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Aztecs rally with four victories in singles play


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March 26, 2022 (San Diego) - The San Diego State men’s tennis team claimed its second consecutive victory on Saturday with a 4-3 decision over Portland in a non-conference dual match at Aztec Tennis Center.

For the second straight encounter, SDSU (5-7) overcame an early deficit to win four matches in singles play and sweep the regular-season series against the Pilots (4-8).

On Feb. 5, the Scarlet and Black defeated the same Portland squad by an identical 4-3 tally on neutral courts in Seattle, Washington.
Victor Castro and Joe Tyler helped secure the Aztec comeback on Saturday with a pair of three-set victories at the top of the singles ladder. Castro snapped a three-match slide after outlasting Eleftherios Neos on the No. 2 court, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, while Tyler emerged triumphant over Sema Pankin in the No. 1 position, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.
With his result, Tyler improves to a team-leading 13-6 on the year, including a 7-2 mark in dual-match play. 
Previously, Jules Auffray set the tone for SDSU in the singles round with a 6-3, 6-2 conquest of Nicolas Ocana in the fourth slot, while Judson Blair toppled Issa Yoshida in a straight-set tiebreaker, 6-2, 7-6(5) on the No. 5 court for the clincher.
In the No. 3 position, Portland increased its lead at the time to 2-0 when Julien Penzlin pinned a 6-3, 6-3 defeat on Alexander Mandma.
With the requisite fourth point already on ice, however, the No. 6 match pitting the Pilots’ Oscar Brown against SDSU’s Roni Rikkonen was allowed to finish.  After splitting the first two sets, Brown captured the third and ultimately prevailed, 6-3, 0-6, 6-4.
Things looked ominous for the Aztecs in doubles competition as Portland cemented the early point with a pair of wins. Ocana joined forces with Penzlin to dispatch the duo of Castro and Johannes Seeman on the No. 2 court, 6-2, while Pankin and Neos combined to defeat Mandma and Tyler at the top of the rotation, 6-4.
In the third slot, Auffray and Blair found themselves trailing 4-3 against Yoshida and Niklas Oberg when their match was abandoned.
San Diego State returns to action on Friday, April 8 when it travels to Sin City for a Mountain West match vs. UNLV starting at 11 a.m. 
San Diego State 4, Portland 3
Aztec Tennis Center—San Diego, Calif.
March 26, 2022
1. Sema Pankin/Eleftherios Neos (UP) def. Alexander Mandma/Joe Tyler (SDSU) 6-4
2. Nicolas Ocana/Julien Penzlin (UP) def. Victor Castro/Johannes Seeman (SDSU) 6-2
3. Niklas Oberg/Issa Yoshida (UP) vs. Jules Auffray/Judson Blair (SDSU) 4-3 DNF
Order of Finish: 2, 1
Portland wins doubles point
1. Joe Tyler (SDSU) def. Sema Pankin (UP) 4-6, 6-1, 6-4
2. Victor Castro (SDSU) def. Eleftherios Neos (UP) 6-4, 3-6, 6-2
3. Julien Penzlin (UP) def. Alexander Mandma (SDSU) 6-3, 6-3
4. Jules Auffray (SDSU) def. Nicolas Ocana (UP) 6-3, 6-2
5. Judson Blair (SDSU) def. Issa Yoshida (UP) 6-2, 7-6(5)
6. Oscar Brown (UP) def. Roni Rikkonen (SDSU) 6-3, 0-6, 6-4
Order of Finish: 3, 4, 2, 1, 5*, 6
* - Match-clinching victory
Records: SDSU (5-7); Portland (4-8)

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