Mustangs Fall To Tulsa In Conference USA Semifinals, 4-2

Go smu! Alex Sanders
Go smu!
Alex Sanders
Go smu!

April 20, 2013

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (SMU) - Arturs Kazijevs and Alex Sanders each won singles matches, but top-seeded Tulsa prevailed 4-2 in the Conference USA semifinals over the Mustangs on Saturday.

SMU (11-10) fell behind 1-0 as Tulsa (15-6) took the first two doubles decisions, at the first and third positions. Clifford Marsland and Alejandro Espejo defeated SMU's 83rd-ranked doubles pair Arturs Kazijevs and Mischa Nowicki 8-2, while Carlos Bautista and Japie De Klerk beat Nate Lammons and Eduardo Razzeto 8-4.

Tulsa then won the first singles match at the No. 2 spot, with 48th-ranked Marsland beating Gaston Cuadranti in straight sets 6-4, 6-3. SMU bounced back at the fourth spot as Alex Sanders beat Alejandro Espejo 6-4, 6-3. Lammons then fell at the sixth spot to Tristan Jackson 7-6 (7-2), 6-4.

Kazijevs brought SMU back to within one point at 3-2 with a victory over De Klerk, the 41st-ranked player in the nation. His 7-5, 7-5 victory kept the Mustangs alive and within two singles victories of a berth in the C-USA finals.

Tulsa clinched victory, however, with a three-set win at the No. 5 position. Bautista took a 6-1 win in the first set over Nowicki, but Nowicki was able to bounce back in the second set to win 7-6 (7-5). The decisive third set was taken by Bautista, 6-3. Pablo Perez-Esnaola was tied in the third set of his match against Grant Ive when Tulsa sealed the win.

SMU Head Coach Carl Neufeld was proud of his team's effort against a talented Tulsa squad.

"We had a disappointing loss in doubles, although Tulsa is very good in doubles," Neufeld said. "In singles we fought extremely hard and put ourselves in a position to win but didn't. Tulsa is a well-coached team and I congratulate them on an extremely hard-fought match."

The loss concludes SMU's season. Tulsa will play Memphis in the C-USA Championship tomorrow at 12 p.m. CT.

Tennis Match Results
SMU vs Tulsa
Apr 20, 2013 at Memphis, Tenn.

#23 Tulsa 4, #72 SMU 2

Singles competition
1. Arturs Kazijevs (SMU) def. #41 Japie De Klerk (TLS) 7-5, 7-5
2. #48 Clifford Marsland (TLS) def. Gaston Cuadranti (SMU) 6-4, 6-3
3. Grant Ive (TLS) vs. Pablo Perez-Esnaola (SMU) 3-6, 6-3, 1-1, unfinished
4. Alex Sanders (SMU) def. Alejandro Espejo (TLS) 6-4, 6-3
5. Carlos Bautista (TLS) def. Mischa Nowicki (SMU) 6-1, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3
6. Tristan Jackson (TLS) def. Nate Lammons (SMU) 7-6 (7-2), 6-4

Doubles competition
1. Clifford Marsland/Alejandro Espejo (TLS) def. #83 Arturs Kazijevs/Mischa Nowicki (SMU) 8-2
2. Tristan Jackson/Grant Ive (TLS) vs. Gaston Cuadranti/Alex Sanders (SMU) 7-8, unfinished
3. Carlos Bautista/Japie De Klerk (TLS) def. Nate Lammons/Eduardo Razzeto (SMU) 8-4

Match Notes:
SMU 11-10; National ranking #72
Tulsa 15-6; National ranking #23
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (2,4,6,1,5)
T-3:27