Busy Weekend On Tap for Men's Tennis
Feb. 28, 2018
SAN DIEGO – San Diego State will play its first home match in over a month when it faces the California Golden Bears in a non-conference clash on Thursday, March 1, at Aztec Tennis Center. First serve is set for 1 p.m. PT.
In addition, select SDSU players will compete in the 129th annual Pacific Coast Men’s Doubles Championships, set for March 2-4 at La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club in La Jolla, Calif.
The Aztecs (2-8) are coming off a weekend split, posting a dramatic 4-3 upset of then-No. 28 San Diego at USD’s Hogan Tennis Center last Friday, followed a 6-1 setback at Pepperdine on Sunday. Against the Toreros, SDSU picked up its first doubles point of the season before claiming three singles victories. With the score tied 3-3, freshman Igancio Martinez secured the clinching win with a three-set triumph over Alexandros Araouzos in the No. 6 spot, surviving multiple match points in the process.
In addition, the Aztecs received victories from Santiago Cevallos at No. 2 and Rafael Gonzalez Almazan at No. 5 to help the Scarlet and Black record its first victory at USD since 2010. Earlier the aforementioned teammates joined forces for a triumph at No. 2 doubles for their third straight win this spring.
Alamazan, who leads the team with 12 victories on the year, including five in dual-match competition, also claimed SDSU lone point at Pepperdine with a 6-2, 6-1 conquest of the Waves’ Lautaro Pane in the fifth spot as well.
On the flip side, Cal (3-4) is coming off a 4-1 loss at No. 2 Stanford in a non-conference home match on Feb. 24. With the loss, the Golden Bears dropped out of the ITA top 50 after entering their contest vs. the Cardinal at No. 36.
Cal is led by senior Billy Griffith, who is ranked 79th in the latest ITA singles poll. Despite a 9-8 overall record and a 2-3 mark in the No. 1 position, in dual matches, Griffith is coming off an upset of Stanford’s 14th-ranked Tim Fawcett in his last outing by a count of 6-4, 7-6(4). In addition, freshman Paul Barretto sports a 17-6 record, including a 4-0 ledger playing in the fourth slot, while fellow classmate Jack Molloy is 12-8 on the year, including a 4-1 mark this spring at No. 3.
In doubles, Griffith has teamed with senior J. T. Nishimura to earn a No. 30 ITA ranking, The Bears tandem is 13-5 this season, including a 2-0 mark at the top of the ladder, while the newly minted combo of Molloy and freshman Ben Draper has compiled a 3-4 ledger in the second slot.
The Aztecs are 3-5 against Cal dating back to 1989, including a 4-0 setback on the road in 2016, which marked the last meeting between the two squads. SDSU’s last victory in the series occurred the previous year in 2015 when the Scarlet and Black posted a 4-2 upset of the Golden Bears on The Mesa.
Cal and San Diego State have faced one common opponent this spring, with the Golden Bears defeating Oregon 4-3 in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend at home on Jan. 29. Conversely, the Aztecs dropped a 6-1 decision to the Ducks in a neutral-site clash on the campus of UNLV in Las Vegas.
SDSU’s weekend also includes six pairings at the Pacific Coast Men’s Doubles Championships. The tournament begins on Friday for the Scarlet and Black at 8 a.m., when the tandem of Sander Gjoels-Andersen and Nicholas Mitchell faces Reid Ponder and Brian Wang, while the duo of Cevallos and Gonzalez Almazan battles the Boise State tandem of Max Blancaneaux and Harvey Shackleton at the same time.
In addition, Joel Popov and Arnaud Restifo will join forces against Michael Blando and Jayson Blando at 8:45 a.m., while Raul de la Torre and Jan Kirchhoff are scheduled to lock horns against the UC Irvine duo of Mason Hansen and Luca Marquard at 9 a.m.
First-round action also includes the combo of Martinez and David Hough, who will square off against USC’s Thibault Forget and Mateusz Smolicki at 10:15 a.m., while Aztec head coach Gene Carswell and assistant coach Jeff Thomsen received a bye and will play the winner of the match pitting Boston College’s Seon Woo Kim and Santiago J. Montufar against Pomona-Pitzer’s Joshua Gearou and Marko Mandic at 12:15 p.m.
The second-oldest tennis event in the United States, the Pacific Coast Men's Doubles Championships features pairings from numerous college teams, including nationally ranked squads in No. 2 Stanford, No. 4 UCLA, No. 11 USC, No. 15 Oklahoma State and No. 36 San Diego.
In addition to the Aztecs and Cal, the field also features competitors from such schools as Boise State. Boston College, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, Pepperdine, Pomona-Pitzer, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC San Diego and Villanova.
Past winners include such notables as Jack Kramer, Ted Schroeder, Bobby Riggs, Pancho Segura, Don Budge, Tony Trabert, Stan Smith, Bob Lutz, Arthur Ashe, Dennis Ralston, John McEnroe and many other world-class champions.