The Cal Poly men’s tennis team bounced back from their loss to No. 7 Texas A&M last weekend by taking down San Diego State Feb. 3 and Fresno State Feb 4. With the two wins, the Mustangs now sit at 5-1.
Cal Poly vs. San Diego State
Cal Poly men’s tennis fell behind early in doubles sets against San Diego State, but the Mustangs stormed back with a come-from-behind win by junior Dominic Bechard and senior Karl Enander to win their home opener 5-2.
The Mustangs fell behind 4-1 but were able to win six of the next seven games, securing a 7-5 set victory.
“Both me and Dom weren’t playing our best tennis, and we definitely knew that these were players we could beat,” Enander said. “We were the better team, it was just a matter of relaxing and realizing if you stick to the basics … [and] play big target tennis.”
Senior Axel Damiens and junior Josh Ortlip played against Aztecs senior Santiago Cevallos and sophomore Arnaud Restifo in the deciding doubles set, which went to a tiebreaker after the Aztecs double faulted on set point when they were up 5-4.
During the tiebreaker, the Aztecs had another set point at 6-5, but the Mustangs rallied to win three points in a row, claiming the set 7-6 and the doubles point for the Mustangs. According to Ortlip, the Mustangs needed to get back to the basics to win this match.
“For the tiebreaker in doubles, we knew since we had blown a lead earlier in the set we had to really just bear down and play simple tennis,” Ortlip said.
In singles play, a key win by sophomore Antoine Noel gave the Mustangs a 3-1 lead, putting the team within one point of victory. Ortlip found himself in the deciding match again after splitting his first two sets. In the third set he finished off his opponent 6-2 to clinch the victory over the Aztecs.
According to associate head coach Garrett Patton, Ortlip, who was recently named Cal Poly’s Coca-Cola Athlete of the Week, is the clutch player the team looks to when they desperately need to win a set.
“He is the rock of our team. He is the guy we can rely on to come through … and he did,” Patton said.
Cal Poly vs. Fresno State
Cal Poly men’s tennis completed the weekend with a 4-2 win over Fresno State, marking the team’s second win in a row and solidifying their spot at the top of the Big West.
Ortlip opened singles play with a win over Fresno State’s Xander Veys 6-4, 6-1, for his fourth win in five singles matches this season. Damiens and Noel followed with wins over their opponents.
The Bulldogs came back to win the last two singles matches, closing the lead to 3-2 in favor of Cal Poly. However, the Mustangs dominated in doubles play, as the Ortlip-Damiens duo remained undefeated in doubles play after a 5-4, 6-3 win.
Cal Poly will play in the Arizona State University Invitational this weekend, in a rematch against Fresno State Friday at 11 a.m. The Mustangs will also play Arizona State Saturday at 12 p.m.