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No. 50 SDSU Men's Tennis Falls to No. 42 UNC, 4-1

Sophomore Freddy Gelbrich earned a singles point in the Aztecs loss to No. 42 UNC, 4-1, on Saturday.
Sophomore Freddy Gelbrich earned a singles point in the Aztecs loss to No. 42 UNC, 4-1, on Saturday.

Jan. 25, 2014

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DURHAM, N.C. - The No. 50 San Diego State men's tennis team dropped its opening match in the 2014 ITA Kick-Off Weekend to No. 42 North Carolina, 4-1, Saturday afternoon at Duke University.

With the loss, SDSU (2-1, 1-0 MW) will take on No. 54 Oregon (3-1) in the bracket's consolation match on Sunday, beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET.

North Carolina got off to a fast start to the match, earning the doubles point with consecutive victories. The Aztecs' No. 3 doubles team of senior Juan Florez (Bogota, Colombia) and freshman Milen Ianakiev (Elz, Germany) fell to UNC's team of Ronnie Schneider and Jack Murray, 6-2, before SDSU's No. 1 duo of junior Thorsten Bertsch (Mannheim, Germany) and senior Hunter Nicholas (Park City, Utah) dropped its match to UNC's team of Brett Clark and Brayden Schnur, 6-4.

The San Diego State No. 2 doubles team of sophomore Freddy Gelbrich and freshman Hendrick Jebens led their match against No. 50 Oystein Steiro and Nelson Vick, 5-4, but weren't able to finish once the Tar Heels clinched the doubles point.

Sophomore Freddy Gelbrich (Isernhagen) opened singles play with a victory for the Aztecs, beating No. 36 Clark, 6-4, 6-4. However, it was the last point San Diego State would earn the rest of the way, as No. 17 Schneider topped Nicholas, 6-4, 6-2, Schnur held off No. 69 Bertsch, 6-2, 6-3, and Vick defeated SDSU freshman newcomer Maxi Boewer-Stelter, 6-1, 6-4, to seal the match victory.

In addition, Jebens led Steiro, 6-5 (7-4), 5-2, in No. 4 singles play, while Florez and UNC's Jack Murray were locked in a tight match, 2-6, 4-4, before being able to finish due to the Tar Heels (5-0) clinching the match victory.

This year's ITA Kick-Off Weekend is the first national tournament to use the new, experimental formats decided upon by the ITA Division Operating Committee. Men's teams are playing sets in all matches to six games, but with tiebreakers at 5-all and no-ad scoring. However, all third sets for singles are being played out unless the team match is decided.