Photo: Marko Goles-Babic (left) and Milen Ianakiev were upset winners at No.1 doubles for the second straight match on Friday. Courtesy goaztecs.com
March 17, 2017 (San Diego) - San Diego State tried to right the ship in its second match of the San Diego Spring Break Tournament, but still encountered rough waters in a 4-1 defeat to Harvard in the consolation round Friday at Aztec Tennis Center. With the result, SDSU was unable to avoid its fourth loss in a row, falling to 5-9 on the year, while the Crimson improve to 9-7 overall.
For the second day in a row, the Aztec senior doubles pairing of Marko Goles-Babic and Milen Ianakiev upset a nationally ranked duo after shutting out No. 40 Brian Yeung and Kenny Tao in the No. 1 spot, 6-0. Unfortunately, SDSU could not duplicate the feat on the other two courts, as junior Santiago Cevallos and sophomore Sander Gjoels-Andersen suffered a 6-1 setback to Michael Peters and Jean Thirouin in the second position, while the freshman tandem of Joel Popov and Rafael Gonzalez Almazan fell victim to Christopher Morrow and Logan Weber by a 6-4 margin at No. 3.
Stung, the Aztecs tried to regroup in singles play, and things looked good early after Gonzalez Almazan turned the tables on Morrow with a swift 6-0, 6-2 triumph in the No. 6 position. However, SDSU was stymied for the remainder of the afternoon as Harvard reeled off three straight wins to claim the match.
The Crimson jumped in front for good after Ianakiev experienced a 6-2, 6-2 defeat at the hands of Thirouin in the No. 2 spot, while Popov came up short to Andy Zhou at No. 4, 6-4, 6-1. Staring down the barrel of a 3-1 deficit, Goles-Babic fought valiantly to extend the dual against Tao at the top of the ladder. After dropping the first set in a tiebreaker 7-6(5), however, the Aztec senior was unable to grab the upper hand in the second frame, ultimately falling by a 6-4 count.
Over on court three, Gjoels-Andersen prevailed in the opening set of his encounter with Yeung in a close tiebreaker 7-6(7) before forging a 4-2 advantage in the second when the match was halted. Simultaneously, Cevallos abandoned his battle with Grant Solomon early in the third set at No. 5 after the players split the first two sets.
SDSU wraps up play at the San Diego Spring Break Tournament on Saturday when its squares off against Arizona at Aztec Tennis Center, starting a 2 p.m. PT.
Harvard 4, San Diego State 1
March 17, 2017
Aztec Tennis Center
San Diego, Calif.
1. Marko Goles-Babic/Milen Ianakiev (SDSU) def. #40 Brian Yeung/Kenny Tao (HARV), 6-0
2. Michael Peters/Jean Thirouin (HARV) def. Santiago Cevallos/Sander Gjoels-Andersen (SDSU), 6-1
3. Christopher Morrow/Logan Weber (HARV) def. Rafael Gonzalez Almazan/Joel Popov (SDSU), 6-4
Order of finish: 1, 2, 3
Harvard wins doubles point
1. Kenny Tao (HARV) def. Marko Goles-Babic (SDSU), 7-6(5), 6-4
2. Jean Thirouin (HARV) def. Milen Ianakiev (SDSU), 6-2, 6-2
3. Sander Gjoels-Andersen (SDSU) vs. Brian Yeung (HARV), 7-6(7), 4-2, DNF
4. Andy Zhou (HARV) def. Joel Popov (SDSU), 6-4, 6-1
5. Santiago Cevallos (SDSU) vs. Grant Solomon (HARV), 6-4, 2-6, 1-2, DNF
6. Rafael Gonzalez Almazan (SDSU) def. Christopher Morrow (HARV), 6-0, 6-2
Order of finish: 6, 2, 4, 1*
* - Match-clinching victory