By: Charlotte Brackett
HOUSTON, Texas – No. 45 Dartmouth men’s tennis edged Utah State, 4-3, at the George R. Brown Tennis Center on day two of the 61st Ralph O’Connor Rice Invitational on Saturday.
The Big Green improved to 10-5 overall, while the Aggies fell to 12-6.
“The guys continue to battle,” head coach Chris Drake said. “Utah State put a lot of pressure on us throughout singles and we had to earn everything we got in tough conditions. This was a great team win for us and we’ll be ready for Rice tomorrow.”
A pair of 6-4 doubles wins gave Dartmouth a 1-0 edge. Sophomores Dan Martin and John Speicher defeated Duro Opacic and Felipe Acosta at the No. 3 spot, while classmates Peter Conklin and Casey Ross took down Rithvik Bollipalli and Sergiu Bucur on court two.
Four of the singles matches went to three sets. Utah State tied things up by winning at the No. 4 position, but Martin’s 7-5, 6-4 victory on court three over Bucur put the Green back ahead. Aggie wins at the No. 6 and 2 spots put Utah State up for the first time.
Freshman Sid Chari made it a 3-3 match when he took down Bollipalli, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 on court five, leaving it all down to play at the No. 1 position. No. 34 Charlie Broom won his first set against Isaac Arturo Arevalo, 6-3, but narrowly dropped the second, 7-6. The Big Green junior came back to win the third set, 6-1, to clinch.
Dartmouth will end both the invite and spring break on Sunday when it faces host Rice at 11 a.m.
1) No. 20 Broom/Horneffer (Dartmouth) vs. Arevalo/Carvajal (USU), 5-5, DNF
2) Conklin/Ross (Dartmouth) def. Bollipalli/Bucur (USU), 6-4
3) Martin/Speicher (Dartmouth) def. Opacic/Acosta (USU), 6-4
Order of finish: 3,2
1) No. 34 Broom (Dartmouth) def. Arevalo (USU), 6-3, 6-7, 6-1
2) Carvajal (USU) def. Horneffer (Dartmouth), 5-7, 6-4, 6-1
3) Martin (Dartmouth) def. Bucur (USU), 7-5, 6-4
4) Acosta (USU) def. Conklin (Dartmouth), 6-3, 6-2
5) Chari (Dartmouth) def. Bollipalli (USU), 4-6, 6-2, 6-4
6) Opacic (USU) def. Speicher (Dartmouth), 6-3, 3-6, 6-2
Order of finish: 4,3,6,2,5,1