The Cal Poly men’s tennis team (2-4) was defeated 4-2 by No. 38 San Diego State at home on Sunday afternoon. Despite securing an early 1-0 lead with their doubles performances, the No. 58 Mustangs were bested by the Aztecs in singles play and saw their two-match winning streak come to an end.
In doubles, Cal Poly took control at the No. 1 and 3 positions as sophomores Karl Enander and Dan Cardiff won 6-2, posting their second victory of the weekend. San Diego State responded by ousting Cal Poly’s No. 2 doubles team.
Doubles play persisted on Court One. At 5-4, junior Corey Pang served for the match, allowing him and his partner, junior Ben Donovan, to close in and take control of the net. It was not long before the duo captured the doubles point for the Mustangs, winning 6-4.
The Aztecs obtained their first two wins at the No. 5 and 6 singles positions. At No. 6, Cal Poly freshman Rafael Lenhard was tied at 4-4 in his first set, but was defeated in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3 by Jonas Meinzer. At No. 5, sophomore Axel Damiens dropped his first set, but countered by taking the second set.
Damiens could be heard across all six courts yelling, “Fight, Mustangs, fight.”
In spite of his comeback, Damiens was ousted by Cornelius Kolb 6-2, 1-6, 6-1.
The Aztecs led 2-1, but the overall victory was still up for grabs two hours into the singles matches. Four out of the six singles matches were pushed to the third set.
At No. 2 singles, junior Garrett Auproux was also within reach of forcing his match to a third set. After dropping his first set to Hendrik Jebens, Auproux continued to grind his opponent down in his second set to reach 6-6. Auproux lost the tiebreaker by two points, losing the match 6-3, 7-6.
Freshman Josh Ortlip lost his first set at the No. 5 singles position. However, Ortlip gave the Mustangs another point on the scoreboard and a fighting chance when he prevailed against Sander Gjoels-Andersen 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.
The Aztecs led 4-2 and only needed one more singles win to clinch the victory. The two matches that remained featured Pang at No 3 singles and Donovan at No. 1 singles.
Donovan just started his third set, as Pang headed into the final moments of his match. Pang fought off two match points and forced a tiebreaker in his third set.
One court separated the matches.
“Let’s go Pang, I got you,” Donovan said.
But San Diego State picked up the match win when Pang was conquered by Milen Ianakiev 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 and Donovan’s match was suspended.
San Diego State marks the Mustangs’ fourth opponent of the season ranked in the Top 60. The Mustangs travel to play Loyola Marymount on Sunday, Feb. 14.