Kentucky's Quigley, Musialek, Jha Shine at Day Two of NCAA Championships
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky men’s tennis team had another successful day at the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships on Thursday with seniors Eric Quigley and Alex Musialek earning wins in singles, while Quigley and sophomore Panav Jha earned a win in doubles. The tournament is being played at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga., and is hosted by the University of Georgia.
No. 3 Quigley and No. 15 Musialek both won their second round singles matches to advance to the round of 16. Kentucky is one of four schools in the country with two or more players in the round of 16, joining Virginia, Mississippi State and Ohio State. Quigley and Musialek will continue action Friday with Quigley taking on No. 13 Artem Ilyushin of Mississippi State, while Musialek will battle No. 39 Alex Domijan of Virginia. Times will be announced later.
Quigley and Jha, who are ranked seventh in the nation in doubles, become the first UK tandem to advance out of the first round of the doubles event since Quigley and former UK All-American Brad Cox went to the quarterfinals in 2010. The UK duo will compete in the doubles round of 16 Friday against either No. 13 Jonas Lutjen and Nik Scholtz or Andre Come and Matt Fawcett. Times for doubles will be announced later.
Quigley faced tough competition in the second round, competing against No. 18 Andreas Mies of Auburn. Mies jumped on Quigley early, taking a 3-0 lead in the match before the UK star would win three consecutive games to tie the score 3-3. Both players would hold serve the rest of the set to force a tiebreaker. Mies would again jump out to a lead, going up 4-2 in the tiebreaker before Quigley won five consecutive points to grab the 7-4 win and earn the set. Quigley would have an easier second set, earning a break early to roll to a 6-3 win.
“Very effective and productive match for Eric,” UK head coach Dennis Emery said. “I am really happy with how he came in and took care of business. He will have a tough match tomorrow against Mississippi State’s No. 1 player, who he beat earlier this season.”
The win is Quigley’s 51st of the season, improving his career record to an impressive 169-46. Quigley, who is making his third consecutive appearance in the NCAA Singles Championship, has now advanced to the round of 16 of the event two times. The native of Pewee Valley, Ky., advanced to the round of 16 as a sophomore before falling in the second round last season.
Musialek had a thrilling three-set win for the second day in a roll, taking down No. 52 Ignacio Taboada of Georgia. Musialek started the match fast with a 4-0 lead eventually rolling to a 6-2 first-set win. Both players held their ground in the second set, forcing a tiebreaker that Taboada would eventually win 11-9. Musialek responded from dropping the tiebreaker to take a 2-0 lead in the second set before Taboada knotted the score at 2-2. After both players held serve multiple times, Musialek would break the UGA star at 5-4 to earn the third set 6-4 and advance to the round of 16.
“Musialek was up a set and break and then Taboada got hot and forced a tiebreaker,” Emery said. “Alex played a great third set though and then finished it off with a great game to break there at the end and earn the win. Another tough match for Alex tomorrow against Alex Domijan of Virginia, who spent most of last season ranked first or second in the nation.”
This is the first career appearance for Musialek in the NCAA Singles round of 16 after falling in the second round last season and the first round his sophomore season. The native of Dax, France is now 30-11 on the season in singles, moving his career record to 108-48.
Quigley and Jha concluded the action on day two, earning a first-round win in doubles action against Gregg Cohenca and Evan Zimmer of Bucknell. The UK duo, which is ranked seventh in the nation in doubles and seeded in the 5-8 group, controlled the match from beginning to end, winning the first set 6-2 before completing the victory with a 6-0 win in the second set. Quigley/Jha is now 21-12 on the season.
“Both our guys just played very well in doubles,” Emery said. “Both players served the ball very well and that was the key to the match.”
For NCAA Tournament live scores, streaming video, ticket information and more, visit the tournament central webpage here: http://www.georgiadogs.com/sports/m-tennis/spec-rel/ncaa-2012.html.
Gators End Run at NCAA Men’s Tennis Singles Championships; Doubles Late Tonight
ATHENS, Ga. – Florida’s Nassim Slilam (Paris, France) and Bob van Overbeek (Boca Raton, Fla.) lost their respective second round matches at the NCAA Men’s Tennis Singles Championships Thursday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
Slilam, the only senior on the Gator roster and making his first-ever appearance in the NCAA Singles Championships, battled hard against top-seeded and No. 1-ranked Steve Johnson of Southern California, but the Trojans defending NCAA Singles Champion proved to be too much down the stretch and captured the 6-3, 6-2 decision and recorded his 68th consecutive singles victory.
There was just one break in the first set and it was Johnson who collected the break and rode that to the opening frame win. Johnson then jumped out to a 4-0 lead, before Slilam held and then broke Johnson to get within 4-2. Again Johnson stepped up and broke Slilam for the fourth time in the match, as he served out for the straight-set win.
Slilam returns to the courts late Thursday, when he joins Billy Federhofer (North Miami, Fla.) in the first round of the 32-team NCAA Doubles Championships. The Gator pair, ranked No. 14 in the country, will play VCU’s No. 63 Antoine Baroz and Alexis Heugas.
van Overbeek dropped a tough 4-6, 7-6 (6), 6-1 final to Mississippi State’s Louis Cant in the round of 32. There was only one break in the first set and van Overbeek used his serve to take the first frame. The Gator junior was serving with a 5-3 lead in the second, but wasn’t able to close it out, as the set went to a tiebreak, which Cant took and seemed to use that momentum into the third set.
UF’s Embree and Will Advance at NCAA Women’s Tennis Singles Championships
ATHENS, Ga. – Florida’s Lauren Embree (Marco Island, Fla.) and Allie Will (Boca Raton, Fla.) won their respective singles matches in straight sets on the second day of play at the 2012 NCAA Singles Championships on Thursday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga.
Gator senior Joanna Mather (Duluth, Ga.) and sophomore Sofie Oyen (Leopoldsburg, Belgium) came up short in their respective round of 32 singles matches.
Embree defeated Maryland’s Cristina Stancu, 6-2, 6-2 and advanced to the NCAA Round of 16, where she will play Duke’s No. 2-seeded Beatrice Capra on Friday.
With three straight breaks early in the first set, Embree came out ahead 3-2 and was able to win the remaining games to close out the first set. She jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second behind a pair of breaks, before Stancu was able to get on the board with a break of her own. The Gator All-American came right back with a break and held for a 5-1 lead. Stancu held, but Embree served out for her 20th consecutive singles victory and improved to 31-5 this year and 91-12 in her career.
“I got off to a much better start today than I did yesterday,” Embree said. “I played a little bit more aggressive. Overall, I was happy with how I played. I thought my forehand was lot better than it has been, which is good for me because the more I can attack with my forehand the easier points I’ll have. I feel good and I’m ready for tomorrow.”
Will earned a hard-fought 6-4, 6-4 victory against Southern California’s No. 26-ranked Sabrina Santamaria and advanced to the third round to play Georgia State’s No. 37-ranked Abigail Tere-Apisah.
Will’s entire match was a grind, with just three breaks in a long first set, as the Gator junior was able to break in the ninth game and served out for the first set. There was just one break in the second set and Will was the benefactor of it, taking the lead in the seventh game and holding for a 5-3 lead, eventually serving out for the win after turning away four break points and capitalizing on her second match point. Will improved to 107-12 in her career, including 24-2 this year.
“I felt a lot better today than I did yesterday,” Will said. “I got a little tight closing it out but that was partially because of her because she hit a lot of balls and hit them really deep. I’m just happy about today. I used my forehand a lot more today and forced myself to come forward and come to net and that’s really big for me to come out of my comfort zone like that.”
For Mather, her collegiate singles career came to a close on Thursday, when she dropped a tough 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 decision to Stanford’s No. 3-ranked Nicole Gibbs. The Gator senior jumped out a 5-1 lead and later held at love to take the first frame. The only break in the second set was at Mather’s expense I the 10th game, where she was able to turn away two break points, but not a third and was unable to capitalize on her only game point. Mather wasn’t deterred and raced out to a 3-0 lead, up two breaks in the third set before the wear and tear of having played her 10th match in eight days caught up with her. Gibbs won the final six games to take the win.
Mather caps an outstanding singles career with a 105-32 overall record, including a 34-7 mark this year, as well as a 65-13 ledger in dual match competition.
“She’s amazing warrior,” UF head coach Roland Thornqvist praised. “This tournament is a little unfortunate for those who advance deep in the team event. Jo was up 3-0 in the third set and hit the wall. There wasn’t really much she could do. She’s such a fighter. You have to give credit to Nicole because she kept the ball in play. She played very, very smart. I think she sensed that Jo fatigued and there was really nothing we could do. I felt bad for Joanna. She’s given her heart to this program for four years and she certainly went out like a warrior.”
Oyen dropped a tough 6-3, 6-0 decision to Southern California’s No. 26-ranked Sabrina Santamaria in her second round match. The Gator sophomore ranked No. 61 in the country and was playing in the NCAA Singles Championships for the first time in her career, capped her second collegiate season with a 31-5 singles record, as well as a 61-12 career mark.
All four will return to the court later tonight to compete in the 32-team NCAA Doubles Championships. Oyen and Will drew Baylor’s No. 13-ranked Ema Burgic and Nina Secerbegovic in the first round, while Embree and Mather will play Northwestern’s No. 28-ranked Linda Abu Mushrefova and Nida Hamilton.
Alabama’s Botha and Doverspike move on to NCAA Doubles Round of 16
ATHENS, Ga. – Alabama’s Jarryd Botha and Ricky Doverspike defeated Maryland’s Maros Horny and John Collins, 6-1, 6-3, in the first round of the NCAA Doubles Championship at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex on Thursday. The Crimson Tide duo is now slated to take on the winner of the match between the No. 2 seed team of Steve Johnson and Roberto Quiroz of Southern Cal and Tulsa’s Clifford Marsland and Ashley Watling.
“We played very sharp today,” said Alabama head coach Billy Pate. “Their energy and focus allowed them to execute early and gain momentum quickly. Our preparation has been great, and we were certainly hoping we’d hit the ball in the match as we have in the past few weeks. We did that, and it’s important we perform just as well tomorrow against a very strong team.”
Times for Friday’s Round of 16 matches have yet to be announced.
South Carolina's Morgina Falls in Three Sets in NCAA Second Round
ATHENS, Ga. (May 24, 2012) — South Carolina women’s tennis senior Anya Morgina lost in three sets in the second round of the NCAA Singles Championship on Wednesday to Aeriel Ellis of Texas at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga. The 3-6, 7-6 (11-9), 6-0 loss put Morgina’s final 2011-12 singles record at 21-10.
Morgina grabbed an early break in the first set and looked to move ahead 4-2 on her serve, but Ellis broke her to get to 3-all. Morgina answered back with another break for a 4-3 advantage. Leading 40-15 in the eighth game, Ellis managed to force deuce, but Morgina held for 5-3 and then broke Ellis for the first set after snagging a 15-40 lead in the ninth game.
It appeared Morgina would run away with the match in the second set. Ellis broke Morgina in the first game, but the Gamecock senior stormed back to win four straight games for a 4-1 upper hand heading to the changeover. The next four games, however, saw Morgina commit numerous unforced errors and Ellis won 16 of 19 points during the span to quickly take a 5-4 lead. Morgina fought back to break Ellis’ serve and then had an easy hold of serve to regain the lead at 6-5. Ellis then held serve to force the tiebreaker.
Both players traded points back and forth in the tiebreaker and it was Morgina who ended up with a 6-5 lead for match point. Ellis countered for 6-all, but Morgina gained another match point up 7-6. Ellis again fought off the point and then grabbed set point for herself at 8-7. Morgina then won the next two rallies to set up her third match point, but Ellis battled back to win three points to force a third set.
In the third, Ellis took control from the beginning and capitalized on Morgina’s miscues. Ellis ended up winning six straight games to finish off the match. Morgina’s best chance at taking a game came when she was serving down 5-0. She had game point at 40-30 and then had the ad after the first deuce, but Ellis won three straight points to claim the victory.
Morgina still figures to move up in the final rankings set to be released in June. Currently ranked 45th, Morgina defeated No. 15 Jacqueline Cako of Arizona State in the first round on Wednesday to mark the highest ranked win of her career. Ellis entered today’s match with a ranking of 40th.
South Carolina's Cox and Jones Fall at NCAA Doubles Championships
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina sophomores Chip Cox and Nick Jones dropped their first-round match at the NCAA Men’s Tennis Doubles Championship this afternoon at Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga. Ranked No. 23 in the nation, Cox and Jones could not overcome the nation’s 16th-ranked duo of Henrique Cunha and Chris Mengel of Duke.
Making their individual championship debut, Cox and Jones battled a veteran in Cunha, who had advanced to the doubles quarterfinals each of the last two seasons. After the Blue Devil team won the first set 6-4, the Gamecocks were on serve late into the second set. Duke held for a 5-4 advantage, leaving the balance of the match on Jones’ service game. The teams traded points early before a double fault set up match point, which the Blue Devils won with a crisp cross-court backhand passing shot.
The loss closes out a successful 2011-12 season for South Carolina men’s tennis under second-year head coach Josh Goffi as the Gamecocks finished the season ranked No. 41 in the nation behind a 15-12 record. South Carolina earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2009, and two Gamecocks wrapped up their seasons nationally ranked in singles – Ivan Machado (115) and Andrew Adams (122) – in addition to Cox and Jones earning a No. 23 ranking in doubles.
Rebel Netters Advance At NCAA Singles And Doubles
ATHENS, Ga. – Ole Miss men’s tennis freshman Nik Scholtz erased four match points against North Carolina’s Jose Hernandez to win in three sets and advance to the third round of the NCAA Singles Championship here Thursday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. In doubles, the twins, Marcel Thiemann and Chris Thiemann, advanced to the second round.
Scholtz lost the first set 6-3 and was down 4-2 in the second before rallying to tie it up at 4. Serving at 4-5, Scholtz faced four match points, but finally held. The two would go to a tiebreaker, which Scholtz won 7-4 to force a decisive set. In the third set, Scholtz broke early to go up 2-0 and served it out 6-2 to become the eighth straight Rebel to reach at least the third round in singles.
With the win, the Scholtz won his 20th match of the year, becoming the fourth Rebel to do so this season.
In other singles action, senior Marcel Thiemann, ranked No. 20 in the nation, lost to seventh seed Dennis Nevolo of Illinois in two close sets. Thiemann was up a break early (2-0) in the first set but then lost four straight games and ended up losing the set 6-4. The two players traded breaks to start the second set, but it ended up in a tiebreaker. At 6-6, Nevolo won the final two points to clinch the victory.
With the loss, Thiemann ends his final season with a 22-8 overall record. He had reached the quarterfinals in singles the past two years.
Junior Jonas Lutjen, ranked No. 45 nationally, faced a tough opponent in the second round in Mississippi State’s Artem Ilyushin (9-16 seed). Lutjen fell behind early as Ilyushin went to win the first set 6-0. The second set was close until Lutjen got broke at 2-3. Ilyushin held for a 6-3.
This was Lutjen’s first NCAA appearance and he finishes the year at 24-13.
In the doubles, the Thiemann’s fell behind early, dropping the first set to College of Charleston’s Kyle Parker and Mickael Trintignac 6-3. In the second set, the twins broke twice to win it 6-2. They broke at 3-2 in the third and held to win it 6-4 to reach the second round for the first time in three appearances.
Scholtz and Lutjen weren’t as lucky, dropping a first set tiebreaker 7-6(4) against Andre Dome and Matt Fawcett of Cal-Poly. In the second set, the Cal-Poly team broke and held for 6-3 to win it.
Pluskota & Szekely Take Down NCAA Tournament's Third Seed
ATHENS, Ga. - Senior Natalie Pluskota became the fifth player in Tennessee Lady Vol tennis history to advance to the NCAA Singles Tournament Round of 16, and to earn All-American honors in singles and doubles during her career, accomplishing both with a 5-7, 6-1, 7-5 win over Arizona's Lacey Smyth on Thursday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
Later in the day, she teamed up with junior Kata Szekely to upset third-seeded and fourth-ranked Shinann Featherston and Lauren McHale of North Carolina in doubles 7-6 (2), 6-3 in the opening round of the NCAA Doubles Tournament.
Both Round of 16 matches will be played on Friday. Times have yet to be determined. Pluskota is the second Lady Vol to advance to the Round of 16 in both singles and doubles in the same season.
After dropping a tightly-contested opening set, Pluskota dominated the second frame, 6-1, and raced out to a 5-2 second-set lead. Pluskota capped the win with a 7-5 third set, and became the 10th Lady Vol to earn All-American accolades in singles.
Pluskota will face the tournament's third seed in Stanford's Nicole Gibbs on Friday in the Round of 16.
In doubles, Pluskota and Szekely battled back from the brink of losing the first set, trailing 5-4. The tandem, which is now 16-1 overall and has won nine consecutive matches together, won the next two games before UNC forced a tiebreaker.
After splitting the first four points, Pluskota and Szekely reeled off five in a row to take the first set.
Featherston and McHale responded by winning the first two games of the second set. But Pluskota and Szekely were too strong, winning the next three games and six of the next seven to pull off the upset.
Tennessee's duo will face the winner of Millie Nichols/Olivia Smith (TCU) and Emily Fraser/Lindsey Hardenbergh (Virginia) on Thursday. A win would lift the duo to automatic All-American status in doubles.
Szekely and sophomore Brynn Boren were eliminated from the NCAA Singles Championship in Thursday's Round of 32. Szekely lost in straight sets to Georgia State's Abigail Tere-Apisah (19-1) 6-3, 6-4. Boren fell in a three and a half-hour match to Baylor's Nina Secerbegovic 6-7 (2), 7-5, 6-4.
Szekely caps a fantastic singles season with a team-high 26 wins, while Boren was second on the team with 25 wins.
Bulldog Duo Advances to Doubles Round of 16
ATHENS, Ga.—The 27th-ranked doubles team of Chelsey Gullickson and Nadja Gilchrist punched its ticket to the round of 16 with a 6-2, 7-5 win over Duke’s 17th-ranked pair of Beatrice Capra and Rachel Kahan Thursday evening at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
In the first set, the Georgia duo jumped out to a 4-0 lead off of two early breaks, and went on to win the set 6-2. In the second set, they battled to a 5-2 lead, only to be broken twice by the Blue Devils. The Bulldogs, however, broke Duke’s serve to go up 6-5 and then held on to win the set, 7-5, and advance to the next round.
“That’s some of their best doubles all year,” said head coach Jeff Wallace. “I think they really played fantastic start to finish. They got broken a couple of games in the second set to let Duke back in the match and tie it up, but I thought they really played well. It was a great day. “
"We both hit big shots and we are able to set each other up a lot,” Gilchrist added. “Chelsea hits really hard, deep balls and I’m able to go and poach and the same with me. I hit hard, deep balls and I made it easier for Chelsea to go out there and poach."
Each match that Gullickson and Gilchrist play could be their last as a Georgia Bulldogs.
“I didn’t want to end my senior year here first out in singles and first out in doubles,” Gullickson said. “[Our] goal is to make it to quarters to be All-Americans, but then we want to win [the tournament] too.”
Gullickson and Gilchrist will square off against eleventh-ranked Emina Bektas and Brooke Bolender of Michigan on Friday at 2:30 p.m. The Wolverine duo upset fourth-seeded Maria Santamaria and Kaitlyn Christian of Southern California 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 in the round of 32. Gullickson and Gilchrist fell to Bektas and Bolender in Georgia’s 5-2 win over Michigan at the ITA National Indoor Championships in February.
With the win, Gullickson and Gilchrist improve to 21-7 this year, including 8-3 against ranked opponents.
Bulldogs Cant, Ilyushin Move Into NCAA Singles Round of 16
ATHENS, Ga. – Mississippi State had another very good day at the NCAA Individual Championships Wednesday as two Bulldogs stayed alive in the singles draw with seniors Louis Cant and Artem Ilyushin claiming victory to advance to Friday’s round of 16.
With both Cant and Ilyushin advancing to the round of 16, it marks the first time since 1997 that two Bulldogs have advanced that far in singles in the same season. Matthieu Ballay and Simon Larose did it that season.
Beginning the day, the 13th-ranked Ilyushin squared off with No. 45 Jonas Lutjen of Ole Miss. Taking a dominant 6-0 first set, Ilyushin would eventually down his Rebel foe 6-0, 6-3 to breeze into the round of 16. Ilyushin, who has yet to lose his serve in the tournament, will face Kentucky’s third-ranked and third-seeded Eric Quigley Friday at 10 a.m. ET.
MSU’s final singles match of the day came in thrilling fashion where the 50th-ranked Cant rallied in incredible fashion for a come from behind victory over Florida’s No. 42 Bob van Overbeek. With the players on serve at 5-4 in the first set, van Overbeek was able to take a break on Cant’s serve and claim the first set 6-4. In the second, van Overbeek would hold a 5-3 advantage and served for the match. However, Cant broke back and held serve and then sent the second set to a tiebreaker. Overbeek built a 5-2 lead in the breaker, and serving, but Cant won four straight points to lead 6-5 and went on to claim the tiebreaker 8-6 to force a third set. In the third, the players exchanged holds of serve to start, but Cant then went on a tear, winning the last five games of the match to claim a hard-fought 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-1 comeback victory. Cant is set to play Ole Miss’ 14th-ranked Nik Scholtz, a 9-16 seed, at 12:30 p.m. ET Friday.
The win was big for Cant in more than one way. Not only is he into the round of 16, but by advancing there he has earned All-America status for 2012. He became State’s 20th All-American in men’s tennis, behind Ilyushin who earned it by being named as a top 16 seed in this same event two weeks ago.
In the second singles match of the day for MSU was 56th-ranked George Coupland. Facing a tough second round opponent in Virginia’s No. 39 Alex Domijan, Coupland had his hands full as he dropped a tough 6-3 first set. In the second, Domijan proved too much as he downed his Bulldog foe 6-3, 6-2 to end Coupland’s hopes in singles for the tournament. Coupland ended the season with a remarkable 29-8 overall singles record.
In first-round doubles action late Thursday night, the 25th-ranked MSU pair of Coupland and Ilyushin squared off against Illinois’ 21st-ranked Roy Kalmanovich and Dennis Nevolo. After falling in the first set 6-3, the Bulldog team roared back to take the second in a quick 6-0 decision. In the third, Illinois regained the momentum and went on to a 6-3, 0-6, 6-2 victory.
Tide’s Guarachi and McLane Advance to NCAA Doubles Round of 16
ATHENS, Ga. – Alabama’s Alexa Guarachi and Courtney McLane earned a 7-6(2), 6-3 victory over Maria Belaya and Jeltje Loomans of William & Mary in the opening round of play of the NCAA Doubles Championship on Thursday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. The Crimson Tide duo will now take on the winner of the match between the No. 1 seed in Sofie Oyen and Allie Will of Florida and Baylor’s Ema Burgic and Nina Secerbegovic.
Also in action on Thursday was Mary Anne Macfarlane in singles and Macfarlane and Antonia Foehse in doubles. Macfarlane, in the Round of 32, was topped by the No. 13 seed in Zsofi Susanyi of Cal, 6-0, 7-5, while Macfarlane and Foehse dropped a 6-1, 6-4 decision to Rice’s team of Natalie Beazant and Dominique Harmath in doubles.
Friday’s Round of 16 doubles match is slated to begin at 3:30 p.m. CT.
Rebels Bow Out Of NCAA Doubles Championship
ATHENS, Ga. – The Ole Miss women’s tennis team concluded the 2012 season as seniors Kristi Boxx and Abby Guthrie lost their first round match in the NCAA Doubles Championship here Thursday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
Boxx and Guthrie, seeded 5-8, fell in straight sets to the 15th-ranked team of Jana Juricova and Zsofi Susanyi of California. The two teams battled to a first set tiebreak, which Juricova and Susanyi won 7-2. They carried that momentum over to the second set winning it 6-4.
With the loss, Boxx and Guthrie end the season one win shy of reaching 30 at 29-8.
Mies, Stamchev Fall in NCAA Round of 32
ATHENS, Ga. – The 2012 Auburn men’s tennis season came to an end Thursday as the Tigers’ two remaining individuals dropped their matches in the round of 32 at the NCAA Championships at the Dan Magill Tennis Center.
The doubles team of senior Alex Stamchev and Andreas Mies, ranked ninth in the nation and seeded among the top eight teams in the draw, fell in an epic three-setter to Pepperdine’s 15th-ranked duo of Finn Tearney and Alex Llompart, 6-7 (2), 6-3, 7-6 (2), as two of the three sets went to tiebreakers. Mies had ousted Tearney from the singles draw on Wednesday.
With the match tied at a set apiece, Pepperdine’s team jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the third set, but Mies and Stamchev battled their way back, winning four straight games to take a 5-4 lead. Two games later, Pepperdine would serve for the match up 6-5 and 40-love. But Auburn fought off three match points and broke the Waves’ serve to send the match to a third-set tiebreaker. However, it would not end in the Tigers’ favor as Pepperdine took the tiebreaker, 7-2.
“It was a tough day,” Auburn head coach Eric Shore said. “In doubles, we didn’t play our best tennis, but they competed extremely hard. They fought off three match points and never quit. I was impressed with them for that. Just wish it could have ended a little differently.”
Earlier in the day, 18th-ranked Mies fell in the second round of the singles draw against Kentucky’s third-seeded Eric Quigley, 7-6 (4), 6-3.
“Andy played pretty well,” Shore said. “He had his chances in the first set. He got a little down in the second set and then got back in it, but it was too late at that point. He’s playing the number three seed. Andy played well in the match, but you can’t fall behind against a guy like that.”
With the doubles loss, Auburn’s top duo finished the season with an overall record of 13-6, including a 6-5 mark against nationally ranked opponents.
Stamchev finishes his Auburn career with 212 career victories, the most in school history. He posted 107 doubles wins and 105 singles victories in his four years for the Tigers. Mies finishes the 2011-12 season with an overall singles record of 28-11.