May 13, 2006
Sophomore David North won at No. 1 doubles and clinched the match at No. 3 singles to lead the No. 30 Georgia Tech men’s tennis team to a 4-2 win over No. 38 Alabama in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Athens, Ga.
With the win, Georgia Tech improves to 12-9 on the season while Alabama’s season ends with a 14-13 record.
The Yellow Jackets advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2001 and will play at 2 p.m. Sunday against the winner of No. 1 Georgia and No. 75 Furman.
“This was a good start for our guys today,” said head coach Kenny Thorne. “The come from behind effort at No. 3 doubles was huge for us today and those two that won, Jordan and George, had very easy wins at singles to put us up 3-0 and really give our team some confidence. Had Alabama won that doubles point, there’s no question they would have had an advantage going into singles. This is the first time we’ve advanced to the second round in a number of years, so we’re going to enjoy it for a bit and then concentrate on our next opponent.”
The Yellow Jackets got on the board first, winning the doubles point by earning victories at the No. 1 and No. 3 doubles positions. The 52nd ranked team of Marko Rajevac and David North grabbed Tech’s first win, easily defeating Alabama’s Billy M ertz and Javier Bes at No. 1, 8-2. The Crimson Tide evened things up as Mathieu Thibaudeau and Dan Buikema beat the Jackets’ team of Scott Blackmon and Zachary Rath, 8-5, at No. 2 doubles, setting up the drama at the No. 3 position. As Yellow Jackets fell at No. 2, Tech’s team of Jordan Delass and George Gvelesiani were trailing 4-7 in the deciding match to Joseph Jung and . Jordie Felsenthal. After fighting off two match points, the duo won five straight games to take the match, 9-7.
Tech’s lead then became 2-0 when Delass won easily over Alabama’s Bes at No. 2 in straight sets, 6-0, 6-2. The margin was then pushed to 3-0 as Gvelesiani won in straight sets at No. 6, 6-3, 6-2, over Dan Buikema. Alabama got on the board to make the score 3-1 with a victory at No. 5 singles as Blackmon fell to Mertz, 4-6, 2-6.
Alabama then narrowed the gap to 3-2 as after dropping the first set, No. 61 Jung came back to defeat Rajevac at No. 1 singles, 4-6, 7-4, 6-2.
After dropping the first set in his match, 6-4, North regrouped to win 6-1 in the second set to force the third set. North got a break early in the third set and closed out the match with a service ace to defeat Mathieu Thibaudeau.
On the final court, Rath and Struyf had split sets at No. 4 singles, 4-6, 7-5, when the match was halted.
Tennis Match ResultsAlabama vs Georgia TechMay 13, 2006 at Athens, GA
#30 Georgia Tech 4, #38 Alabama 2
Singles competition 1. #61 Joseph Jung (UA) def. Marko Rajevac (GT) 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 2. Jordan Delass (GT) def. Javier Bes (UA) 6-0, 6-2 3. David North (GT) def. Mathieu Thibaudeau (UA) 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 4. Sammy Struyf (UA) vs. Zachary Rath (GT), 4-6, 7-5, unfinished 5. Billy Mertz (UA) def. Scott Blackmon (GT) 6-4, 6-2 6. George Gvelesiani (GT) def. Dan Buikema (UA) 6-3, 6-2
Doubles competition 1. #52 David North/Marko Rajevac (GT) def. Billy Mertz/Javier Bes (UA) 8-2 2. Mathieu Thibaudeau/Dan Buikema (UA) def. Scott Blackmon/Zachary Rath (GT) 8-5 3. Jordan Delass/George Gvelesiani (GT) def. Joseph Jung/Jordie Felsenthal (UA) 9-7
Match Notes: Alabama 14-13; National ranking #38 Georgia Tech 12-9; National ranking #30 Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (2,6,5,1,3)