Male Tennis Athlete of the Week
Rice senior Sam Garforth-Bles has been honored by Conference USA as the Male Tennis Athlete of the Week in recognition of his standout work over the weekend at the 54th Rice Invitational.
Garforth-Bles, making his first home appearance in the No. 1 singles position, posted a 3-0 record on the weekend, including a pair of tough battles against conference foes in which he delivered the clinching point.
In the opening round of play on Friday against 34th ranked Memphis, he outlasted the Tigers’ David O’Hare 7-6, 7-6 to give the 64th ranked Owls their fourth point of the day. After a straight set win over Matt Hagan of Iowa on Saturday, Garforth-Bles rallied from a 4-1 deficit in the second set against Tulane’s Idan Mark to take the set 7-5 and then clinch the match with a 6-1 win in the final set as the Owls downed 63rd ranked Tulane 4-3.
This is Garforth-Bles’ first career C-USA athlete of the week honor, but the senior from Bragg Creek, Alberta Canada earned second-team all conference honors in both singles and doubles last year and is a three-time member of the C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll.
Garforth-Bles and the rest of his Owl teammates will be on the road the next several weeks for a series of matches against ranked opponents. The road swing opens on Friday in Las Vegas when they face UNLV and continues on Saturday when they face 49th ranked Denver. They will be back on the Jake Hess Tennis Stadium courts on April 6 when they host Texas A&M Corpus Christi.