March 24, 2016
Tallahassee, Fla. – Casey and Michael Kay earned a big upset in doubles, but only Nathan Rakitt was able to win his singles match Thursday as the 32nd-ranked Yellow Jackets saw their four-match winning streak come to an end at the hands of No. 20 Florida State, 5-2, at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center.
Tech fell to 4-2 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, with five of the six matches having been played on the road, and 11-5 overall. The Yellow Jackets return home for their next conference match Sunday against No. 46 Notre Dame at 2 p.m. at the Ken Byers Tennis Complex. The Seminoles improved to 13-5 overall, 5-2 in the ACC.
Tech won the doubles point behind its top two teams getting victories over ranked duos from Florida State. Casey and Michael Kay, ranked No. 54 and back in the No. 1 position for the first time in five matches, routed the 11th-ranked team of Benjamin Lock and Marco Nunez, 6-1, to get the Jackets going. Christopher Eubanks and Carlos Benito, 8-2 over their last 10 matches, secured the point for Tech with a 6-4 victory against 59th-ranked Aziz Dougaz and Michael Rinaldi.
The Seminoles shook off the setback by winning the first set in four singles matches, and evened the match with a victory at the top of their singles lineup when 12th-ranked Benjamin Lock scored a surprisingly easy 6-2, 6-2 win over 11th-ranked Eubanks on court 1. Dougaz got by Tech’s Andrew Li in straight sets on fourt 4 to give FSU the lead, but Tech tied the match back when Rakitt defeated Terrance Whitehurst in straight sets on court 6.
Two more straight-set wins clinched the match for Florida State. Jose Gracia put the Seminoles back ahead, 6-2, 7-6 over Daniel Yun on court 5, and Rinaldi downed Cole Fiegel, 7-6, 6-3, on court 3. Marco Nunez, ranked 60th, put the finishing touches on the Seminole win with a 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 win against Carloa Benito on court 2, the only match to go three sets.
HEAD COACH Kenny Thorne SAYS – “We started the match strong in doubles. The Kays won convincingly over a strong No. 1 FSU team, and Banks and Beni did another good job as well. However we gave them momentum back to them too soon in singles. We lost four first sets way too quickly which gave FSU some energy. Nathan did a good job of finishing his match. Beni fought hard and didn’t quite make it to the finish line. FSU has been playing well, and their seniors at the top three spots of the lineup came through for them. We fought them hard, but we simply needed to execute better. We will fortunately be back home on Sunday against Notre Dame.”
NOTABLE – Weather delayed the match and forced it indoors during singles play … Eubanks is 14-2 this spring, his only losses to players ranked No. 20 and No. 12 … Benito’s loss snapped a personal four-match winning streak and dropped his spring record to 9-7 … Rakitt, who struggled in the fall and early this spring, is 7-0 playing in the sixth position and 8-2 this spring … Daniel Yun returned to the lineup after missing the Clemson match and suffered his first loss after four straight wins … The Kay brothers, ranked 54th in the nation, moved back into the top spot in Tech’s doubles lineup after playing the last four matches at No. 2 (2-1 record). Rakitt and Li lost their fourth straight match at No. 3, but the result was inconsequential.
#20 Florida State 5, #32 Georgia Tech 2
March 24, 2016 at Tallahassee, Fla. (Scott Speicher Tennis Center)
1. #12 Benjamin Lock (FS) def. #11 Christopher Eubanks (GT) 6-2, 6-2
2. #60 Marco Nunez (FS) def. Carlos Benito (GT) 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (8-6)
3. Michael Rinaldi (FS) def. Cole Fiegel (GT) 7-6 (10-8), 6-3
4. Aziz Dougaz (FS) def. Andrew Li (GT) 6-2, 7-5
5. Jose Gracia (FS) def. Daniel Yun (GT) 6-2, 7-6 (7-5)
6. Nathan Rakitt (GT) def. Terrance Whitehurst (FS) 6-4, 6-3
1. #54 Casey Kay/Michael Kay (GT) def. #11 Benjamin Lock/Marco Nunez (FS) 6-1
2. Carlos Benito/Christopher Eubanks (GT) def. #59 Aziz Dougaz/Michael Rinaldi (FS) 6-4
3. Jose Gracia/Terrance Whitehurst (FS) def. Andrew Li/Nathan Rakitt (GT) 6-3
Georgia Tech 11-5, 4-2 ACC; National ranking #32
Florida State 13-5, 5-2 ACC; National ranking #20
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (1,4,6,5,3,2)