Oct. 18, 2013
After several weeks of competition in USTA Futures events, the members of the Rice men's tennis team will return to college action this weekend when they travel to Waco to take part in the USTA-ITA Texas Regional at the Hurd Tennis Center on the campus of Baylor University.
Head coach Efe Ustundag said the focus on playing in several USTA Futures events this fall has allowed his team to gain extra experience in matches and he is looking forward to seeing how that experience translates against the other men's teams from the state of Texas.
"Hosting the Wild Card tournament and then the Futures event at Rice gave us a lot of flexibility to get in a lot of matches at home," Ustundag sad. " I'm really looking forward to this weekend. The team has really meshed together well and they have put in a lot of quality work this fall. This will be the first time we are all traveling together so it will be interesting to see how the relationships they have built will mesh together during competition".
Rice sophomore Tommy Bennett won the Wild Card tournament and then advanced to the second round of the Houston Futures main draw before falling to the eventual champion, former Texas A&M star Jeff Dadamo. Bennett said the experience of facing players on the pro circuit will help him as he and his Owls teammates head into the regional.
"I wasn't massively upset (about the loss to Dadamo). There was no point at being upset about that match when the lead up to it had been so fantastic," Bennett said. "I feel like out team has done very well this fall. The new guys who have come in have been fantastic to be around. Think they are going to have a good regional and that will show good signs for us in the spring.
Personally, I am looking forward to Regionals because I know that I if I play well Ican beat every player there. I just need to focus on getting my game back together again and play well and I know I could have a good result.