May 1, 2014
Srikar Alla and Tommy Bennett, who combined to handle the bulk of the duties at the stop spot in the Rice men's tennis lineup, have been named to the 2014 All Conference USA Men's Tennis team in voting by league coaches.
Both Alla and Bennett were named to the second team.
A junior from Hyderabad, India who transferred to Rice after playing for two years at Fordham, Alla osted an 8-11 singles record in his first year at Rice, including a 4-6 mark at the top spot in the lineup. He extended both of his matches at the C-USA Championship to third sets without gaining a decision. He was leading No. 96 Ettore Zito of MTSU 5-1 in third when the Owls clinched to advance to the semifinals and had split first two sets with No. 81 Japie De Klerk of Tulsa before the Golden Hurricane clinched the match to end the Owls' season. During the season, Alla defeated No. 125 Arturs Kazijevs of SMU and lost in three sets to No. 19 Harrison Adams of Texas A&M, No. 57 Nick Chappell of TCU and No. 95 Chris Simpson of LSU.
Tommy Bennett, an sophomore from Lewes, England finished the an injury shortened season with an 8-6 singles record, including a 4-4 mark while playing at No. 1 before missing the final two weeks with an injury. He reached No. 117 in singles late in March and won three of his last four matches at No. 1 before his injury. His top win of the year came when he defeated Malte Stroop of Miss. State when Stroop was ranked 39th in three sets. Later in the season, he ground out a three-set win over Dominik Koepfer of Tulane to clinch match and give Rice the win in the 56th Rice Invitational.
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