Feb. 14, 2014
THE FLATS – Auburn’s Daniel Cochrane outlasted Georgia Tech’s Carlos Benito in three sets for the deciding point on court 2 Friday evening, and the 24th-ranked Tigers captured a 4-3 men’s tennis victory over the 46th-ranked Yellow Jackets.
Tech (4-1), which stunned 17th-ranked South Carolina in its last outing despite losing the doubles point, saw the opposite happen this night in suffering its first loss of the spring. Auburn improved to 9-1.
Tech won the doubles point in dramatic fashion, getting a 6-5 win on court 2 from Nathan Rakitt and Casey Kay after the Yellow Jacket duo had fallen behind the Auburn pair of Cochrane and Oliver Plaskett. Eduardo Segura and Carlos Benito, ranked 15th in the nation, stayed undefeated at 5-0 after taking a 6-3 win against Luka Ollert and Dennis Lengsfeld on court 1. The Jackets led 5-4 on courts 2 and 3 before Auburn rallied to tie by holding serve in one match and breaking Tech in the other. Rakitt and Kay closed out their match first, coming back from a 4-2 deficit in the tiebreak to win it, 7-5.
“Even though we won the doubles point, we seemed to be in catch-up mode,” said Tech coach Kenny Thorne. “We made a good push at them. Give Auburn credit, they responded here at our place. They’re a good team. Cole and Nathan played well to finish off their matches, but we just couldn’t get the third point.”
The Tigers turned momentum back in their direction after doubles, getting straight-set wins from 85th-ranked Dante Saleh (6-5, 6-3 over Kay on court 4) and Joseph Van Dooren (6-2, 6-4 over Will Showers on court 6). Tech kept the match tied, however, when freshman Cole Fiegel earned a 6-2, 6-4 win over Petar Tomic at court 5.
With the match down to the top three positions in the lineup, Tech sophomore Rakitt edged the Jackets ahead 3-2 by defeating Ollert in three sets (6-4, 3-6, 6-3) at No. 1.
Benito and Segura, meanwhile, had lost their opening sets on courts 2 and 3 and had fought back to win their second sets. Segura took leads in each of the first three games of his third set but lost all three and never could catch up, losing to Lengsfeld, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3. Benito fought valiantly after getting shut out in his first set, winning the second in a tiebreaker. He, too, got behind quickly in the third set and fell, 6-0, 5-6, 6-3.
Tech is back in action Sunday with a pair of home matches against Old Dominion at 12 noon and The Citadel at 5 p.m.
#24 Auburn 4, #46 Georgia Tech 3Feb 14, 2014 at Atlanta, Ga. (Ken Byers Tennis Complex)
Singles competition 1. Nathan Rakitt (GT) def. Lukas Ollert (AU) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 2. #112 Daniel Cochrane (AU) def. Carlos Benito (GT) 6-0, 5-6 (6-8), 6-3 3. Dennis Lengsfeld (AU) def. Eduardo Segura (GT) 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 4. #85 Dante Saleh (AU) def. Casey Kay (GT) 6-5 (7-1), 6-3 5. Cole Fiegel (GT) def. Petar Tomic (AU) 6-2, 6-4 6. Joseph Van Dooren (AU) def. Will Showers (GT) 6-2, 6-4
Doubles competition 1. #15 Carlos Benito/Eduardo Segura (GT) def. #60 Lukas Ollert/Dennis Lengsfeld (AU) 6-3 2. Casey Kay/Nathan Rakitt (GT) def. Daniel Cochrane/Oliver Plaskett (AU) 6-5 (7-5) 3. Cole Fiegel/Will Showers (GT) vs. Joseph Van Dooren/Dante Saleh (AU) 5-5, unfinished
Match Notes Auburn 9-1; National ranking #24 Georgia Tech 4-1; National ranking #46 Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (4,5,6,1,3,2) Match played indoors