Aztec sophomore Arnaud Restifo (left) victorious at No. 2 singles
Photo courtesy goaztecs.com
February 11, 2018 (Tuscaloosa) - The San Diego State men’s tennis team is still searching for its first dual-match victory of the spring after dropping a 4-1 decision to a red-hot Alabama squad in a non-conference clash at Roberta Alison Baumgardner Indoor Tennis Facility.
The Aztecs (0-6) fell short in doubles for the sixth straight outing before dropping three of four completed singles matches to the Crimson Tide (11-0), who are receiving votes in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association Top 25 poll.
The day started ominously for the Scarlet and Black, as the No. 1 pairing of Sander Gjoels-Andersen and Nicholas Mitchell had no answers for Alabama’s Edson Ortiz and Mazen Osama in a 6-2 defeat. Moments later, SDSU’s No. 3 duo of Rafael Gonzalez Almazan and David Hough experienced a similar fate, falling to Riccardo Roberto Riccardo and Zhe Zhou by a 6-1 count.
With the doubles outcome no longer in question, the match on court two pitting Santiago Cevallos and Arnaud Restifo against Alexey Resterov and Thibault Cancel was halted with the Aztec tandem trailing 4-3.
SDSU fell further behind in singles play 3-0 after Hough and Cevallos suffered straight-set losses. In the fifth spot, Hough was blanked by Ortiz 6-0, 6-0, while Cevallos dropped a 6-3, 6-1 decision to Osama at the top of the ladder.
The Aztecs fought valiantly to stay alive as Restifo snapped a personal four-match losing skid with a 6-4, 6-1 triumph over Patrick Kaukovalta in the No. 2 slot. However, Gjoels-Andersen was unable to extend his encounter vs. Cancel in a tough 6-3, 7-6 defeat on the No. 3 court.
The remaining two matches were suspended when the Crimson Tide secured the requisite fourth point for victory. After capturing the opening set in a tiebreaker 7-6(5), Joel Popov found himself in a 2-2 tie with Zhou at No. 4, while Gonzalez trailed 5-1 in the third set vs. Nesterov on court No. 6.
San Diego State will face its first Mountain West opponent of the season next week when it squares off against UNLV on Friday, Feb. 16 beginning at 1 p.m. PT. The Aztecs will remain in Las Vegas the following day for a neutral-site clash with Oregon, starting at
Alabama 4, San Diego State 1
February 11, 2018
Roberta Alison Baumgardner Indoor Tennis Facility
1. Edson Ortiz/Mazen Osama (UA) def. Sander Gjoels-Andersen/Nicholas Mitchell (SDSU), 6-2
2. Alexey Resterov/Thibault Cancel (UA) vs. Santiago Cevallos/Arnaud Restifo (SDSU), 4-3 DNF
3. Riccardo Roberto/Zhe Zhou (UA) def. Rafael Gonzalez Almazan/David Hough (SDSU), 6-1
Order of finish: 1, 3
Alabama wins doubles point
1. Mazen Osama (UA) def. Santiago Cevallos (SDSU), 6-3, 6-1
2. Arnaud Restifo (SDSU) def. Patrick Kaukovalta (UA), 6-4, 6-1
3. Thibault Cancel (UA) def. Sander Gjoels-Andersen (SDSU), 6-3, 7-6(4)
4. Joel Popov (SDSU) vs. Zhe Zhou (UA), 7-6(5), 2-2 DNF
5. Edson Ortiz (UA) def. David Hough (SDSU), 6-0, 6-0
6. Alexey Nesterov (UA) vs. Rafael Gonzalez Almazan (SDSU), 4-6, 6-1, 5-1 DNF
Order of finish: 5, 1, 2, 3*
* Match-clinching victory
Records: SDSU (0-6), Alabama (11-0)