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SDSU Men's Tennis Prepares for Home Opener with No. 70 Fresno State

Sophomore Juan Gomez and the Aztecs take on Fresno State on Sunday at Aztec Tennis Center.
Sophomore Juan Gomez and the Aztecs take on Fresno State on Sunday at Aztec Tennis Center.

Feb. 1, 2008

SAN DIEGO - The 50th-ranked San Diego State men's tennis team springs back into action this weekend when it plays host to No. 70 Fresno State on Sunday at Aztec Tennis Center. First serve for the 2008 home opener is scheduled for 10 a.m. The Aztecs (1-1) will be seeking a return to the win column after dropping a 6-1 decision to No. 6 USC on Tuesday in Los Angeles.

Despite the lopsided score against the Trojans, SDSU's youthful lineup provided glimpses of a promising future as evidenced by freshman Andre Feliz (San Gabriel, Calif.), who posted the Scarlet and Black's lone point of the match with a victory at No. 6 singles. Other bright spots included junior Bartosz Golas (Munich, Germany), who dropped a tough three-set battle at the No. 3 position, while sophomore Achim Ceban (Moscow, Russia) and freshman Danny Heidecker (Wesel, Germany) kept the score close in their respective matches at the top of the order. Likewise in doubles, the sophomore tandem of Juan Gomez (Guyaquil, Ecuador) and Matan Shirit (Tel Aviv, Israel) did not go quietly in their match at the No. 2 spot.

Upon returning to the friendly environs of Montezuma Mesa, the Aztecs will be looking to extend their five-match home winning streak dating back to last season. SDSU, which features four freshmen (one redshirt), four sophomores, two juniors and no seniors on its roster, was originally slated to open at home on Jan. 19 against UC Riverside. However, the dual was moved to Indian Wells, Calif., where the Scarlet and Black was also competing in the National Collegiate Tennis Classic over the same weekend.

Meanwhile, Fresno State is off to a 2-1 start in dual-match competition this season, sandwiching wins over Arkansas and Cal Poly around a loss to No. 34 Oklahoma. Prior to their showdown with the Aztecs, the Bulldogs will arrive in "America's Finest City" on Saturday to take on the University of San Diego.

Individually, the top of Fresno State's singles ladder includes junior Rudolf Siwy, who is 3-0 in dual matches and has earned a No. 92 national ranking, along with sophomores Tejesvi Veerepali and Mirko Zapletal. Veerepali is the Bulldogs' top winner thus far with 11 victories on the season, while Zapletal upset 76th-ranked Blake Strode of Arkansas on Jan. 27 to clinch Fresno State's victory over the Razorbacks.

The Bulldogs hold a slight 7-5 edge in the all-time series since 1989. The two squads met on a regular basis during the 1990s when SDSU was a member of the Western Athletic Conference, but have not faced one another since the 2000 campaign when the Aztecs lost a 4-3 nail-biter in Fresno.

In a recent schedule change, San Diego State added 46th-ranked Arizona State to their spring slate and will square off against the Sun Devils on Feb. 6 in Tempe, Ariz. Match time is set for 1:30 p.m. MT