April 15, 2012
NEW ORLEANS - The 26th-ranked team in the nation proved too much for the Tulane men's tennis team on Sunday afternoon at the Goldring Tennis Center as Tulsa got past the Green Wave, 5-0, in the Conference USA dual match that concluded the regular season.
Tulsa (15-8, 4-0 C-USA) won the doubles point and snapped Tulane's (12-10, 3-5 C-USA) six-match win streak, but the Green Wave duo of Idan Mark and Joe Young upset the sixth-ranked pair of Clifford Marsland and Ashley Watling, 8-5, on court one. Mark and Young have now claimed wins in 11 of the last 12 matches and finished the regular season with a perfect 6-0 record in C-USA play.
"Idan and Joe did a great job today in touch conditions against one of the best teams in the country," Tulane head coach Mark Booras said. "With the whole match on the line there is so much pressure in so many different areas so for them to compete like that against a great team shows the level they have grown to over the last two years."
Marsland and Watling entered Sunday with a 16-5 dual match record and had won all three of their previous conference outings.
Tulsa won the point with wins on courts two and three. Court three was decided in a tie-breaker with Japie De Klerk and Alejandro Espejo edging Rodrigo Rappaccioli and Shaye Wali, 8-6, in the tie-breaker for a 9-8 victory.
"We had match point on court three and had it on our racquet and it got away," Booras said. "That sets things differently with momentum. Maybe it took a little bit of wind out of our sails. We kind of came back in singles, but against a top team like Tulsa it can be tough. They can smell the blood in the water and go after it. I'm proud of the way we fought today. Tulsa is a really solid team, but today's performance should really help us as we get ready for next week."
Singles were all decided in straight sets with Watling, the 83rd-ranked player in the nation, clinching the team victory with a 6-2, 6-4, win over Wali on court three.
Tulane will return to action Thursday when the Conference USA Championships get underway in Orlando, Fla., at UCF. The Green Wave's seeding and pairing will be announced by the conference office on Monday.