MEN’S TENNIS: Rivalry renewed today

by Staff

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It may not be California or Stanford, and it may not have the same luster as Michigan and Ohio State, but the San Diego State men’s tennis team is excited to renew its rivalry with crosstown foe USD today.

SDSU will take on the Toreros at 1:30 p.m. today at the Aztec Tennis Center, and while the Aztecs own a 12-9 all-time record against USD, they are expecting a fight.

“San Diego is a very talented team,” assistant coach Ryan Redondo said. “They are dangerous because sometimes they are up and sometimes they are down. For instance, they just beat Hawaii the other day, a team that beat us earlier in the year.

“I wasn’t expecting it but I did know how talented they were. It just goes to show you that any team can beat another on a given day.”

SDSU is coming off of a weeklong break today. The last time the Aztecs played, they lost to USC 6-0 and beat UC Riverside 7-0. However, according to the coaching staff, long breaks during the season aren’t always a good thing.

“When you’re competing and keep competing, you’re constantly in that mode and always practicing like it’s a match,” Redondo said. “Whereas when you have a long break, you tend to practice at a lower intensity.”

Still, SDSU believes it has kept its focus during the break and used the extra time to its advantage.

“You really only get what you go ahead and take out of a break,” Redondo said. “The long break allowed us to take what we saw as bad against USC and work very hard to fix it. So, we got everything we needed to work on done.”

The loss to the Trojans on Feb. 6 was a wake-up call for the Aztecs, Redondo said. After getting shut out on its home court, SDSU refocused.

“I think everyone is feeling good and feeling hungry,” Redondo said. “They felt really good after almost beating UCLA, and then USC came around and shook things up a bit … but, I think that just made them hungrier to play USD.”

Though USD’s talent level is questionable, the Aztecs plan to treat their crosstown rivals with the same seriousness they would against any other team.

“For the entire time that I’ve been involved with the SDSU tennis program, I think we’ve only lost to USD once,” Redondo said. “Last year we beat them pretty bad, but that doesn’t matter too much. We still consider them our rivals and we’re going to play hard.”

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