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SDSU Men's Tennis Toppled By East Tennessee State, 4-3

Junior Markus Dickhardt posted his ninth straight singles victory on Saturday.
Junior Markus Dickhardt posted his ninth straight singles victory on Saturday.

Feb. 25, 2006

SAN DIEGO - The 50th-ranked San Diego State men's tennis team once again discovered that close was not enough after dropping a tough 4-3 decision to East Tennessee State on Saturday at Aztec Tennis Center. With the loss, the Aztecs fall to 3-3, while the Buccaneers improve to 7-5. All three of SDSU's defeats this season have been by the same 4-3 margin.

The Aztecs got behind early and were forced to play catch-up for most of the day. Despite a hard-fought victory by the tandem of junior Christian Groh and senior Eugenio Romero at No. 2 doubles, ETSU grabbed the crucial point with wins at the No.1 and No. 3 positions.

Trailing 2-0 after a loss at No. 6 singles, senior Stephan Timu got SDSU on the board with a straight-set triumph over the Bucs' Lisandro Picardo, 6-4, 6-3. The momentum was short-lived, however, as the Aztecs dropped the next two matches.

SDSU did record a pair of late victories at the No. 1 and 2 positions, but by then the outcome had been decided. Junior Markus Dickhardt, ranked 99th in the latest ITA singles poll, was able to extend his winning streak to nine matches, overcoming an opening set-deficit to upend Felix Insaurralde, 4-6, 7-5, 7-5. Senior Benedikt Stronk, meanwhile, provided the Aztecs with a measure of consolation, defeating Oscar Posada in another fierce three-set battle, 6-7, 7-6, 6-2.

SDSU will have no time to dwell on Saturday's defeat as it plays host to the University of the Pacific on Sunday at Aztec Tennis Center, scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. PST.

EAST TENNESSEE STATE 4, No. 50 SAN DIEGO STATE 3

Doubles:
1) Oscar Posada/Juan Crosa (ETSU) def. Benedikt Stronk/Markus Dickhardt (SDSU), 8-5.
2) Christian Groh/Eugenio Romero (SDSU) def. Felix Insaurralde/Lisandro Picardo (ETSU), 8-7 (5).
3) Enrique Olivares/Sebastian Serrano (ETSU) def. Stephan Timu/Robert Sabo (SDSU), 8-5.
ETSU wins doubles point

Singles:
1) Benedikt Stronk (SDSU) def. Oscar Posada (ETSU), 6-7, 7-6, 6-2.
2) No. 99 Markus Dickhardt (SDSU) def. Felix Insaurralde (ETSU), 4-6, 7-5, 7-5.
3) Juan Crosa (ETSU) def. Christian Groh (SDSU), 6-4, 7-5.
4) Enrique Olivares (ETSU) def. Anthony Gomez (SDSU), 6-3, 6-2.
5) Stephan Timu (SDSU) def. Lisandro Picardo (ETSU), 6-4, 6-3.
6) Sebastian Serrano (ETSU) def. Robert Sabo (SDSU), 6-3, 6-0.

Order of finish: 6, 5, 4, 3*, 2, 1
*match-securing victory