April 24, 2015
Cary, N.C. – Carlos Benito overcame a 4-2 deficit in the third set and won the deciding match for Georgia Tech as the 10th-seeded Yellow Jackets upset No. 2 seed Virginia Tech, 4-3, Friday in the quarterfinal round of the Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Tennis Championship at the Cary Tennis Park.
Tech, which won its third straight match and improved to 14-11, advanced to the semifinals of the ACC Championship for the first time since 2011. The Jackets will face No. 3 seed Wake Forest (21-6) at 10 a.m. Saturday. Virginia Tech, 14th in the ITA national rankings, fell to 19-4.
For the second time in Tech’s last three matches, Benito found himself the last man on the court for the Yellow Jackets in a 3-3 contest. Last Sunday, he outlasted Duke’s 59th-ranked Raphael Hemmeler, 6-3 in the third set. Friday, the native of Madrid, Spain, had a chance to close out 64th-ranked Amerigo Contini in straight sets, but the Hokies’ junior rallied from a 4-0 deficit in a tiebreaker to even their match.
Contini rode that momentum to lead the third set, 4-2, before the Yellow Jacket sophomore found new life, breaking the Hokie’s serve and then holding his own to tie the set, 4-4. After each player held serve, Benito broke Contini again and then finished the match with a service winner and two aces.
Tech won the doubles point and led 3-1 against the Hokies Friday after Eduardo Segura (Madrid, Spain) won 6-2, 6-2 over Jai Corbett on court 6, and Christopher Eubanks (Atlanta, Ga.) defeated 37th-ranked Andreas Bjerrehus, 6-3, 7-5, on court 1. But Virginia Tech fought back to even the match after Hunter Koontz defeated Michael Kay (Alpharetta, Ga.), and Edoardo Tessaro took down Cole Fiegel (Alachua, Fla.) in three-set matches.
“Eddie’s done a great job for us of being the catalyst and getting off the court for us the last few matches,” said Thorne. “That’s been a big one for us. Everybody else battled, no one got down too quick and kept everybody in it. Chris did a great job of beating a very good player. And what can you say about Carlos. He could’ve finished in two, but he fought back and never gave in.”
The Jackets’ Spanish doubles duo of Benito and Segura got Tech off on the right foot in doubles with an 8-5 victory over Bjerrehus and Koontz on court 1, and Fiegel and Nathan Rakitt (Marietta, Ga.) clinched the point with an 8-6 victory over Contini and Corbett on court 3.
“We did another nice job with the doubles today,” said Thorne. “The No. 1 was kind of a see-saw, but we hung with it, kept serving well. No. 3 closed it out for us, which was important. Emotions are running high, and getting the doubles point helps. Virginia Tech has lost doubles and come back to win against some good teams, so we didn’t have any illusions of being in good shape.”
NOTABLE: Georgia Tech has reached the semifinals five times under head coach Kenny Thorne, most recently in 2010 and 2011, when they lost to Virginia each time … Tech has reached the championship match only twice in the tournament’s current format, losing 4-1 to Duke in 1994 and 4-3 to North Carolina in 2002 … Top-seeded Virginia defeated Florida State, 4-1, and will meet No. 4-seed North Carolina in the other semifinal match Saturday … Tech won the doubles point for the third straight match, winning all three contests; Tech is 12-2 this spring when winning the doubles point … Segura captured his 29th singles win of the year, which leads the Jackets, and is 6-3 playing at No. 6 … Segura won his third straight match, all in straight sets, and has been the first to finish in singles in each of those matches for Tech … Eubanks has won only three of his last 11 matches, but the three victories have come against players ranked No. 5, No. 69 and No. 37 nationally.
#55 Georgia Tech 4, #14 Virginia Tech 3
Apr 24, 2015 at Cary, N.C. (Cary Tennis Park)
1. #61 Christopher Eubanks (GT) def. #37 Andreas Bjerrehus (VT) 6-3, 7-5
2. Carlos Benito (GT) def. #64 Amerigo Contini (VT) 6-4, 6-7 (4-7), 7-5
3. #121 Joao Monteiro (VT) def. Nathan Rakitt (GT) 6-1, 6-3
4. #105 Hunter Koontz (VT) def. Michael Kay (GT) 1-6, 6-2, 6-4
5. Edoardo Tessaro (VT) def. Cole Fiegel (GT) 6-3, 3-6, 6-4
6. Eduardo Segura (GT) def. Jai Corbett (VT) 6-2, 6-2
1. #87 Carlos Benito/Eduardo Segura (GT) def. #35 Andreas Bjerrehus/Hunter Koontz (VT) 8-5
2. Joao Monteiro/Edoardo Tessaro (VT) vs. Christopher Eubanks/Michael Kay (GT) 7-7, unfinished
3. Nathan Rakitt/Cole Fiegel (GT) def. Amerigo Contini/Jai Corbett (VT) 8-6
Georgia Tech 14-11; National ranking #55
Virginia Tech 19-4; National ranking #14
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (6,3,1,4,5,2)
Quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament