No. 16 Yellow Jackets Fall 4-0 To No. 2 USC In NCAA Tournament

May 19, 2011

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STANFORD, CALIF. – The 16th-ranked Georgia Tech men’s tennis team (21-6) saw the team portion of its season come to a close with a 4-0 loss to second ranked and two-time defending national champions Southern California (24-2) on Thursday afternoon at the Taube Tennis Center on the Stanford University campus.

“We lost to a better team, USC outplayed us today,” head coach Kenny Thorne said. “It was a tough match. I thought we did a good job at the beginning of doubles, getting up in No. 1 doubles, we were on serve for a long time at No. 2 doubles. I felt like, against that team, we needed some kind of momentum, and as soon as they got the momentum at No. 2 doubles, they ran with it. There’s a reason why USC is two-time defending national champions. They have some tough players and they played very tough today.

“I think it would’ve helped if we had been here once before, I think the guys might’ve settled in a little quicker in the singles matches,” Thorne added. “It was a first for them and we came out and played against a very good team. We fought as hard as we could and just got beat.”

Tech’s No. 1 doubles team and 14th-ranked pair of Kevin King and Juan Spir got the Yellow Jackets off to a good start with a decisive 8-3 win over the Trojans 22nd-ranked team of Jaak Poldma and JT Sundling.

“Kevin and Juan are developing as a team really well,” Thorne said. “They had a little bit of ups and downs this season, but it was good to see them end on a high note, and hopefully that carries over to the doubles tournament next week.”

The Trojans evened it up with an 8-2 win on court three doubles by Daniel Nguyen and Ray Sarmiento over the Jackets’ Guillermo Gomez and Dean O’Brien.

The first point of the day would come down to court two doubles. The match started off as a back and forth affair and Eliot Potvin and Ryan Smith grabbed a 4-3 lead. The Trojans would gain some steam and finish off an 8-4 win to put USC up 1-0 heading into singles play.

The Trojans’ top four players all rank in the top 50 nationally, led by No. 1 Steve Johnson playing from the top of the order.

USC extended its lead to 2-0 with a 6-1, 6-1 win by Emilio Gomez over the Yellow Jackets’ Magin Ortiga on court five. Ray Sarmiento, ranked 47th and playing the fourth spot in the lineup, downed Tech’s Potvin 6-2, 6-0 to edge the Trojans closer to advancing in the NCAA Championships.

Spir, ranked 82nd put up a tough fight on court two, but USC’s 38th-ranked Jaak Poldma was too much to overcome in a 6-2, 6-4 Trojan win.

“We’re so excited to be here for the final 16,” Thorne said. “It was something that has been a goal. It was great for the program, it was great that we were able to host the regional, and there was a lot of excitement at home. We had some great fans out there, and I wish we could’ve brought them out here to Stanford. I think it might’ve helped a little today. The seniors came in this year and they left the program in much better shape than when they came in as freshman, and that’s what we hope to do every year.”

Gomez, King and Spir will now wait for the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championship to begin on Wednesday, May 25. Gomez will be playing in his fourth straight NCAA Singles Championship, while King and Spir will be the Yellow Jackets’ first pair to compete in the NCAA Doubles Championship since 1995.

Fans can follow Tech tennis on Twitter, @GT_MTEN, for instant updates and live scoring will be available through RamblinWreck.com.

Match Results
Georgia Tech vs. USC
May 19, 2011 in Stanford, Calif.
#2 USC 4, #16 Georgia Tech 0

Doubles Competition (Order of Finish: 1, 3 ,2)
1) No. 14 King/Spir (GT) d. No. 22 Poldma/Sundling (USC) 8-3
2) Gomez/Johnson (USC) d. Potvin/Smith (GT) 8-4
3) Nguyen/Sarmiento (USC) vs. Gomez/O’Brien (GT) 8-2

Singles Competition (Order of Finish: 5, 4, 2)
1) No. 1 Steve Johnson (USC) vs. No. 14 Guillermo Gomez (GT) aban.
2) No. 38 Jaak Poldma (USC) d. No. 82 Juan Spir (GT) 6-2, 6-4
3) No. 44 Daniel Nguyen (USC) vs. Kevin King (GT) aban.
4) No. 47 Ray Sarmiento (USC) d. Eliot Potvin (GT) 6-2, 6-0
5) Emilio Gomez (USC) d. Magin Ortiga (GT) 6-1, 6-1
6) Peter Lucassen (USC) vs. Dean O’Brien (GT) aban.

Match Notes:
Georgia Tech 21-6; National ranking #16
USC 24-2; National ranking #2

— RamblinWreck.com —

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