March 18, 2016
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech swept all six singles matches in straight sets Friday and won its fourth straight Atlantic Coast Conference men’s tennis match, cruising past Clemson, 6-1, at the Ken Byers Tennis Complex.
Off to its best conference start since 2011, Tech (11-4, 4-1 ACC) played at home for the first time in more than a month and continued a hot streak that began by winning three of four on the road to start the ACC schedule. The Yellow Jackets are back on the road for their next match, Thursday evening at No. 23 Florida State. The Tigers dropped to 11-8 overall, 2-2 in the ACC.
Tech lost the doubles point for only the fourth time this spring, but all six players in singles got the upper hand early and cruised through their opening sets. Sophomore Christopher Eubanks, ranked 15th in the nation, quickly finished off Alex Favrot, 6-1, 6-3, on court 1 to even the match for the Yellow Jackets, and senior Nathan Rakitt continued his recent hot streak by dominating Christian Harris by the same score on court 6, giving Tech the lead.
Cole Fiegel closed out Austin Sansari, 6-2, 6-2, on court 4 to make it 3-1, and within just a few minutes after that, Michael Kay, Carlos Benito and Andrew Li finished off their opponents on courts 5, 2 and 3.
All three doubles matches went to tiebreakers. Tech went up a service break early on courts 2 and 3, but wound up splitting those two. Chris Eubanks and Carlos Benito fell behind a service break but battled back to win three straight games and send it to a tiebreaker, where Alex Favrot and Luke Johnson, the 77th-ranked team in the nation, prevailed, 7-4. Casey and Michael Kay, ranked 65th for Tech, got a match back by winning their tiebreaker, 7-5, on court 2, but Daffra Sanon and Robert Dudley outlasted the Jackets’ Andrew Li and Nathan Rakitt, 9-7.
HEAD COACH Kenny Thorne SAYS — “Credit to Clemson for fighting through and getting the point. But it’s only one point. It was great to see the way our guys responded. We went up a set in all six matches fairly quickly, then we got up early in the second sets and didn’t relax. It was a great match for us going into spring break, typically the guys have a lot of tests this week. They played with a lot of energy.”
NOTABLE — The match lasted just one hour and 50 minutes … The Yellow Jackets swept all six singles matches for only the second time this spring, having done so against Mercer in their last home match on Feb. 14 … Eubanks is 12-1 in Tech’s dual matches this spring … Benito has won seven of his last eight matches to improve to 9-6 … Rakitt, who struggled in the fall and early this spring, is 6-0 playing in the sixth position and 7-2 this spring … Andrew Li snapped a personal four-match losing streak and improved to 7-6 (3-5 at his current No. 3 position … Michael Kay stepped in for Daniel Yun, who had won four straight matches at No. 5, and got a win to improve to 5-6.
#32 Georgia Tech 6, Clemson 1
March 18, 2016 at Atlanta, Ga. (Ken Byers Tennis Complex)
1. #15 Christopher Eubanks (GT) def. Alex Favrot (CU) 6-1, 6-2
2. Carlos Benito (GT) def. Luke Johnson (CU) 6-3, 6-4
3. Andrew Li (GT) def. Daffra Sanon (CU) 6-3, 6-2
4. Cole Fiegel (GT) def. Austin Ansari (CU) 6-2, 6-2
5. Michael Kay (GT) def. Robert Dudley (CU) 6-3, 6-4
6. Nathan Rakitt (GT) def. Christian Harris (CU) 6-1, 6-2
1. #77 Alex Favrot/Luke Johnson (CU) def. Carlos Benito/Christopher Eubanks (GT) 7-6 (7-4)
2. #65 Casey Kay/Michael Kay (GT) def. Austin Ansari/Arturo Pinazo (CU) 7-6 (7-5)
3. Robert Dudley/Daffra Sanon (CU) def. Andrew Li/Nathan Rakitt (GT) 7-6 (9-7)
Clemson 11-8, 2-2 ACC
Georgia Tech 11-4, 4-1 ACC; National ranking #32
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (1,6,4,5,2,3)