LOS ANGELES – The No. 30 Texas Tech men's tennis team dropped a 4-2 decision to No. 39 San Diego during Saturday's NCAA Tournament First Round at the Los Angeles Tennis Center on the UCLA campus.
The Red Raiders (19-11) were making the program's second NCAA Tournament appearance in three seasons under head coach Brett Masi. The Toreros (17-8) move onto the NCAA Second Round where it will face No. 2 UCLA on Sunday.
"Today, we put ourselves in too big of a hole against a talented San Diego team," Masi said. "We were up in two of the doubles matches early, but they flipped it on us. Then, we gave up two quick points to go down 3-0, and we couldn't overcome it. We were in positions on the other courts. Alex was able to turn his match around so there was some hope there. They played too tough in the end. Credit San Diego for putting us in that hole and making us have to climb out of it, but we weren't able to do it in the end. I believe the guys have a grasp of what we want and what we expect from them. Hopefully, we can build on that going into next season and keep improving on it."
Facing a 3-0 deficit, Texas Tech got its teeth back into the match behind straight-set victories courtesy of Tommy Mylnikov and Artem Kapshuk.
No. 105 Mylnikov took down Gui Osorio by a 6-4, 6-2 score line at the No. 2 position to put the Red Raiders on the board. He won the final three games of the opening set and pieced together a five-game flurry to finish off set two.
Kapshuk claimed a hard-fought 6-3, 7-6 (7) matchup over David Norfeldt on court five. He erased a pair of set points and won five of the last six points during the second set tiebreaker.
The momentum stayed with Texas Tech when Alex Sendegeya emerged with a 7-4 victory in another second set tiebreaker to knot the score with No. 60 August Holmgren at the top of the lineup.
After splitting sets, Ilgiz Valiev grabbed an early break to take a 3-1 third set advantage on Joel Gamerov at the No. 4 spot. However, Gamerov regrouped and ripped off five consecutive games to capture the match-clinching fourth point for Sand Diego.
"Tommy executed really well. We had a game plan for him, and he wavered a little bit from it midway through the first set," Masi said. "Overall, he stuck to it and his opponent didn't have an answer. His win gave us a much needed point. Artem being able to win that second set tiebreaker was a bonus, and I believe that Alex would have won the third set with the way he was playing and turned his match."
San Diego started quickly in doubles action as Nico Borter and Osorio took down Jackson Cobb and Sendegeya by a 6-1 margin on court one. The Toreros secured the doubles point when Alexandros Araouzos and Norfeldt reeled off the last four game to edge out Connor Curry and Kapshuk, 6-4, on the No. 3 line.
When play was stopped, No. 30 Holmgren and Gamerov possessed a 6-1 lead in the tiebreaker over Mylnikov and Matheus Leite in the No. 2 slot.
The Toreros pushed the score to 3-0 after straight-set wins from Araouzos and Borter.
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No. 39 San Diego 4, No. 30 Texas Tech 2
May 12, 2018 at Los Angeles, California (Los Angeles Tennis Center)
1 – Nico Borter/Gui Osorio (USD) defeats No. 79 Jackson Cobb/Alex Sendegeya (TTU): 6-1
2 – Tommy Mylnikov/Matheus Leite (TTU) vs. No. 80 August Holmgren/Joel Gamerov (USD): 6-6 (1-6), unfinished
3 – Alexandros Araouzos/David Norfeldt (USD) defeats Connor Curry/Artem Kapshuk (TTU): 6-4
Order of Finish: 1, 3
1 – Alex Sendegeya (TTU) vs. No. 60 August Holmgren (USD): 4-6, 7-6 (4), 2-1, unfinished
2 – No. 105 Tommy Mylnikov (TTU) defeats Gui Osorio (USD): 6-4, 6-2
3 – Nico Borter (USD) defeats Connor Curry (TTU): 6-3, 6-3
4 – Joel Gamerov (USD) defeats Ilgiz Valiev (TTU): 3-6, 6-3, 6-3
5 – Artem Kapshuk (TTU) defeats David Norfeldt (USD): 6-3, 7-6 (7)
6 – Alexandros Araouzos (USD) defeats Matheus Leite (TTU): 6-0, 6-2
Order of finish: 6, 3, 2, 5, 4
Texas Tech: 19-11; National Ranking: No. 30
San Diego: 17-8; National Ranking: No. 39
2018 NCAA Tournament – First Round