Jan. 17, 2016
THE FLATS – The Georgia Tech men’s tennis team won three singles matches and one doubles match against 7th-ranked Georgia Sunday in the third day of the MLK Invitational, which is hosted by Georgia Tech at the Ken Byers Tennis Complex.
The event is a round-robin with no team scores or winners. No. 19 Ole Miss and No. 2 Oklahoma faced off earlier in the day. The Bulldogs will face the Sooners in the final session at 10 a.m. Monday. Sophomore Michael Kay (Alpharetta, Ga.) earned the biggest win of the day, winning tiebreakers in both sets to take a 7-6, 7-6 win over 40th-ranked Paul Oosterbaan. Kay rallied from a 5-2 deficit in the first set to get to the tiebreaker, which he won 7-4. In the second set, the sophomore started quickly to lead 3-1, lost the next three games, then rallied again to send the set to a tiebreaker. Kay lost an opportunity to win the tiebreaker on his serve leading 6-4, but managed to outlast Oosterbaan to win it 9-7.
“He had a tough first match against East Tennessee State and did a great job of making corrections from that match today,” said Tech coach Kenny Thorne. “I was really proud of the way he played. He stayed under control and was aggressive.”
Tech also got victories Sunday from freshman Andrew Li (Hong Kong), who defeated the Bulldogs’ Jan Zielinski, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, and sophomore Elijah Melendez (Suwanee, Ga.), who scored 6-4, 6-4 win over Andy Martinez.
“Andrew Li made some nice progress this weekend,” said Thorne. “He played a good player from Georgia today and took it to him in the third set. He’s really grown from the fall and is playing very confidently.”
Tech finished the weekend 9-13 in singles and 4-7 in doubles against three teams ranked No. 2, 7 and 19 in the nation. Christopher Eubanks, who did not play singles Sunday, defeated two quality opponents in Stefan Lindmark of Ole Miss and No. 60 Axel Alvarez Llamas of Oklahoma, both in straight sets.
“We played around with our doubles lineup this weekend, told the guys we would do it. It didn’t help us much today, but the competition was very tough. We need to do better because playing one set is an equalizer for both teams some times,” said Thorne. “Chris, even though he didn’t play singles today, had a very good weekend. He took it to Lindmark of Ole Miss and beat a guy from Oklahoma who had beaten him twice before.”
The Jackets return to action Saturday with a match against No. 41 New Mexico in the opening round of the ITA Kickoff Weekend on the campus of UCLA in Los Angeles, Calif. The No. 14 Bruins will face No. 46 SMU in the other first-round match.
Jan 15-18, 2016 at Atlanta, Ga. (Ken Byers Tennis Complex)
Sunday – Georgia Tech vs. Georgia
#28 Austin Smith (Georgia) def. Carlos Benito (Georgia Tech) 6-2, 7-5
#105 Walker Duncan (Georgia) def. Nathan Rakitt (Georgia Tech) 6-4, 6-4
Michael Kay (Georgia Tech) def. #40 Paul Oosterbaan (Georgia) 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (9-7)
Ben Wagland (Georgia) def. Casey Kay (Georgia Tech) 6-2, 6-4
Andrew Li (Georgia Tech) def. Jan Zielinski (Georgia) 2-6, 6-3, 6-2
#20 Wayne Montgomery (Georgia) def. Cole Fiegel (Georgia Tech) 6-1, 6-3
Emil Reinberg (Georgia) def. Daniel Yun (Georgia Tech) 7-5, 6-4
Elijah Melendez (Georgia Tech) def. Andy Martinez (Georgia) 6-4, 6-4
#45 Wayne Montgomery/Emil Reinberg (Georgia) def. #36 Casey Kay/Michael Kay (Georgia Tech) 6-4
Paul Oosterbaan/Jan Zielinski (Georgia) def. Christopher Eubanks/Nathan Rakitt (Georgia Tech) 6-4
#10 Ben Wagland/Austin Smith (Georgia) def. Carlos Benito/Andrew Li (Georgia Tech) 6-2
Cole Fiegel/Daniel Yun (Georgia Tech) def. Walker Duncan/Andy Martinez (Georgia) 6-2
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN’S TENNIS
Georgia Tech’s men’s tennis team is in its 18th year under head coach Kenny Thorne. The Yellow Jackets have played in the NCAA Championship 15 times. Connect with Georgia Tech Men’s Tennis on social media by liking their Facebook page, or following on Twitter (@GT_MTEN). For more information on Tech men’s tennis, visit Ramblinwreck.com.