Feb. 14, 2016
THE FLATS – Christopher Eubanks and Carlos Benito teamed up for the clinching doubles victory and earned Georgia Tech’s first two singles points Sunday as the 44th-ranked Yellow Jackets raced past Georgia State, 6-1, at the Ken Byers Tennis Complex.
Tech (5-3) won their second straight match on the weekend and will host Mercer later Sunday evening at 5:30 p.m. The Panthers fell to 2-2.
“We followed up a great match with Auburn well,” said Tech head coach Kenny Thorne. “We played solid doubles and broke on top in each of the matches at about the same point. We hung in early in singles but did a good job at the top of the lineup getting on top of them.”
Tech won the doubles point for the seventh time in eight matches this spring, and Sunday did so for the second straight match without benefit of a win from its top team of Casey and Michael Kay. Rakitt and Li won at No. 3, and Eubanks and Benito followed quickly with a victory at No. 3 before the Kays, who led 5-3, could complete their match. Rakitt and Li downed Koeke and Jaworski, 6-2, while Eubanks and Benito finished off Kennedy and McFarland, 6-3.
Eubanks, ranked No. 9 in the nation, kept the momentum going for the Jackets at the top singles position, defeating Jannis Koeke, 6-4, 6-2. The sophomore from Atlanta seized the advantage with a service break at 4-4 in the first set, then earned two more breaks early in the second set to cruise past the Panther junior. He improved to 8-1 this spring.
Benito battled from behind in his opening set but fought back to win it 7-5, then cruised to a 6-2 win in his second set to give the Yellow Jackets a 3-0 lead.
From there, it was a question of who would earn the clinching point for the Jackets. Nathan Rakitt provided that, rallying from behind in both sets before squeaking out a 6-4, 7-6 victory over Felipe Jaworski on court 5. The Tech senior won the tiebreaker in the second set, 7-3, following up a big three-set win over Auburn on Friday. Freshman Andrew Li quickly followed with Jackets’ fifth point, closing out Sebastian Acuna, 6-4, 6-4, on court 3, improving to 5-2 this spring and avenging a loss to Acuna in the fall.
Georgia State got on the board when Andrei Andrukhou bounced back from a first-set loss to defeat Michael Kay in a third-set tiebreaker on court 4, and Cole Fiegel got the Jackets’ final point with a three-set win over Jack McFarlane on court 5.
#44 Georgia Tech 6, Georgia State 1
Feb 14, 2016 at Atlanta, Ga. (Ken Byers Tennis Complex)
1. #9 Christopher Eubanks (GT) def. Jannis Koeke (GSU) 6-4, 6-2
2. Carlos Benito (GT) def. Zackery Kennedy (GSU) 7-5, 6-2
3. Andrew Li (GT) def. Sebastian Acuna (GSU) 6-4, 6-4
4. Andrei Andrukhou (GSU) def. Michael Kay (GT) 5-7, 6-4, 1-0 (12-10)
5. Cole Fiegel (GT) def. Jack MacFarlane (GSU) 3-6, 6-2, 6-4
6. Nathan Rakitt (GT) def. Felipe Jaworski (GSU) 6-4, 7-6 (7-3)
1. #24 Michael Kay/Casey Kay (GT) vs. Sebastian Acuna/Andrei Andrukhou (GSU) 5-3, unfinished
2. Christopher Eubanks/Carlos Benito (GT) def. Zackery Kennedy/Jack MacFarlane (GSU) 6-3
3. Nathan Rakitt/Andrew Li (GT) def. Jannis Koeke/Felipe Jaworski (GSU) 6-2
Georgia State 2-2
Georgia Tech 5-3; National ranking #44
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (1,2,6,3,4,5)
Match played indoors