Aztec men’s tennis comes up with 2 big wins on road over the weekend

by Austin Gayle, Staff Writer

The No. 38 San Diego State men’s tennis team came out of San Luis Obispo with two big wins, as they topped both St. Mary’s College and No. 58 Cal Poly San Luis Obispo this weekend to improve their record to 3-3 on the season.

Against St. Mary’s, SDSU took the doubles point with a 6-2 win from junior Jonas Meinzer and freshman Sander Gjoels-Anderson at the No. 3 spot. Sophomore Santiago Cevallos and junior Milen Ianakiev ultimately guaranteed the point from the No. 2 spot with a 6-1 win over sophomore Jacob Lagman and freshman Daniel Krutik of the Gaels.

The Aztecs also took the point in singles play to finish the match against St. Mary’s 4-0, as the former Co-Mountain West Player of the Year, redshirt-senior Freddy Gelbrich, claimed the victory for SDSU with 6-4 and 6-2 wins over senior Thomas Alexander Hunt. Both Ianakiev and freshman Cornelius Kolb also came out on top in singles play with wins at the No. 3 and No. 5 spot.

Moving on to Sunday’s play against the No. 58 Cal Poly, SDSU was forced to come from behind after dropping the doubles point early in the match, but they were able to rally back in singles play to secure a 4-2 victory on the Mustangs’ home court.

In doubles play, Meinzer and Gjoels-Anderson took a 6-2 loss against against freshmen Dan Cardiff and Karl Enander, while arguably SDSU’s top duo Gelbrich and junior Hendrik Jebens suffered a defeat to sophomores Ben Donovan and Corey Pang at the No. 1 spot. Ianakiev and Cevallos were the only duo to come away with a victory, as they earned a 6-3 win over sophomores Garrett Auproux and Timothy Tan.

Head coach Gene Carswell said that the team would make an effort to better their doubles play as they continue to grow as a unit, as he believes there are other areas where they can definitely improve, as well. Carswell also said that he might “tinker” with the matchups as the season progresses, which in turn, could lead to some partner changes in the future.

Rather than letting the outcome of doubles play put them down, SDSU dominated early on in singles play with big wins from Meinzer and Kolb at the No. 6 and No. 5 spot. Jebens responded with 6-3, 7-6 (6) win over Auprox to bring SDSU to 3-0. Ianakiev would ultimately secure the victory for SDSU with a come from behind victory over Pang at the No. 3 spot.

With Gelbrich not needing to finish his match against Donovan due to Ianakiev’s win, Gjoels-Anderson was the only Aztec to drop a match in singles play.

“Give that kid another day with some other circumstances and he should take that one for us,” Carswell said in reference to Gjoels-Anderson. “We will look to work with him more and more as the season goes on.”

Carswell admired the team’s well-equipped response to their relatively disappointing start to Sunday’s match against Cal Poly, for he understands that properly responding to adversity late in the season will be a cornerstone to their long-term success.

Carswell and company look forward to their 2016 home debut against UC Santa Barbara on Friday, Feb. 19, at Aztec Tennis Center.

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