March 27, 2015
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech and Louisville split their six singles matches Friday afternoon, but the 23rd-ranked Cardinals’ rally to take the doubles point proved pivotal in winning the Atlantic Coast Conference match, 4-3, at the Ken Byers Tennis Complex.
Tech fell to 10-5 overall, 3-3 in the ACC, looking ahead to a Sunday non-conference match at home against Kennesaw State (5-8). Louisville improved to 18-4, 4-2 in the ACC.
Tech appeared poised to take the doubles point for the 11th time in 15 matches this season; Cole Fiegel and Nathan Rakitt had earned an 8-2 victory on court 3, and the Yellow Jackets led 5-2 on court 1 and had rallied to take the match on court 2 to a tiebreaker.
But Alex Gornet and Jeffrey Brown, ranked 68th in the nation, won six straight games, breaking Tech’s 58th-ranked duo of Segura and Benito three times, to take an 8-5 win on court 1. On court 2, Sebastian Stiefelmeyer and Albert Wagner survived two match points in the tiebreaker to take an 8-7 win.
“That was disappointing losing the doubles point,” said Thorne. “We got soft early in the No. 2 match. We played strong at 1 and 3 in the beginning. We finished strong at 3 and went soft at 1. We had match point at No. 2, played it correctly, but they came up with the winner. Credit to them for winning that, but we could have been more consistent throughout that match and at No. 1.”
The Yellow Jackets came close to overcoming that, with freshmen Christopher Eubanks and Michael Kay getting the first two singles points in short order. Kay raced to a 6-1, 6-2 win over Brown on court 5, and Eubanks, ranked 73rd nationally, dominated Stiefelmeyer, the nation’s fifth-ranked player, 6-1, 6-4, giving the Jackets a 2-1 lead.
Louisville re-took the lead after 94th-ranked Wagner defeated Nathan Rakitt, 6-2, 6-0, at No. 2, and Chris Simich downed Cole Fiegel, 7-5, 6-3, at No. 4. Tech needed its Spanish duo of Benito and Segura to win their matches for the victory.
Both matches went to third sets. Benito rallied from a first-set loss to win the second in a tiebreaker, then dominated the third set for a 2-6, 7-6, 6-1 win over Gornet on court 3, tying the match. On court 6, Segura was not as fortunate, however. He won his opening set and led the second 5-4, but couldn’t hold on against Luis Elizondo and lost the point, 2-6, 7-5, 6-4.
“We came out and competed very hard in singles,” said Thorne. “Chris deserves a lot of credit; he won the biggest match of his young career and did it in solid fashion. But we need to finish off matches when we have the chance. It’s not okay to lose 4-3.”
#23 Louisville 4, #73 Georgia Tech 3
Mar 27, 2015 at Atlanta, Ga. (Ken Byers Tennis Complex)
1. #73 Christopher Eubanks (GT) def. #5 Seb Stiefelmeyer (LOU) 6-1, 6-4
2. #94 Albert Wagner (LOU) def. #107 Nathan Rakitt (GT) 6-2, 6-0
3. Carlos Benito (GT) def. #123 Alex Gornet (LOU) 2-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-1
4. Chris Simich (LOU) def. Cole Fiegel (GT) 7-5, 6-3
5. Michael Kay (GT) def. Jeffrey Brown (LOU) 6-1, 6-2
6. Luis Elizondo (LOU) def. Eduardo Segura (GT) 2-6, 7-5, 6-4
1. #68 Jeffrey Brown/Alex Gornet (LOU) def. #58 Carlos Benito/Eduardo Segura (GT) 8-5
2. Seb Stiefelmeyer/Albert Wagner (LOU) def. Christopher Eubanks/Michael Kay (GT) 8-7 (8-6)
3. Cole Fiegel/Nathan Rakitt (GT) def. Van Damrongsri/Chris Simich (LOU) 8-2
Louisville 18-4, 4-2 ACC; National ranking #23
Georgia Tech 10-6, 3-3 ACC; National ranking #73
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (5,1,2,4,3,6)
Temperature 55 degrees, winds gusting to 25 mph