April 21, 2017
THE FLATS – The 20th-ranked Georgia Tech men’s tennis team snagged the doubles point from No. 12 North Carolina, but it wasn’t enough as the Tar Heels battled back in singles play to take the match 4-3 on Friday evening at the Ken Byers Tennis Complex.
DOUBLES ACTION: Tech went up 1-0 in the match, claiming the doubles point with victories at the top two spots. The top-seeded Jacket pair of Christopher Eubanks/Carlos Benito broke serve to go up 5-3 over No. 5 William Blumberg/Robert Kelly and Eubanks served out the match to finish first and give Tech the edge in doubles play. The second-seeded pair of Cole Fiegel/Carlos Divar clinched the doubles point, downing UNC’s Jack Murray/Simon Soendergaard 6-3.
SINGLES PLAY: UNC quickly erased its deficit, taking the first three singles matches off the courts to gain a 3-1 advantage. Competing at No. 2, No. 36 Blumberg defeated No. 105 Benito, 6-3, 6-1, before the Tar Heels took their first lead with a straight set victory on court four. Murray edged Daniel Yun, 7-5, 6-2. Winning two 6-3 sets, Blaine Boyden put UNC up 3-1 from court five, leaving the match to be decided in a third set on the remaining three courts.
After splitting sets on court three, Carlos Divar and Robert Kelly were tied at 3-3 in the deciding set before Kelly rattled off the next three points to take the set 6-3 and clinch the match for North Carolina.
Also in a deciding third set on court six, Chris Yun broke serve over Anu Kodola to seal the match win, 6-4, 1-6, 6-3, moving the score to 4-2. A battle on court one between No. 7 Eubanks and No. 19 Ronnie Schneider saw the final two sets come down to tiebreaks. Tied at 3-3 in the third set tiebreak, Eubanks won the next three points to go up 6-3. Schneider took the next two points, but Eubanks proved victorious with a 7-5 win in the tiebreak.
Head coach Kenny Thorne says: “I was pleased with the doubles today and hopefully we can continue on Sunday with some good consistency there because that’s what we’ve been looking for. I thought we had a great chance to win and it was nice that we won two of the three matches that went three sets, but they played really well at two, four and five and that hurt us. I think we’re in a better position right now – we played much better than we did last weekend and hopefully we can carry that into the NC State match on Sunday.”
UP NEXT: Georgia Tech closes out the regular season on Sunday hosting NC State at 12 p.m. at the Ken Byers Tennis Complex. Seniors Carlos Benito and Cole Fiegel will be recognized prior to competing in their final home match of their careers.