Aztecs Face Air Force on Friday in MW Tournament Opener

SAN DIEGO – San Diego State’s men’s tennis team opens the 2022 Mountain West Championship at 2 pm MT on Friday, April 29, when it squares off against Air Force in the quarterfinal round at the Falcons home courts at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Live stats and a link to streaming video will be available on GoAztecs.com via the Mountain West Network.

San Diego State (7-11, 3-3 Mountain West) earned the No. 4 seed in this week’s tournament after finishing in a three-way tie with Air Force (15-8, 3-3 MW) and New Mexico (9 -12, 3-3 MW) at the end of the regular season. The tiebreaker was determined by the ITA rankings as of April 23. The Lobos earned the 3-seed and Falcons the 5-seed.

Nevada (13-5, 5-1 MW) is the top seed, while Utah State (11-10, 4-2 MW) earned the No. 2 seed. Boise State (13-10, 2-4 MW) and UNLV (11-13, 1-5 MW) garnered the No. 6 and No. 7 seeds, respectively.

The other conference quarterfinals matchups on Friday feature Utah State vs. UNLV and New Mexico vs. Boise State, both at 11 am MT, and depending on the weather, the matches will be played at either Air Force’s indoor or outdoor facilities.

If the Aztecs emerge victorious over the Falcons, they will face No. 1 seed Nevada in the semifinals on Saturday, April 30 at 2 pm MT. The two winners from the semifinal round will battle in the championship final on Sunday, May 1 at 1 pm MT.
SDSU defeated Air Force, 4-1, on March 13 at the Aztec Tennis Center. San Diego State dropped the doubles point before winning four straight singles matches to open conference play with a victory.

The Aztecs are led by senior Joe Tyler who has 10 victories in dual-match competition, while sophomore Judson Blair and junior Victor Castro have won eight and seven duals this spring, respectively. Tyler, a transfer from Iowa, has entrenched himself at the top of the Aztecs ladder, posting a 7-4 record at the No. 1 position while Castro is 6-4 at No. 3.

Including the fall tournament schedule, Tyler (16-8) and Blair (15-15) are just two of the Scarlet and Black’s five double-digit match winners. Castro (12-15), Alexander Mandma (12-14), and Johannes Seeman (10-14) are the other three Aztecs with at least 10 victories.

In doubles action, Tyler has combined with Castro to produce a 6-5 record in the No. 1 spot. In addition, Blair and Mandma have been hot of late, winning three in a row at No. 3, including a 7-5 conquest of Nevada’s Daniel Dudockin and Juan Batalla last Saturday.

Elsewhere, Tyler has collected two Mountain West Player of the Week honors this season, on March 2 and Feb. 9.

For the Falcons, Robert Baylon leads Air Force with a 13-4 singles record in dual matches playing exclusively at the No. 1 position, while Jonathan Mascagni is 14-6 overall and 13-6 at No. 2. In addition, Arjun Kersten has compiled a 15-3 mark this spring alternating between the No. 2 and No. 5 spots on the AFA ladder.

In doubles, Baylon and Jordan Azuma have been Air Forces’ most successful duo this spring, posting a 12-3 record in the No. 1 spot, while Mascagni and Kersten have joined forces to compile an 6-4 ledger at No. 2.
San Diego State is 33-2 against Air Force and has captured 33 of the last 34 meetings. The Aztecs are 7-0 against the Falcons in conference tournaments, including 4-0 in Mountain West tournament history, and have shut out Air Force 4-0 in each of its previous quarterfinal meetings (2004, 2010 & 2016) as MW foes. SDSU has only allowed more than one point to the Falcons in conference tournament play, a 3-2 win in the 1989 Western Athletic Conference championship match.

The Aztecs have won six straight openers at the MW Championship, including a 4-1 victory over 5-seeded UNLV in 2019, the last time the league hosted a conference tournament.

-SDSU-

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