Aztecs team up for doubles championship


Photo by Joe Kendall

Junior Sander Gjoels-Andersen (front) and sophomore Nicholas Mitchell compete in doubles against Cal on March 1 at the Aztec Tennis Center. The match was suspended with Cal winning 4-3.

by Marissa Bell, Staff Writer

San Diego State men’s tennis completed the 129th annual Pacific Coast Doubles Championships at La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club on March 2-3.

The Aztecs have a record of 2-9 on the season, but competed well in the tournament, compiling eight total wins on day one.

The tournament is one of the longest running events in organized tennis, which Aztecs head coach Gene Carswell credited with being the foundation of the Davis Cup, also known as the World Cup of Tennis.

“It’s actually the foundation of what is actually now the Davis Cup, which is between countries all around the world,” Carswell said.

Carswell said two days before the tournament that he had high hopes for the event, and saw it as an opportunity for his team.

“It’s a great opportunity,” Carswell said. “Not only do you have all the great teams in the West but you have teams from all over.”

Carswell and Aztecs assistant coach Jeff Thomsen competed in the tournament and teamed up for a victory over the Pomona-Pitzer duo of Joshua Gearou and Marko Mandic in the round of 64, but were then eliminated after losing 8-2 to Daniel Cukierman and Tanner Smith from the University of Southern California.

Sophomores Joel Popov and Arnaud Restifo advanced the farthest for the Aztecs, making it all the way to the round of 16, after collecting a 3-0 record on day one, before falling 6-1, 6-4 in the main draw against Uros Petronijevic and Zachary Svajda on day two.

SDSU junior Sander Gjoels-Andersen paired up with sophomore partner Nicholas Mitchell, with the duo winning their first match, before falling 8-6 against Stanford.

Gjoels-Andersen said two days before the match that that he was excited about the opportunity to compete in the tournament against some good talent.

“We are going to have a pretty good draw,” he said. “I think it’s a good opportunity for us to get some good practice for the next few months.”

Junior Raul de la Torre and freshman Jan Kirchhoff picked up two wins on day one of the event, combining to beat Mason Hansen and Luca Marquard of UC Irvine (8-5) and Phillip Martin and Matthew Sah (9-7).

De la Torre and Kirchhoff’s run came to an end in the round of 32 after losing 8-5 to the fifth-seeded duo from University of California, Los Angeles in Austin Rapp and Keegan Smith.

Aztecs senior Santiago Cevallos and sophomore Rafael Gonzalez Almazan defeated Boise State’s Max Blancaneaux and Harvey Shackleton by a score of 8-6, but lost 8-4 to Oklahoma State’s Artur Dubinski and Jurence Mendoza to see their tournament hopes end in the round of 64.

Next up for SDSU is the San Diego Spring Break Tournament, which is starting on March 15 against a yet-to-be-determined opponent.

The team will then continue its Mountain West Conference schedule, before completing the season with the MW Championships starting on April 27.