April 19, 2013
MEMPHIS - Despite a hard fought effort, the third-seeded Tulane men's tennis team fell to No. 6 seed Rice, 4-3, in the quarterfinals of the 2013 Conference USA Men's Tennis Championships on Friday afternoon at the Dunavant-Wellford Tennis Center on the campus of the University of Memphis.
"This was a real heartbreaker for us," Tulane head coach Mark Booras said. "Our guys all fought so hard today, and this year, and today it came down to the last match, like a great college match should."
Rice (11-13), the 74th-ranked team in the nation, won the doubles point to get the afternoon started and won on courts three, four and five in singles.
"Rice got the jump on us by playing a great doubles point and it turns out that was the difference maker," Booras added. "Dominik, Idan and Ian played very well today to put us on the board. Dominik got some revenge over the guy he lost to last week to get a huge win, and Idan got another win over one of their strongest positions. It was good to get Ian back in the wins column after being out of the lineup for a while."
Van Cott got past Leif Berger, 6-3, 6-2, on court six, while Mark earned a 6-4, 6-0 win over Adam Gustafsson on court two.
Koepfer defeated Rice's Jonathan Chang, 6-4, 6-3, on court one to give Tulane its third point to even the match at 3-3.
The clinching match came on court three where Rice's Tommy Bennett upended Joe Young , 6-7, 6-2, 6-2.
Rice advanced to the Saturday's semifinals and will face No. 2 seed Memphis.
Tulane's most successful season since 2005 came to a close on Friday.
"The guys worked hard all year and kept on believing in themselves and the results started to show halfway through the season to the end," Booras said. "I'm proud of this whole team for all of their investments this year. Everyone chipped in throughout the year and bought into our game plan for success. We put ourselves in a good position to compete for the conference title, but as we all know, in conference tournaments anything can happen and everybody has a shot. We knew we had a chance to go far in the tournament this year which makes this a tougher pill to swallow."