March 22, 2013
SAN DIEGO ----- The No. 73 UAB men's tennis team mounted a strong comeback after falling behind 3-0 to 72nd-ranked Oklahoma State Friday, but the Cowboys came up with a key win at No. 6 singles to secure a 4-2 win on the second day of play at the Hilton San Diego Mission Valley Spring Classic.
The Blazers (12-9), who had won 10 of their last 12 matches before the tournament, trimmed the OSU lead to 3-2 with wins at No. 1 singles by David Zimmerman and at No. 4 by Chris Helliar.
With close matches being played at No. 3 and 6 singles, the Cowboys (8-6) needed just one win on either court while UAB needed to sweep both to come back for the victory.
Oklahoma State's Brady Bohrnstedt provided the clincher for his team as he claimed a 7-6 (3), 7-5 win over the Blazers' Lucas Dirube at the No. 6 position.
The match between OSU's Matt Campbell and UAB's Rafael Rondino at No. 3 stopped once the Cowboys had captured their fourth point. Campbell was ahead, 6-4, 4-6, 5-4, at the time the match was halted.
OSU took a 1-0 lead on the strength of doubles wins at No. 2 and No. 3. The Cowboys' duo of Denys Pume and Richard Del Nunzio, ranked No. 43 nationally, defeated UAB's team of Dirube and Helliar at No. 2, 8-4, while Bohrnstedt and Okelsly Arovin were 8-2 winners over the Blazer tandem of Luiz Felipe Pinto and Rondino at No. 3, 8-2.
Zimmerman and Tom Puetz were down 6-5 at No. 1 for UAB to Rifat Biktyakov and Campbell when OSU notched the doubles point.
Del Nunzio made it 2-0 Cowboys with a 6-3, 6-1 win at No. 5 singles over Pinto. But that would be the only match singles that proved to be lopsided.
Chris Haworth rallied at No. 2 singles over UAB's Puetz, 1-6, 6-0, 6-2, to give OSU a 3-0 advantage, but that's win the Blazer rally started.
Zimmerman made it 13 singles wins in a row at No. 1 with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-0 triumph over Biktyakov. Helliar, who is also having an outstanding season for the Blazers, cut the Cowboys' lead to 3-2 with a 7-6 (4), 7-5 win at the No. 4 spot over Pume.
UAB will play its final match of the weekend Saturday.
No. 72 Oklahoma State 4, No. 73 UAB 2
No. 1 - Rifat Biktyakov/ Matt Campbell vs. Tom Puetz/David Zimmerman (UAB), 6-5, unf.
No. 2 - Denys Pume/ Richard Del Nunzio (OSU) def. Lucas Dirube/Chris Helliar (UAB), 8-4
No. 3 - Brady Bohrnstedt/Oleksly Arovin (OSU) def. Luiz Felipe Pinto/Rafael Rondino (UAB), 8-2
Order of finish: 3, 2
No. 1 - David Zimmermann (UAB) def. Rifat Biktyakov (OSU) 6-3, 4-6, 6-0
No. 2 - Chris Haworth (OSU) def. Tom Puetz (UAB) 1-6, 6-0, 6-2
No. 3 - Matt Campbell (OSU) vs. Rafael Rondino (UAB) 6-4, 4-6, 5-4, unf.
No. 4 - Chris Helliar (UAB) def. Denys Pume (OSU), 7-6 (4) 7-5
No. 5 - Richard Del Nunzio (OSU) def. Luiz Pinto (UAB) 6-3, 6-1
No. 6 - Brady Bohrnstedt (OSU) def. Lucas Dirube (UAB) 7-6 (3), 7-5
Order of finish: 5, 2, 1, 4, 6
Records: UAB 12-9, Oklahoma State 8-6