Men’s tennis faults in final home match against UC Santa Barbara


Courtesy of Derrick Tuskan, SDSU Athletics

San Diego State men’s tennis senior Ignacio Martinez (left) high-fives freshman Judson Blair during the Aztecs’ 4-2 loss to Santa Clara on April 19, 2021 at the Aztec Tennis Center.

by Jason Freund, Senior Staff Writer

After a thrilling come-from-behind victory against UNLV on Saturday, the San Diego State men’s tennis team jumped out to an early lead against UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday.

The lead didn’t last long, however.

The Aztecs (5-14, 2-5 Mountain West Conference), in their final match at the Aztec Tennis Center, couldn’t build off of that quick lead against the Gauchos (7-5, 4-2 Big West) and fell 5-2.

SDSU flew out of the gates at a breakneck speed, sweeping UCSB in doubles. 

The SDSU tandem of sophomore Victor Castro and freshman Johannes Seeman, freshly named to the All-Mountain West Conference team, disposed of junior Stefano Tsorotiotis and sophomore Alejandro Vedri 6-3 on the first court.

SDSU senior Ignacio Martinez and freshman Judson Blair kept up the pace, dealing a similar 6-3 score to juniors Victor Krustev and Joseph Rotheram.

Aztec graduate student Rafael Gonzales Almazan and senior Aaro Pollanen finished the job against senior Joseph Guillen and freshman Kai Brady with a 7-5 win on the third court.

When both sides split into singles play, the Gauchos turned the table on the Aztecs. Three out of the four UCSB wins came in three sets while a fourth was decided via a super tiebreaker.

Seeman’s contest with Guilen was the only match to be decided in straight sets as the Aztec freshman couldn’t keep up with the Gaucho senior, falling 7-5, 6-4 on the first court.

Gonzales Almazan was the next Aztec to fall as, after winning the first set, he dropped the final two sets to freshman Pablo Masjuan in a 5-7, 6-1, 6-3 decision.

Blair was blanked 6-0 in his first set against Brady, but a win in a marathon of a second set tied the bout up. The win proved costly to Blair as Brady pulled ahead for a 6-0, 6-7 (10-8), 6-0 win.

Castro stopped the bleeding with a 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-1 victory over Tsorotiotis on the second court, but freshman Roni Rikonnen’s 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5) loss to Rotheram sealed a victory for the visiting team.

Despite the loss, Rikonnen’s return to action is a positive sign for the Aztecs as the freshman hasn’t seen the court since the April 9 match against Air Force.

The Scarlet and Black have one more match before the season’s conclusion as the team will make a short drive on Interstate 8 to square off with the University of San Diego on May 1.

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