No. 46 Utah State men's tennis (10-7, 1-0 MW) posted a 4-0 victory over Rice (5-11, 0-1 C-USA) on Friday in San Diego, California, in its second match at the San Diego Spring Classic.
"The guys responded well today and came out strong," head coach James Wilson said. "The doubles were very close, and we handled the pressure well. In singles, several spots went out and competed hard. Tomorrow, we will need to be tougher as a group."
In doubles, senior Andrew Nakajima and freshman Valdemar Holm won, 6-4, at the No. 2 spot against freshmen Jacob Eskeland and Conrad Russell. Senior Jaime Barajas and freshman Jose Carvajal clinched the doubles point in a tiebreaker, 7-6 (8-6), at the No. 1 spot against freshmen Sumit Sarkar and Mohamed Abdel-Aziz. Freshmen Addy Vashistha and Felipe Acosta were tied up at 6-6 at the No. 3 spot with redshirt sophomore Eric Rutledge and senior Ashton Duke, but the match ended unfinished due to the results on the other courts.
In singles, Barajas won at the No. 1 spot by retirement, 6-3, 3-1, against Rutledge. Sophomore Sergiu Bucur also won by retirement at the No. 2 spot against Sarkar, 6-2, 2-0. Carvajal recorded a straight-set victory at the No. 6 spot against freshman Jared Aiman, 6-2, 6-2. The remaining matches went unfinished.
Utah State continues its trip in San Diego on Saturday, March 17, as the Aggies take on Arizona (13-8, 0-2 Pac-12). The time of the match will be posted on the men’s tennis social media accounts on Saturday morning.
Arizona leads Utah State, 2-1, in program history, but the Aggies won the last matchup, 4-3, last season. In singles, Arizona is led by freshman Filip Malbasic who is 14-2 at the Nos. 3 through 5 spots, sophomore Alejandra Reguant who is 13-3 at the Nos. 3 through 6 spots and junior Jonas Maier, a former Aggie, who is 10-3 at the Nos. 1 through 4 spots. In doubles, freshmen Carlos Hassey and Igor Karpovets are 6-5 at the Nos. 1 through 3 spots, while Maier and Reguant are 5-4 at the Nos. 2 and 3 spots.
Ashley Springer is a student at Utah State University studying journalism and communication. Springer is an intern with the USU athletic department's media relations.