Senior Joe Tyler clinches victory for men’s tennis over New Mexico on Senior Day


SDSU Athletics

Three athletes, including senior Joe Tyler (right) take a picture with plaques bearing their names. (Photo Courtesy of SDSU Athletics)

by Austin Tarke, Senior Staff Writer

Senior day for college athletes is an unforgettable memory in their careers. The last match in a player’s collegiate career on their home court with their supporting fans spectating them.

For SDSU, they had three athletes celebrating the day, including Joe Tyler. But it was fitting that in addition to his contributions in a doubles win, he won the final singles match on his senior day to secure the team’s victory.

His victory led San Diego State (6-10, 2-2 Mountain West Conference) to a 4-1 win over the New Mexico Lobos (9-11, 3-2 MW).

The Aztecs were off to a quick start through a consistent component of their team, doubles play.

The number three doubles team kicked it off as sophomore Judson Blair and freshman Alexander Mandma won convincingly 6-1.

Tyler and junior Victor Castro flexed their cohesion in doubles as the pairing improved their dual record to 6-3, 13-5 overall. They won convincingly 6-2. They secured the doubles point for the Scarlet and Black.

The third doubles team also performed well, as sophomore Johannes Seeman and sophomore Roni Rikkonen were up 5-2 before their game was suspended due to the Aztecs capturing doubles.

SDSU continued its winning ways in singles play but the Lobos would not go down easy.

Blair earned the first singles point of the day as he won in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3. He improved his record to 15-13 overall.

The Lobos showed fight earning their first point of the day as the UNM freshman Georgio Samaha defeated Rikkonen 6-3, 6-3 in straight sets.

This brought the full match score to 2-1. The remaining four matches all went to a decisive third set.

Castro gave SDSU its third point of the day as he rallied back from a poor second set loss, he won 6-3, 2-6, 6-3.

The stage was set, with three matches to play, SDSU needed one win to go home with a senior day victory and snap their three-game losing streak.

It was not easy.

Seeman and Mandma were both trailing in their third set and Tyler had just come off a poor second set losing 1-6. But Tyler displayed his leadership and experience as he won 6-3 in the third set to give the Aztecs the 4-1 victory.

Now that the Aztecs finished their home schedule strong, they will conclude their regular season with two road matches. Next week they travel to Boise State on Thursday and then finish the year on Saturday at Nevada who currently leads the MW standings.