LUBBOCK, Texas – The No. 31 Texas Tech men's tennis bounced back from its first shutout loss of the season and turned in a solid all-around performance en route to a 6-1 victory over Rice on Sunday at the McLeod Tennis Center.
The Red Raiders (13-4) have won all nine of their matches at home and secured the doubles point for the 13th time in 17 dual matches.
Justin Bloss and Pyry Hyrkkonen set the tone for Texas Tech with a 6-2 victory over Ashton Duke and Jared Aiman on court three.
All square at 4-4, Connor Curry and Alex Sendegeya ripped off eight consecutive points to close out a 6-4 win against Jacob Eskeland and Conrad Russell at the top of the lineup. Curry cranked a crosscourt backhand winner at 0-40 to notch the break. Then, Curry held his serve at love to consolidate the break.
Artem Kapshuk and Ilgiz Valiev were down but on-serve at 5-4 versus Sumit Sarkar and Mohamed Abdel-Aziz at the No. 2 spot when play was stopped.
Justin Bloss, Valiev, Curry and Hyrkkonen added straight-set singles victories to clinch the match for the Red Raiders. Bloss and Curry dropped a combined nine games between them whereas Valiev and Hyrkkonen wrapped up their wins during second-set tiebreakers. Hyrkkonen won the last four points of his breaker and executed a serve-volley play on match point.
"Justin did a good job, and he has really worked hard this last week," Texas Tech head coach Brett Masi said. "The guys that I was coaching on my side on courts one, three and five (Connor, Ilgiz and Justin) were ahead and building momentum. They never let the opponent have any chance to get on the other side of them. When you are playing from being down all the time like we were against Tulane, we never thought we would get our head above water. That what we were able to do against them today."
Sendegeya registered a 4-6, 6-0, 6-2 comeback victory over Abdel-Aziz at the No. 2 position. Rice (5-7) scored its lone point when Russell defeated Kapshuk by a 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 score line.
The Red Raiders travel to California for a quartet of matches over spring break beginning with Iowa on Monday, March 12. First serve is slated for 2 p.m. CT from San Diego. Then, Texas Tech will participate in the San Diego Mission Valley Spring Classic hosted by San Diego State and San Diego over the weekend.
Visit www.TexasTech.com for the latest news and information on the men's tennis program. Fans also can follow the program on its social media outlets at www.Facebook.com/TechMensTennis and @TexasTechTennis on Twitter.
No. 31 Texas Tech 6, Rice 1
March 4, 2018 at Lubbock, Texas (McLeod Tennis Center)
1 – Connor Curry/Alex Sendegeya (TTU) defeats Jacob Eskeland/Conrad Russell (RICE): 6-4
2 – Artem Kapshuk/Ilgiz Valiev (TTU) vs. Sumit Sarkar/Mohamed Abdel-Aziz (RICE): 4-5, unfinished
3 – Justin Bloss/Pyry Hyrkkonen (TTU) defeats Ashton Duke/Jared Aiman (RICE): 6-2
Order of Finish: 3, 1
1 – Connor Curry (TTU) defeats Sumit Sarkar (RICE): 6-3, 6-2
2 – Alex Sendegeya (TTU) defeats Jacob Eskeland (RICE): 4-6, 6-0, 6-2
3 – Ilgiz Valiev (TTU) defeats Mohamed Abdel-Aziz (RICE): 6-0, 7-6 (5)
4 – Conrad Russell (RICE) defeats Artem Kapshuk (TTU): 3-6, 7-5, 6-3
5 – Justin Bloss (TTU) defeats Jared Aiman (RICE): 6-2, 6-2
6 – Pyry Hyrkkonen (TTU) defeats Ashton Duke (RICE): 6-4, 7-6 (3)
Order of finish: 5, 3, 1, 6, 2, 4
Texas Tech: 13-4; National Ranking: No. 31