April 23, 2015
Cary, N.C. – Georgia Tech captured the doubles point and rolled to victories in the bottom three spots in singles to shut out Notre Dame, 4-0, Thursday in the opening round of the Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Tennis Championship at the Cary Tennis Park.
In a remarkable reversal from the team’s regular-season match in South Bend, which the seventh-seeded Fighting Irish won 6-1, the 10th-seeded Yellow Jackets (13-11) earned their first ACC Tournament win since 2011 and advanced to face second-seed and 14th-ranked Virginia Tech (19-3) at 9 a.m. Friday in the quarterfinals. Notre Dame fell to 14-11.
Tech won the doubles point by getting victories against Fighting Irish teams ranked in the nation’s top 30. Tech’s freshman duo of Christopher Eubanks (Atlanta, Ga.) and Michael Kay (Alpharetta, Ga.) took out Eddy Covalschi and Josh Hagar, ranked 30th nationally, 8-3, on court 2, to draw first blood, then the Jackets’ Spanish pairing of Carlos Benito and Eduardo Segura (both of Madrid, Spain) secured the point on court 1 with an 8-6 victory over Alex Lawson and Billy Pecor, who are ranked 12th.
“They’re two toughest teams at 1 and 2 we won, and we almost got the third, too,” said Tech coach Kenny Thorne. “So they did a great job of getting the doubles point because Notre Dame is a great doubles team. I felt like that would be a big deal for us if we could steal that away. Then we just kept the momentum. We’ve been looking to hit on all cylinders all season, and we did it today.”
With momentum in hand, Tech quickly extended its lead to 3-0 after Cole Fiegel (Alachua, Fla.) routed Pecor, 6-1, 6-0, on court 5, avenging a loss to the Irish senior in the regular-season, and Segura was nearly as dominant in a 6-1, 6-3 win over Kenneth Sabacinski.
From there, it was a race to see who would secure the fourth point after Benito, Nathan Rakitt (Marietta, Ga.) and Kay had all won their opening sets. Kay, who had defeated Lawson in straight sets for the Jackets’ only point in the regular-season match, defeated the Notre Dame junior, 7-5, 6-2.
Benito and Rakitt had solid second-set leads at No. 2 and 3, but did not have to finish their matches.
NOTABLE: Segura captured his 28th singles win of the year, which leads the Jackets, and is 5-3 playing at No. 6 … Fiegel improved to 17-7 in spring dual matches, the team’s best record, and is 7-2 playing at No. 5; he won his third straight match, all in straight sets … Both players won their matches in Tech’s final regular-season contest against No. 8 Duke last Sunday.
#55 Georgia Tech 4, #35 Notre Dame 0
Apr 23, 2015 at Cary, N.C. (Cary Tennis Park)
1. #9 Quentin Monaghan (ND) vs. #61 Christopher Eubanks (GT) 7-6, 2-3, unfinished
2. Josh Hagar (ND) vs. Carlos Benito (GT) 4-6, 3-5, unfinished
3. Eddy Covalschi (ND) vs. Nathan Rakitt (GT) 6-7 (3-7), 1-3, unfinished
4. Michael Kay (GT) def. Alex Lawson (ND) 7-5, 6-2
5. Cole Fiegel (GT) def. Billy Pecor (ND) 6-1, 6-0
6. Eduardo Segura (GT) def. Kenneth Sabacinski (ND) 6-1, 6-3
1. #87 Carlos Benito/Eduardo Segura (GT) def. #12 Billy Pecor/Alex Lawson (ND) 8-5
2. Christopher Eubanks/Michael Kay (GT) def. #30 Eddy Covalschi/Josh Hagar (ND) 8-3
3. Dougie Benard/Kenneth Sabacinski (ND) def. Cole Fiegel/Nathan Rakitt (GT) 8-6
Georgia Tech 13-11, 4-8 ACC; National ranking #55
Notre Dame 14-11, 6-6 ACC; National ranking #35
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (5,6,4)