Van Elden Bows Out to Alex Menichini

TULSA, Okla. (OSU Athletics <http://www.okstate.com>) ? Mark Van Elden struggled to get any shots in play and fell to 48th-ranked Alex Menichini of TCU 6-4, 6-4 in the first round of the NCAA Singles Championships at the Michael D. Case Tennis Facility in Tulsa.

Van Elden, ranked No. 24, traded serve with Menichini for much of the first set. When Van Elden needed his serve the most it failed him. Trailing 5-4 in the set, Van Elden double faulted twice and got broke to lose the set 6-4.

?It was tough having to face a lefthander for the first time this year,? Van Elden said. ?I could not even get his serve back. It was not a big serve, but it was just coming from a different angle. I think I only made one or two returns.?

Neither player had as much success with his serve in the second set. Van Elden did not record a single ace after he had seven in the first set. Menichini held his serve every game in the first set, but got broke twice in the second. The difference was Menichini had an extra break and was able to capture the set and close out the match.

?I could not play any worse than I did today,? Van Elden said. ?I have been training so hard for this, and I have hardly lost a match this season. To come out here when it matters the most and lay an egg is just inexcusable. I just did not have the fight that I normally do to pull me out of matches like that.?

?It was a very sad way to end a very good season.?

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