SDSU Men's Tennis Wins A Thriller Over BYU, 4-3
April 15, 2006
SALT LAKE CITY - The San Diego State men's tennis team won its third match in a row on Saturday afternoon, grinding out a tough 4-3 decision over Brigham Young at Snowbird Canyon Club in Salt Lake City, Utah. For the second day in row, the Aztecs lost the doubles point only to recover in singles play to seize the victory. The win puts No. 59 SDSU on the threshold of a Mountain West Conference regular season championship as it raised its record to 5-0 in league play and 13-7 overall. Meanwhile, the Cougars fell to 4-2 in the MWC standings and 11-16 overall.
"I was very proud of our effort today," said SDSU head coach Gene Carswell. "We had our backs against the wall after doubles and we knew we had to come out fighting the rest of the way. Our success today in such a tough environment is a testament to how strong we've become as a group."
In doubles play, the Aztecs' No. 3 pairing of Christian Groh and Robert Sabo got things rolling for SDSU early on when they dispatched the Cougar duo of Christian Hand and Jonathan Sanchez, 8-4. The remaining two matches, however, proved to be monumental struggles with both contests decided by tiebreakers. At the No. 1 position, the 21st-ranked duo of Benedikt Stronk and Markus Dickhardt had their six-match winning streak snapped by BYU's James Ludlow and Dominik Kaufhold in a 9-8(5) upset. The combo of Stephan Timu and Anthony Gomez also fell in a tight skirmish, 9-8(8), to Nima Roshan and Jose Lechuga, which gave the BYU the point.
Unfazed, Timu went back to work in singles play, cruising to an easy, 6-1, 6-2 triumph over Ivan Lokurin at the No. 4 spot, which tied the score at 1-1. Groh then took out his frustrations on the No.1 court with a 6-0, 6-1 pounding of Roshan to give SDSU a 2-1 lead.
The rest of the match was a seesaw affair as the Cougars countered each Aztec advance. Sabo was dealt a straight-set defeat, 6-2, 6-2, courtesy of Hand, but Dickhardt answered with a come-from-behind victory over Ludlow, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, to put the scarlet and black back out in front 3-2. BYU proceeded to knot the score once again as Gomez could not withstand a rally by Lechuga, falling in three sets, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3.
The scene then shifted to No. 3 court where Stronk encountered Dominik Kaufhold in the decisive battle. Stronk drew first blood in the first set, 6-4, only see his adversary fight back to take the second by the same margin. With the match hanging in the balance, the Aztec senior rose to the occasion with a 6-4 effort in the third set to give the scarlet and black a hard-fought win.
SDSU will have little time to savor its victory as it returns to the courts on Sunday to lock horns with No. 33 TCU in a match that will decide the MWC regular season championship. The showdown is slated for a 9 a.m. start in Salt Lake City.
No. 59 SAN DIEGO STATE 4, BRIGHAM YOUNG 3
Order of Finish: