MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – The No. 49 nationally ranked/No. 2 seed Old Dominion men’s tennis team (19-6) held a 3-0 lead, but would lose a 4-3 heartbreaker to No. 40 nationally ranked/No. 1 seed Rice (23-7) in the 2017 Conference USA Championship on Sunday afternoon at the Adams Tennis Center.
“It's hard to find the right words right now, but I couldn't be more proud of our group today,” said ODU head coach Dominik Mueller. “We poured our hearts out for each other and for ODU. Our nine guys represented our University in a first class manner, like they did all year long. We will come back even stronger next year.”
Doubles victories from Adam Moundir/Javier Jover Maestre (No. 1) and Michael Weindl/Jacob Nicolussi (No. 3) gave ODU a 1-0 lead.
The No. 50 nationally ranked player in the NCAA, Adam Moundir, gave the Monarchs a 2-0 advantage after taking down Jamie Malik in straight sets (6-4, 6-1) in No. 1 singles.
Aziz Kijametovic got the better of Eric Rutledge (6-2, 2-6, 3-3) on Court No. 5 after Rutledge defaulted for his fourth overrule, giving Old Dominion a 3-0 lead.
The Owls came flying back to claim victories in No. 2, No. 6, No. 3 and then No. 4 singles to ultimately lift Rice to its second consecutive Conference USA Championship.
The loss snapped ODU’s five-match win streak. The Monarchs ended the year winning 11 of its last 14 matches and nationally ranked.