Tulsa Men's Tennis Falls to Rice 4-3 in C-USA Championship Match
April 25, 2010
HOUSTON, Texas - The Tulsa men's tennis team was denied a fifth-straight Conference USA Championship as they dropped a heartbreaking 4-3 decision to second-seeded Rice on Sunday afternoon at the Jake Hess Tennis Stadium in Houston, Texas.
It was the fifth-straight season that the Hurricane and Owls faced each other in the championship match, with the first four titles going to Tulsa.
The Hurricane (16-10) won the doubles point with victories in the No. 1 and 3 positions. Bruno Rosa and Isamu Tachibana knocked off Grant Ive and Alastair Barnes, 9-7, in the second flight, but 27th-ranked Ashley Watling and Philip Stephens responded with an 8-6 decision over 71st-ranked Michael Nusslein and Christian Saravia in the No. 1 slot to even up the doubles tally.
Podlewski tied the score at 1-1 with a quick 6-2, 6-4 win over Alastair Barnes in No. 4 singles, but Grant Ive put TU back ahead with a 6-2, 7-5 victory against Christian Saravia in the No. 6 position.
Ashley Watling, the 54th-ranked player in the nation, put the Hurricane ahead 3-1 with a 6-2, 6-2 win against Michael Nusslein in No. 2 singles, giving him a perfect 3-0 record in No. 2 singles for the tournament.
However, that was all the wins Tulsa could manage as Rice claimed the last three singles matches of the day, completing the 4-3 come-from-behind victory.
35th-ranked Marcelo Arevalo lost to 29th-ranked Bruno Rosa, 7-6 (4), 6-4, in the top flight, followed by Philip Stephens dropping a tough 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 decision to Sam Garforth-Bles in the No. 3 position.
Isamu Tachibana sealed the win with a 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 decision over Marko Ballok in No. 5 singles.
The Hurricane will learn their NCAA Tournament fate on Tuesday, May 4th with the airing of the NCAA Championships Selection Show on ESPNEWS.
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