URBANA, Ill. --- The Georgia men’s tennis team posted a 4-1 win over 14th-seeded Oklahoma on Thursday in the round of 16 to move on to the quarterfinals of the 2013 NCAA Championships at the University of Illinois’ Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex. The third-seeded Bulldogs will square off against No. 11 Pepperdine on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET.
Georgia (25-4) is into the quarterfinals for the 10th straight year and has now won 16 matches in a row and 20 of the last 21.
“We feel good,” said head coach Manuel Diaz, who has led his team into the NCAA field of 64 in each of his 25 seasons in Athens. “Oklahoma was ranked as high as No. 5 in the country and they have a very good team. They’re well-coached. This was a great victory today and we earned it. It was physically and emotionally draining and we look forward to getting some rest and bouncing back.”
Georgia snagged the doubles point with wins at Nos. 2 and 3 to take the early 1-0 lead over Oklahoma. At No. 2, 15th-ranked team of Nathan Pasha and Garrett Brasseaux defeated No. 68 Guillermo Alcorta and Axel Alvarez Llamas, 8-5. Just moments later the No. 3 team of Eric Diaz and Marco Nunez took out Nick Papac and Lawrence Formentera, 8-4. The match on court No. 1 was suspended on serve at 4-4.
In singles, Georgia took four of six first sets but the Sooners evened the team score at 1-1 with a 6-1, 6-1 win for 110th-ranked Llamas over Austin Smith at No. 3. Georgia pulled back ahead at 2-1 with a strong 6-4, 6-3 win for the freshman Nunez over Papac at No. 6, and the lead pushed to 3-1 as Pieters defeated Dane Webb 7-5, 6-3 at No. 4. That left court Nos. 1, 2, and 5 on court, each in the third set, and the clinch came for Georgia at No. 5 as Brasseaux rallied to defeat Leonard Stakhovsky 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 to seal the win for Georgia. It was the junior’s fourth clinch of the year.
Georgia is playing in its 35th NCAA Tournament and 30th straight. The Bulldogs now have a record of 93-29 in tournament play. Georgia today defeated a pair of lettermen and former UGA coaches, as Oklahoma head coach John Roddick and assistant coach Bo Hodge both played for Diaz and were assistants on the staff.
Georgiadogs.com will offer the Georgia Tennis Live Chat – as well as scoring and video – for all matches the Bulldogs play.
Vols Down Mississippi State to Survive and Advance
URBANA, Ill. -- For the third time in four years, the Tennessee Volunteers have advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tennis Championships.
Just like he did in the regular season, sophomore Hunter Reese beat Malte Stropp on court 2 to clinch Tennessee's 4-2 victory over Mississippi State on Thursday in the round of 16 at the Atkins Tennis Center.
The seventh-seeded Vols (26-8) collected the doubles point and then picked up singles victories from Jarryd Chaplin on court 4 and Brandon Fickey on court 3 to give the Vols three points and set the stage for Reese, who won 6-3, 7-5.
"Mississippi State is a really tough team," Tennessee head coach Sam Winterbotham said. "We came out loose in doubles, which was good. We needed to be more relaxed than we were against Clemson (in the last round). I'm proud of them for that. It was great.
"They've competed so well all year, and this was just another day for them."
The Vols now face No. 2-seeded Virginia on Saturday in the quarterfinals. Virginia defeated California 4-0 in its round of 16 match.
While the Vols have have reached the quarterfinals three times in four seasons, only one Vol was on court from the 2010 and 2011 advancing teams: senior Edward Jones. The rest of the squad made their career debuts in final site competition and made the most of their first opportunity.
Tennessee came out of the gates quickly in doubles, going up breaks across all three courts before Mississippi State started tightening up the competition.
In a back and forth match, Reese and Mikelis Libietis settled down late to beat 13th-ranked Stropp and John Angus 8-6 on court 1. Jones and fellow senior John Collins had match points in three previous games before clinching the doubles point 8-6 on court 3.
Entering the final matches of his career, Jones improved to 11-1 in NCAA doubles competition.
In singles, each team won three first sets before the pieces started falling into place.
Chaplin put Tennessee up 2-0 with a 6-3, 6-3 win over James Chaudry on court 4, but the Bulldogs got on the board minutes later when Pedro Dumont defeated Jones 6-2, 6-2 on court 6.
Two more matches finished within minutes of each other. Fickey beat James Chaudry 6-3, 7-5 on court 3 to give the Vols a 3-1 lead. Mississippi State answered on court 5 with Zach White beating Collins 6-4, 6-3.
It all came down to the Vols' sophomore standouts: top-ranked Libietis and No. 34 Reese.
Libietis overcame a tight start to his match and was up a break in the third set over sixth-ranked Bogaerts when Reese started turning things around in the second set.
Reese took the first set over Stropp 6-3 and had chances to go ahead two breaks of serve in the second set, but the Mississippi State junior rallied to go up 5-3 to serve for the set.
With the Vols lining up between courts 1 and 2, Reese regained momentum. After fighting off a set point serving at 3-5, Reese reeled off four games in a row to win the match.
He served out the set 7-5 and celebrated with teammates on Illinois' blue courts. It was his third victory over Stropp this season and fourth in his career. He defeated him earlier this year to clinch the Vols' 4-2 road victory in Starkville.
“That’s the fourth time I’ve played him," Reese said. "He’s tough. We battle every time. We’ve had a few weird ones where you’re never out of it with him. I was up at break at both sets and he came back in both sets, it’s so back and forth. You’ve got to stay tough the whole match.”
Aggies Season Comes to an End With 4-0 Loss to Ohio State
URBANA, Illinois – The 11th-ranked and No. 12 seed Texas A&M men’s tennis team dropped a 4-0 decision to the No. 5 seed Ohio State Buckeyes in the round of 16 at the University of Illinois’ Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex at the Atkins Tennis Center. The Aggies season, which featured an SEC Western Division championship, comes to a close with a final record of 19-13 with only two one senior on the roster.
“I’m extremely proud of this team,” Texas A&M head coach Steve Denton said. “They grew up as the season progressed. It’s disappointing that it had to come to an end like this, but the best tennis for this team is ahead of us. Ohio State played well today. You have to give them credit.”
Unlike the earlier matchup this season, the Aggies were unable to claim the doubles point in the contest. The 29th-ranked freshman tandem of Harry Adams and Shane Vinsant claimed the first doubles victory, 8-5, at the No. 2 line over 90th-ranked team of Devin McCarthy and Ille Van Engelen. Minutes later, the No. 12 duo of Peter Kobelt and Connor Smith upset the All-American pair of Junior Ore and Jackson Withrow, 8-4, at the top doubles line. With the early 1-0 edge on the line, the tandem of Jeremy Efferding and Jordan Szabo were unable to break serve and force the match into a tiebreaker as they fell to the 50th-ranked team of Blaz Rola and Kevin Metka, 8-6, at the No. 3 doubles line.
The Buckeyes carried their hot-start from winning the doubles point into the early games in singles by winning four-of-six first sets.
At the No. 5 line, Van Engelen was dominant in the first set, winning six-consecutive games after falling behind 1-0 to Withrow. After falling behind, 2-5, the Omaha, Neb., native won three-straight games to knot the score at 5-5 in the second set. The sophomore couldn’t keep his momentum rolling; however, as he dropped his next two games to drop the set and the match, 6-1, 7-5.
Leading 2-0, Ohio State expanded on its lead from the No. 2 line when eighth-ranked Kobelt rallied from an early 0-2 deficit in the first set to win 6-4 over 100th-ranked Ore. The junior couldn’t find a groove in the second set, as he came up just short, losing 6-4, 7-6 (4), in straight sets to push OSU’s lead to 3-0.
Adams, the No. 103 ranked player in the ITA rankings, came back after dropping his first set to 71st-ranked Connor Smith, 6-4, by winning six of the next seven games to take the second set, 6-1. In the third set, however, the freshman from New Braunfels dropped his final three games to concede the match, 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.
The match was much closer than the score indicated. Efferding and Szabo were both either leading or within a game of their opponents in their respective matches at the Nos. 1 and 6 lines. 18th-ranked Efferding claimed his first set 6-3 but dropped his second 5-7 and hadn’t served in the third set before the match was called. Szabo claimed his first set 6-3 but dropped his second set, 4-6. The Australian led in the third set, 3-1, before the final point had been decided. Finally, 76th-ranked Vinsant was on the verge of forcing a tiebreaker in the second set before the match was decided.