54th Rice Invite up next
Senior Michael Nuesslein posted a straight-set win over San Diego’s Victor Pugliese, but his Rice Owls teammates had little luck of their own as the Toreros completed a weekend sweep through the Texas collegiate tennis scene with a 5-1 win Rice on Saturday. Heavy rains on Friday night and Saturday morning forced the match indoors to the Galleria Tennis and Athletic Club.
Nuesslein score the Owls lone point on the day, winning both sets 6-2, to raise his season dual record to 10-1. His 10 wins this season match his career-best with Rice and are five shy of his collegiate high of 15 as a freshman and South Florida in 2008.
After falling just out of the top 30 for the first time in the last four weeks, the 31st ranked Toreros made a strong bid to advance after upsetting #11 Texas on Friday night and then topped the 52nd ranked Owls on Saturday.
Due to the move indoors, the match order was reversed and the schools faced off first in singles, with the first four positions opening the action. USD quickly moved to a 3-0 lead with wins at No. 2, 3 and 4, but Rice’s Sam Garforth-Bles, playing No. 1 dual singles for the first time in his career, would not relinquish the clinching point without a fight.
The senior from Bragg Creek, Alberta, who was playing in his 80th career singles match, grabbed the first set against the Toreros 63rd ranked Nikola Bubnic, the Owls’ lone opening set win among the four fist matches. Bubnic raced back to take the second set 6-1, but the two held serve through the first six games. But Bubnic found his serving rhythm over the last four games to provide the clinching point for USD.
The Owls will continue their homestand next weekend when they host #37 Memphis, #72 Tulane and Iowa in the 54th annual Rice Invitational Friday through Sunday. Opening matches each day are set for 9 am, with the Owls scheduled for first serve at noon each day.
San Diego vs Rice
3/10/2012 at Houston, Texas
(Galleria Tennis & Athletic Club)
#31 San Diego 5, #52 Rice 1
1. #63 Nikola Bubnic (USD) def. Sam Garforth-Bles (RICE) 4-6, 6-1, 6-4
2. #80 Patrick Pohlmann (USD) def. Harry Fowler (RICE) 6-2, 6-3
3. Clarke Spinosa (USD) def. Jonathan Chang (RICE) 6-4, 6-3
4. #102 Thibaut Visy (USD) def. Christian Saravia (RICE) 6-2, 6-2
5. Michael Nuesslein (RICE) def. Victor Pugliese (USD) 6-2, 6-2
6. Ciaran Fitzgerald (USD) def. Philipp Seifert (RICE) 6-1, 6-2
(No Doubles competition)
San Diego 6-4; National ranking #31
Rice 8-4; National ranking #52
Order of finish: Doubles (); Singles (2,4,3,1,5,6)