SDSU Men's Tennis Closes Regular Season With Pair of Non-Conference Matches at UCLA, vs. San Diego

April 9, 2007


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SDSU Men's Tennis Closes Regular Season With Pair of Non-Conference Matches at UCLA, vs. San Diego
The 2007 Mountain West Conference regular season champion San Diego State men's tennis team will prepare for the MWC Championships by taking on a pair of non-conference opponents in UCLA and San Diego. The Aztecs travel to Los Angeles for an April 10, Tuesday (1:30 p.m. PDT) afternoon showdown with the Bruins before returning home to face the Toreros on Senior Day, Saturday, April 14. First serve for the USD-SDSU contest is set for noon at Aztec Tennis Center.

San Diego State is coming off a 3-0 weekend in which it defeated Air Force, No. 70 Utah and 68th-ranked Brigham Young at the Air Force Academy. After defeating the Falcons, 7-0, the Aztecs received a pair of scares from the two Beehive State schools. In the contest vs. the Utes, SDSU was forced to rally from a 3-2 deficit and had to overcome a 3-1 Cougar lead to post back-to-back 4-3 victories. The perfect weekend capped an undefeated MWC season for the Aztecs en route to its third straight regular season league championship and their seventh in the MWC's eight years of existence.

After this week's matches, San Diego State will have a week off before returning to the Academy for the league tournament scheduled for April 26-28.

At the Top of the Mountain
For the third straight season and the seventh time in the eight-year history of the Mountain West Conference, San Diego State has claimed the league's regular season crown. The 2007 edition of the Aztecs finished the conference slate with a perfect 6-0 record for a third consecutive season and for the fourth time overall. In the history of the MWC, San Diego State has compiled a ridiculous record of 35-5 and has won the tournament title three times.

So Long Seniors
On Saturday, San Diego State seniors Markus Dickhardt, Christian Groh and Anthony Gomez will play their final home match at Aztec Tennis Center. Dickhardt will go down as one of the all-time greats in SDSU history having been an all-conference performer all three seasons and the first Aztec All-American since the 2003 season. Groh has been an invaluable piece to the team's recent success in his two-plus years on Montezuma Mesa. Besides holding a national ranking in singles and doubles, Groh has helped the Aztecs to a current 47-20 record, three MWC regular season titles, one league tourney crown and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Lastly, Gomez, in his second year, has been a solid contributor while playing in the middle of the singles order. Last year, the junior college transfer went 9-9 in dual play and is 11-9 this spring with all of his decisions coming at No. 3.

San Diego State-UCLA: The Series
To say the series between these two schools has been lopsided is an understatement. Simply put, the Bruins own a 31-0 advantage over the Aztecs. Last season, San Diego State almost pulled the upset falling to UCLA, 4-3, at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. Three of the six singles matches went to a third set with the Aztecs winning two of them, but the Bruins proved to be too tough in doubles and at Nos. 4 and 6 in posting an early 4-1 score, giving UCLA the match.

Scouting the Bruins
UCLA (15-3; 4-0 Pac-10) comes into its match with SDSU having won its last six matches by a combined score of 40-2. During its recent run, four of the Bruins' wins were by 7-0 scores. For the season, No. 10 UCLA has nine overall shutouts with six of them coming against common opponents (UC Irvine, San Diego, BYU, California, Arizona-twice). The Bruins are led by their No. 1 singles player and fourth-ranked Benjamin Kohlloeffel. The German reached a career milestone this past Saturday vs. Arizona as he tied the school record in singles victories at the No. 1 position with 51. For the dual season, he is 17-1 with his only loss coming to USC's Dejan Cvetkovic back on March 9. Other nationally ranked Bruins include Haythem Abid (No. 38) and Chris Surapol (No. 53) in singles and 12th-ranked Phillipp Gruendler and Kohlloeffel in doubles.

San Diego State-San Diego: The Series
The Aztecs are 9-3 against their cross-town rivals since 1996, including a 5-2 defeat last year at San Diego's West Courts. Recently, the series has been dead even with the two schools splitting the last six matches. In matches contested at San Diego State, the Aztecs hold a 6-1 edge with their only loss coming in 2003.

Scouting the Toreros
No. 62 San Diego enters Saturday's match with a 9-10 record and losers of its last three. Prior to its three-match skid, USD had won a season-best five straight. Thomas Liversage leads the Toreros at the top of the singles ladder with a No. 49 ranking and a 12-6 dual-match record.

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