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The 69th Blue Gray Tennis Classic came to an end on Saturday with the Rice men and Auburn women capturing titles by winning three matches in a 30-hour window. Rice started the day on Friday with a 4-0 win over Boise State and then Rice and Virginia Tech met in the semifinals with the doubles point played on Friday while singles was played Saturday morning. Rice only dropped two points in doubles and then the Owls won 9 of 11 sets in singles with David Warren clinching the 4-0 win. In Saturday afternoon’s championship match, Rice took the doubles point with wins at No. 1 and No. 2 but then the teams split first sets in singles. South Carolina picked up straight set wins from Andrew Schafer and Alex Fennell while Rice’s Tommy Bennett won in straight sets for Rice. With the match tied at 2-2 each of the remaining matches would be decided by few points late in the third set. 

South Carolina’s Yancy Dennis served for the match at No. 3 up 5-4 in the third but Rice’s Jake Hansen broke back, held, and broke again to win 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 which put Rice ahead 3-2. Rice sophomore Eric Rutledge would clinch the match at No. 5 by breaking Thomas Mayronne’s 4-4 third set service game and then serving the match out to take it 3-6, 6-2, 6-4. The match at No. 1 went unfinished with Rice’s Jamie Malik leading 4-2 in the third set tiebreak after Malik had fought off two match points to force the tiebreak 


#46 Rice 4, #16 South Carolina 2
2/25/2017 at Montgomery, AL (Lagoon Park Courts)
Singles competition
1. #43 Gabriel Friedrich (SC) vs. Jamie Malik (RICE) 2-6, 6-3, 6-6 (2-4), unfinished
2. Tommy Bennett (RICE) def. Harrison O’Keefe (SC) 6-3, 6-3
3. Jake Hansen (RICE) def. Yancy Dennis (SC) 6-3, 4-6, 7-5
4. Andrew Schafer (SC) def. David Warren (RICE) 6-3, 7-6
5. Eric Rutledge (RICE) def. Thomas Mayronne (SC) 3-6, 6-2, 6-4
6. Alex Fennell (SC) def. Emanuel Llamas (RICE) 7-5, 6-3
Doubles competition
1. #12 Tommy Bennett/David Warren (RICE) def. Alex Fennell/Sam Swank (SC) 6-3
2. Emanuel Llamas/Oscar Janglin (RICE) def. Yancy Dennis/Harrison O’Keefe (SC) 7-5
3. Gabriel Friedrich/Paul Jubb (SC) vs. Jake Hansen/Eric Rutledge (RICE) 4-5, unfinished
Match Notes
Rice 9-4; National ranking #46
South Carolina 10-2; National ranking #16
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (6,2,4,3,5)
9th Annual Blue Gray National Tennis Classic Championship Match

Post-Match Quotes from Rice’s recap
“What a great match and great way to end this tournament,” Rice head coach Efe Ustundag said. “The way we started out, I thought we might run away with it, but South Carolina came back strong and for a while they looked better than us. We had guys starting to cramp up, but we dug deep and found an additional gear at the end.”

Post-Match Quotes from SC’s recap
“I’m so proud of our guys. We came up short today and that’s the way it goes sometimes. We were down the entire way and could have easily tapped out, but they fought their tails off and finally put themselves in position to win with the match tied at 2-2. Gabe had match points at one and Yancy served for the match at three. I can’t ask for much more than that from our guys. I am tremendously proud of the team.” – head coach Josh Goffi
The eighth ranked Auburn women won the Blue Gray Classic by defeating No. 5 Texas Tech 4-2. Texas Tech won the doubles point and picked up a straight set win from Katelyn Jackson at No. 6 but Auburn swept the top four spots including a 6-0, 6-1 win by Andie Dikosavljevic at No. 2. Auburn earned its spot in the finals with a pair of 4-0 wins over Tulane and Denver.  

#8 Auburn 4, #5 Texas Tech 2
2/25/2017 at Montgomery, AL (Lagoon Park Courts)
Doubles competition
1. #23 Dvorak/Federici (TT) vs. #15 Michaud/Russo (AUB) 5-4, unf. 
2. #33 Maltby/Talaba (TT) def. Dikosavljevic/Griffin (AUB) 7-5
3. Cortina-Pou/Valenstein (TT) def. Axon/van der Zwaan (AUB) 6-4
Singles competition
1. #36 Alizee Michaud (AUB) def. #11 Gabriela Talaba (TT) 2-6, 6-3, 6-2
2. Andie Dikosavljevic (AUB) def. #32 Felicity Maltby (TT) 6-0, 6-1
3. #99 Taylor Russo (AUB) def. Sarah Dvorak (TT) 4-6, 6-0, 6-4
4. Georgie Axon (AUB) def. #106 Alex Valenstein (TT) 6-2, 6-4
5. Sabrina Federici (TT) vs. Alannah Griffin (AUB) 4-6, 6-4, 3-2
6. Katelyn Jackson (TT)  def. Roos van der Zwaan (TT) 6-2, 6-2
Match Notes
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (2,6,4,1,3)
Post-Match Quotes from Auburn’s recap
“I am so proud of the fight and determination of this team,” Auburn head coach Lauren Spencer said. “I have to give credit to Texas Tech. We have played them several times over the years and this is by their best team. To get four singles wins against this team is incredible.”

“After the doubles loss, I challenged the team to empty their tanks and give me everything they had and they responded,” Spencer said. “That is exactly what it took to beat this team.”

“We set a team goal to win Blue Gray and for us to go out and accomplish our goal is a huge confidence builder going into SEC play,” Spencer said.

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For the second day in a row Stanford was close to picking up a big win in LA but once again the Cardinal came up short as UCLA pulled out a 4-2 win. Stanford took the doubles point with wins at No. 2 and No. 3 and then the teams split first sets in singles. Stanford’s Brandon Sutter put the Cardinal ahead 2-0 with a straight set win at No. 6 but UCLA’s Martin Redlicki started the Bruin comeback with a straight set win at No. 2. Austin Rapp came back from a set down to win in three at No. 5, Evan Zhu won a lopsided third set to win at No. 3, and Logan Staggs broke Jack Barber on the no-ad point to go up 4-3 in the third and two games later he’d clinch the match by holding from 40/30 to win 6-4, 6-7, 6-4. 

#15 UCLA 4, #35 Stanford 2
Feb 25, 2017 at Los Angeles, CA (Sunset Canyon Tennis Courts)
Doubles competition
1. #24 Redlicki/Zhu (UCLA) def. Goldberg/Fawcett (STAN) 6-2
2. Genender/Kumar (STAN) def. Cressy/Brymer (UCLA) 6-4
3. Wilczynski/Sutter (STAN) def. Goldberg/A. Rapp (UCLA) 6-1
Singles competition
1. #12 Tom Fawcett (STAN) vs. #10 Gage Brymer (UCLA) 6-4, 6-7 (4), 4-2, unfinished
2. #45 Martin Redlicki (UCLA) def. Sameer Kumar (STAN) 6-2, 7-5
3. Evan Zhu (UCLA) def. #73 Michael Genender (STAN) 6-3, 4-6, 6-1
4. Logan Staggs (UCLA) def. #77 Jack Barber (STAN) 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-4
5. Austin Rapp (UCLA) def. David Wilczynski (STAN) 1-6, 6-4, 6-4
6. Brandon Sutter (STAN) def. #116 Maxime Cressy (UCLA) 6-2, 6-3
Match Notes:
Stanford 6-3; National ranking #35
UCLA 8-3; National ranking #15
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (6,2,5,3,4)
TCU picked up its second ranked win of the year with a 4-1 win over #48 Central Florida. The Horned Frogs took the doubles point with wins at No. 2 and No. 3 and then Cameron Norrie, Alex Rybakov, and Jerry Lopez each cruised to straight set wins at No. 1, 2, and 3 while UCF picked up a quick win from Danny Kerznerman at No. 6.
TCU 4, #48 UCF 1
(Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center)
Singles competition
1. #19 Cameron Norrie (TCU) def. #93 Korey Lovett (UCF-M) 6-2, 6-1
2. Alex Rybakov (TCU) def. Harrison Richmond (UCF-M) 6-3, 6-2
3. #112 Guillermo Nuñez (TCU) def. Enrique Paya (UCF-M) 6-3, 6-2
4. Jerry Lopez (TCU) vs. Chris Barrus (UCF-M) 7-6 (6-3), 1-3, unfinished
5. Reese Stalder (TCU) vs. Mariano Porter (UCF-M) 6-0, 5-6, unfinished
6. Danny Kerznerman (UCF-M) def. Gianni Mancini (TCU) 6-1, 6-1
Doubles competition
1. Korey Lovett/Harrison Richmond (UCF-M) def. Reese Stalder/Jerry Lopez (TCU) 6-3
2. #14 Guillermo Nuñez/Alex Rybakov (TCU) def. Chris Barrus/Enrique Paya (UCF-M) 6-4
3. Cameron Norrie/Gianni Mancini (TCU) def. Danny Kerznerman/Mariano Porter (UCF-M) 6-0
Match Notes:
UCF 6-2; National ranking #48
TCU 4-3
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (1,6,3,2)
Post-Match Quotes from TCU’s recap
“I thought it was a very important match for us. We needed to get back into our competitive ways. We have been struggling so far this season and we have had two really good weeks of practice, hitting the gym hard with our fitness coach and committing ourselves to a higher degree of effort and purpose in practice. I thought there was a chance today that we would come out and take care of business and that is exactly what happened. I am proud of the guys.” – head coach David Roditi

“The doubles point was nice. It got really close at No. 2 doubles and it was good for us to pull it out and at home because it is hard for a team to come in and win four singles from us. Obviously Cameron (Norrie) made a very good player look pretty bad and it was good to see Guillermo (Nuñez) get a win. (Alex) Rybakov finishing with an ace was an exclamation mark on the match.” – head coach David Roditi

Post-Match Quote from UCF’s recap
“TCU played a good match today,” said head coach John Roddick. “We had some chances, but didn’t capitalize often enough. We are looking forward to more opportunities this weekend.”


#22 Tulane came back from a Friday loss to #20 Mississippi State with a 4-1 win over #38 NC State in a match that was played in Starkville. The Green Wave took the doubles point with wins at No. 1 and No. 2 and Constantin Schmitz, Ewan Moore, Tyler Schick, and Chi-Shan Jao won singles matches in straight sets. NC State picked up wins from Alexis Galarneau and Georgiy Malyshev at No. 3 and No. 5. 

#22 Tulane 5, #38 North Carolina State 2
Feb 25, 2017 at Starkville, Miss.
Singles competition
1. #37 Constantin Schmitz (TLN) def. Igor Saveljic (NCST) 6-2, 6-4
2. Ewan Moore (TLN) def. #58 Nick Horton (NCST) 7-6 (7-4), 6-2
3. #72 Alexis Galarneau (NCST) def. #110 Sebastian Rey (TLN) 6-3, 6-1
4. Tyler Schick (TLN) def. Michael Ogden (NCST) 6-2, 6-1
5. Georgiy Malyshev (NCST) def. Tim Ruetzel (TLN) 6-3, 0-6, 1-0 (10-4)
6. Chi-Shan Jao (TLN) def. Ivan Saveljic (NCST) 6-1, 6-1
Doubles competition
1. Constantin Schmitz/Chi-Shan Jao (TLN) def. Nick Horton/Alexis Galarneau (NCST) 6-1
2. Tyler Schick/Ewan Moore (TLN) def. Ivan Saveljic/Michael Ogden (NCST) 6-3
3. Sebastian Rey/Tim Ruetzel (TLN) vs. Igor Saveljic/Georgiy Malyshev (NCST) 4-3, unfinished 
Post-Match Quote from Tulane’s recap
“Great response out of the gate by our entire team,” Tulane head coach Mark Booras said. “From the first point in doubles we looked like a different team then yesterday. I like how we carried the momentum through singles and executed well under pressure in several spots to pick up another solid win.”
Other Saturday Scores
  • Southern Utah, which won its first-ever match a little over a week ago, picked up program win No. 2 on Saturday with a 5-2 win over Colorado Mesa. 
  • #3 Wake Forest dropped the doubles point (Valero/Schipanski def. #1 Mansouri/Seraphim 6-3) but cruised past Tennessee in singles and won 6-1
  • #11 Baylor won a doubleheader on Saturday with a 4-0 win over Abilene Christian and a 4-1 win over UT Arlington
  • #14 Georgia Tech swept a doubleheader over Furman and the Citadel with the Jackets winning 6-1 and 7-0. 
  • #31 Wisconsin defeated #43 Clemson 4-1 in a match that was played in Ithaca, NY – four of six singles matches went three sets with freshman Daniel Soyfer clinching 7-6 in the third at No. 6
  • #36 Duke won a pair by defeating Coastal Carolina 7-0 and Charlotte 6-1
  • BYU upset #42 Drake 4-2 in a match played in Eugene, Oregon – the Cougars won what turned out to be a pivotable doubles point with Aidan Carrazedo and Sam Tullis winning the decider 7-6 (16-14). Carrazedo also played in the deciding singles match as well winning 7-6, 3-6, 6-2 over Bayo Philips at No. 6. 
  • San Diego defeated UC Irvine 6-1 and St. Mary’s 4-0
  • Brown ran its record to 8-2 with a 5-2 win over Elon and a 7-0 shutout of UConn. 
  • Miami held off Florida Gulf Coast 4-3 with Nile Clark winning the decider 7-6, 7-5 at No. 6 
  • Fresno State coached by Luke Shields, knocked off Arizona, coached by Clancy Shields, 4-3 as Xander Veys clinched at No. 1 with a 7-6, 6-2 win over Shoti Meparidze.