Men's Tennis Surges Past UNLV in MW Opener, 4-3

Sander Gjoels-Andersen secured the Aztecs' win at UNLV with a victory at No. 3 singles.
Sander Gjoels-Andersen secured the Aztecs' win at UNLV with a victory at No. 3 singles.
Feb. 16, 2018

LAS VEGAS – The San Diego State men’s tennis team ended three weeks of frustration with its first victory of the season after rallying for a 4-3 triumph over UNLV on Friday in the Mountain West opener for both squads at Fertita Tennis Complex.

After dropping the doubles point, the Aztecs (1-6, 1-0 MW) stormed back with four wins in singles competition, including the final two of the evening in three sets to erase a 3-2 deficit on the team scoreboard.

SDSU drew first blood when the tandem of Santiago Cevallos and Rafael Gonzalez Almazan opened with a 6-3 conquest of the Rebels’ Jordan Sauer and Ruben Alberts at No. 3 doubles. However, UNLV (4-4, 0-1 MW) escaped with the early point after the duo of Alexandr Cozbinov and Courtney Lock subdued the Aztec pairing of Sander Gjoels-Andersen and Nicholas Mitchell by a 6-4 count on the No. 1 court, while Eric Samuelsson and Clayton Alenik dispatched Joel Popov and Arnaud Restifo in the No. 2 position by a 6-3 tally.

Stung, the Scarlet and Black quickly countered with a pair of wins to start singles play. Restifo made short work of Alberts in the second spot with a 6-1, 6-1 triumph, while Jan Kirchhoff registered his first dual-match victory as an Aztec after pinning a 6-1, 6-2 defeat on Sauer at No. 6 to put the visitors in front 2-1.

However, UNLV promptly stole the momentum after Cobzinov knocked off Cevallos at the top of the ladder, 6-3, 6-4, while Popov fell victim to Samuelsson in fourth slot, 6-1, 7-5.

The stage was now set for SDSU’s dramatic comeback, with Gonzalez Almazan outlasting Richard Solberg in the fifth position, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, while Gjoels-Andersen overcame an early deficit against Lock at No. 3 before prevailing, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Quotable
“I’m very excited for our team,” said Aztec head coach Gene Carswell. “They’ve been putting in some good work on the practice court and it paid off tonight. It was a fun match to be a part of. Hats off to UNLV; they fought extremely hard. However, I could not be happier for our guys to start their conference season in this fashion.”

Of Note
> SDSU improves to 23-10 vs. the Rebels since 1989, leveling its record at 7-7 in Las Vegas.
> The Aztecs are now 6-1 in their last seven conference openers.
> Rafael Gonzalez Almazan raises his singles record to a team-best 10-6 on the season.

Up Next
San Diego State will remain in Las Vegas on Saturday to battle Oregon in a neutral-site encounter, starting at 11 a.m. PT.

San Diego State 4, UNLV 3
February 16, 2018
Las Vegas, Nev.
Fertita Tennis Complex

Doubles
1. Alexandr Cozbinov/Courtney Lock (UNLV) def. Sander Gjoels-Andersen/Nicholas Mitchell (SDSU), 6-4
2. Eric Samuelsson/Clayton Alenik (UNLV) def. Joel Popov/Arnaud Restifo (SDSU), 6-3
3. Santiago Cevallos/Rafael Gonzalez Almazan (SDSU) def. Jordan Sauer/Ruben Alberts (UNLV), 6-3

Order of finish: 3, 1, 2
UNLV wins doubles point

Singles
1. Alexandr Cozbinov (UNLV) def. Santiago Cevallos (SDSU), 6-3, 6-4
2. Arnaud Restifo (SDSU) def. Ruben Alberts (UNLV),6-1, 6-1
3. Sander Gjoels-Andersen (SDSU) def. Courtney Lock (UNLV), 2-6, 6-3, 6-4
4. Eric Samuelsson (UNLV) def. Joel Popov (SDSU), 6-1, 7-5
5. Rafael Gonzalez Almazan (SDSU) def. Richard Solberg (UNLV), 6-3, 4-6, 6-3
6. Jan Kirchhoff (SDSU) def. Jordan Sauer (UNLV), 6-1, 6-2

Order of finish: 2, 6, 1, 4, 5, 3*
* Match-clinching victory

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