Men's Tennis Set for Road Matches at USD, Pepperdine
Feb. 21, 2018
SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego State men's tennis team returns to action with a pair of road matches this week against perennial non-conference opponents San Diego and Pepperdine. The Aztecs will make the short drive west on Interstate 8 to battle the 28th-ranked Toreros on Friday, Feb. 23, before traveling up the coast to face the Waves on Sunday, Feb. 25, in Malibu, Calif. Both matches will feature live stats and are scheduled for a 2 p.m. PT start.
SDSU (1-7, 1-0 MW) split two duals last weekend in Las Vegas, edging host UNLV by a 4-3 count in the Mountain West opener for both squads on Feb. 16, before falling to Oregon in a neutral-site clash the following day, 6-1. Against the Rebels, junior Sander Gjoels-Andersen provided the clinching point at No. 3 singles to help the Aztecs snap a six-match slide.
SDSU was unable to build on its momentum against the Ducks, however, as sophomore transfer Arnaud Restifo supplied the team's lone tally with a triumph at No. 2 singles to extend his personal winning streak to three matches. The Aztecs' other bright spot of the day occurred at No. 2 doubles, where senior Santiago Cevallos and sophomore Rafael Gonzalez Almazan joined forces to upset the 37th-ranked tandem of Ty Gentry and Simon Stevens, 6-4.
Gjoels-Andersen, Gonzalez Almazan and Restifo have totaled three victories apiece in dual matches, while the newly-minted tandem of Cevallos and Gonzalez Almazan are 2-0 thus far.
Friday's opponent San Diego is off to a 4-2 start in dual-match competition, including a 4-3 triumph over Fresno State at home in its last outing on Feb. 18. Individually, The Toreros are led by the trio of sophomore Gui Osorio, freshman August Holmgren and sophomore Joel Gamerov, who occupy the top three spots, respectively, in the team's singles rotation this spring. Entering the weekend, Gamerov sports a No. 96 ranking by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA).
San Diego State maintains a slim 17-15 edge in head-to-head encounters against USD dating back to 1989, including a 4-2 setback at Aztec Tennis Center last year. The Scarlet and Black captured the doubles point, but USD took four of five singles matches for its sixth victory in the last seven meetings between the two schools.
Like the Aztecs, Pepperdine (1-6) has struggled in dual-match play, posting a 4-2 triumph over South Alabama in a neutral-site clash at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend on Jan. 28 in Gainesville, Fla., for its lone victory so far this season.
Junior Dennis Uspensky, a transfer from Wake Forest, has posted a 2-4 record at No. 1 singles this spring, while freshmen Brian Berdusco, Khamis Yusuf and sophomore Dane Esses have all spent time near the top of the Waves' ladder. In doubles, the Pepperdine has largely utilized the tandems of Uspensky and junior Nicholas Baez, Esses and Berdusco, as well as Yusuf and fellow classmate Max Mendelsohn.
San Diego State has traditionally had its hands full against the Waves, posting a 3-18 record against their Southern California nemesis since 1989, including a 6-1 setback at home last year.