No. 69 Men's Tennis Drops Match to Rice, 4-3

Freshman Milen Ianakiev and the Aztecs dropped a close match to Rice on Thursday.

March 6, 2014

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SAN DIEGO - The No. 69 San Diego State men's tennis team dropped a hard-fought, close match on Thursday afternoon to Rice, 4-3, at Aztec Tennis Center.

SDSU (6-5, 3-0 MW) lost the doubles point to begin the match, which wound up costing the Aztecs the dual-match victory in the end.

San Diego State's No. 1 duo of senior Hunter Nicholas (Park City, Utah) and junior Thorsten Bertsch (Mannheim, Germany) fell to Srikar Alla and Leif Berger, 8-6, to open doubles action, before the Aztecs' No. 2 team of sophomore Freddy Gelbrich (Isernhagen, Germany) and freshman Hendrik Jebens (Stuttgart, Germany) topped Tommy Bennett and David Warren, 8-6. Gelbrich and Jebens are currently riding a six-match unbeaten streak in doubles play.

However, San Diego State's No. 3 unit of senior Juan Florez (Bogota, Colombia) and freshman Milen Ianakiev (Elz, Germany) dropped the deciding match to Adam Gustafsson and Max Andrews, 8-7 (3), to clinch the doubles point for Rice.

Action heated up in singles play, as the two teams split the six matches, 3-3. Gelbrich opened action with a victory over Andrews, 6-0, 6-3, in the No. 4 slot, and Ianakiev followed with a decision over Warren, 6-4, 7-5, in No. 5 singles to put the Aztecs ahead in the match, 2-1.

Playing in the No. 3 singles slot for the first time this season, Jebens fell short to Gustafsson in three sets, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, while freshman Maxi Boewer-Stelter (Berlin, Germany) dropped his match in three sets to Gustavo Gonzalez, 6-2, 5-7, 6-3, in the No. 6 slot.

In No. 1 singles action, Bertsch lost an intense three-set match with 117th-ranked Bennett, 1-6, 6-3, 6-2, as the Owls sealed the dual-match victory. Meanwhile, Nicholas earned a three-set decision over Alla, 4-6, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5), in the No. 2 singles slot.

San Diego State returns to action on Wednesday, March 12, as it plays host to Penn beginning at 2 p.m. PT, before taking on Duke at home on Thursday, March 13, also at 2 p.m. PT.

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