making some adjustments to their lineup. The match will come down to which team's players step into new roles and meet the challenge."
Rice split matches last weekend, dropping a 7-0 decision at 56th ranked TCU before beating SMU 4-2 on Sunday. Even though the loss to the Horned Frogs goes into the books as a shutout, Ustundag credited the efforts of his top three singles players (Alla, Adam Gustafsson and Max Andrews) for their extended matches on Saturday for sparking the Owls win on Sunday.
"Srikar and Adam each played great tennis on Saturday against ranked opponents and could easily have won their matches. With the way the entire team played on Sunday, I feel pretty good about the top of the lineup. The guys we have playing the last three spots have all shown at times this year they can play winning collegiate tennis. We need them to come out tomorrow and step up."
Ustundag said a final decision on Bennett's status won't be made until they arrive at the courts on Friday, but the coaching staff has prepared for the match assuming he won't be available.
"There's a chance that Tommy could play at least in doubles, but we won't know until tomorrow," Ustundag said. "If he doesn't, we'll have to do some additional juggling and try some different combinations."
Right Back Where We Started From
04/18/2015 - Three months and two days since they met to open the Owls' glittering new tennis home, Rice and UTSA on Sunday will meet again on a tennis court...
Surging Owls Take Top Seed into Matchup with...
04/17/2015 - The Rice men's tennis team will look to return to the C-USA title match for the first time since 2011 when they face off against Charlotte in the...
SMU Rallies to Down Owls
04/12/2015 - David Warren picked up a pair of wins, but the Rice men's tennis team could not maintain its early momentum and saw 44th ranked SMU close out the...
Aggies Deflect Early Owls Charge
04/01/2015 - Max Andrews and David Warren downed the 13th ranked doubles team in the country, but No. 8 Texas A&M held off the remaining challenges from the...
Owls Extend Invite Mastery
03/29/2015 - The Rice men's tennis team completed a standout week of tennis at the George R. Brown Tennis center by clinching the team title of the 57th Rice...
Saturday Sweep Runs Owls' Streak to Three
03/28/2015 - The Rice men's tennis team started fast and then rallied late to down George Washington and 40th ranked Texas A&M Corpus Christi on the first day...
Energized Owls Upset No. 19 Northwestern
03/25/2015 - The Rice men's tennis team upset No. 19 Northwestern at the George R. Brown Tennis Center on Wednesday night.
Owls Drop 4-2 Verdict at Tulane
03/22/2015 - The Rice men's tennis team started fast, but saw a reshuffled lineup unable to sustain the early momentum as Tulane took a 4-2 dual victory over...
- Top Videos /
- Online Store