San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Men’s tennis swept by No. 15 Oklahoma State in spring opener

Cristian Alvarez
Aztecs’ senior Fabian Roensdorf attempts to hit the ball past his opponent against Oklahoma State on Jan. 12 at the Aztec Tennis Center.

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – The San Diego State men’s tennis team opened up its season in a 7-0 loss to the Oklahoma State. at the Aztec Tennis Center on Jan. 12.

The Aztecs (0-1) faced a top 25 program in the Cowboys (1-0) who turned out to be a handful after sweeping them in both singles and doubles.

Here are three observations from the match.

1. Doubles play creates early deficit

Three doubles matches were played on Sunday with two of them favoring the visiting side.

The pair of juniors Ignacio Martinez and Aaro Pollanen kicked things off for the Aztecs on the No. 1 court but fell 6-2 to the duo of Dominik Kellovsky and Matej Vocel on the Cowboys.

In an unusual fashion, the match on the other court ended up being retired after junior Jan Kirchhoff and senior Rafael Almazan posted a 4-4 score line which granted the Aztecs one more chance to tie things up before singles matches.

However, SDSU seniors Arnaud Restifo and Fabian Roensdorf suffered a 6-3 loss, which gave the Cowboys a 1-0 lead on the overall team scoreboards to start the day.

2. Straight set dropouts

The Aztecs hoped to turn things around in singles but instead were nearly swept across the board with five out of six matches ending in straight sets.

The lone exception was Pollanen’s match against Kellovsky which saw a 10-point tiebreaker to determine the winner in the third set.

It was the longest match of the day with both players pushing their limits.

Kellovsky appeared to be pulling away for the Cowboys after leading 8-4 in the tiebreaker, but after a self-inflicting error and a pair of aces from Pollanen, the Aztecs had new life with the score 8-7.

Something had to give with Kellovsky pulling through for the Cowboys following back-to-back points to seal the match win for Oklahoma State.

“The first match of the season is never easy,” Pollanen said. “After the doubles and at the beginning of singles I started feeling good. At the end it came down to a few points.”

3. Learning from loss

No team ideally wants to start the season with a loss, but Kirchhoff took a positive approach and said it can only help the Aztecs going forward.

“In sports, it’s always like this. You learn when you lose. When you win, you just win,” the junior said. “I think it’s better to have the losses early in the season to learn and finish strong.”

After having a team-high 23 victories in singles competition last year, Kirchhoff said his focus lies on helping the team get one step closer to winning a conference championship and bid into the national tournament.

“This is what all the players on the whole team thinks,” Kirchhoff said. “This is what we are striving for.”

Aztecs head coach Gene Carswell had similar sediments but said the team has the work cut out for them.

“I thought in a lot of spots we competed, but it shows the guys the direction we need to go,” Carswell said. “We want to be the class of the conference. We’ve got our sights set, but it’s also important to show we can compete.”

Next for SDSU…

The Aztecs will travel for their next match but stay within town to face UC San Diego on Jan. 18 at the Santaluz Club.

About the Contributor
Cristian Alvarez
Cristian Alvarez, Staff Writer
Cristian Alvarez is a sixth-year journalism student at SDSU. Currently, Cristian is in his second year at The Daily Aztec. Through his passion for many sports, he has covered a variety of teams but most notably men's soccer, women's lacrosse and women's basketball. A devoted fan of the UFC, Manchester United, San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Chargers and Vegas Golden Knights, Cristian takes pleasure in attending sporting events while getting to unfold the stories in between the lines. Follow him on Twitter for the latest updates @AlvarezTheViper.
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San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913
Men’s tennis swept by No. 15 Oklahoma State in spring opener