Jan. 19, 2015
THE FLATS – Freshman Christopher Eubanks won the biggest match of his young career Monday, knocking off 15th-ranked Nashan Pasha of Georgia while the Yellow Jackets won six of 10 matches against the 8th-ranked Bulldogs to finish the weekend MLK Invitational at the Ken Byers Tennis Complex.
Michael Kay, Cole Fiegel and Carlos Benito also picked up victories Monday for the Jackets, giving the Yellow Jackets four wins in seven singles matches on the afternoon after also winning two of three doubles matches against the Bulldogs.
“For the whole weekend, it was important to get that belief in each other and trust in each other,” said head coach Kenny Thorne. “When you get the wins, it’s much easier to get that. I was impressed all weekend, and today, that we’re never really out of the fight. We got down in some matches. That’s really important to stay on the court even if you don’t get the win.”
Eubanks, a freshman from Atlanta, was the first to finish his singles match, defeating Pasha in straight sets, 7-5, 7-5. It was the highest ranked opponent Eubanks has beaten this year and improved his record to 12-8.
Minutes after Eubanks earned his victory, Fiegel, a sophomore, put Tech’s second win in the books with a 6-4, 7-6 (5) win over Eric Diaz on court 6. Kay, a freshman, lost the first set on court 4 against Paul Oosterbaan, then rallied for a 6-1 win in the second set and a 6-4 win in the third.
With the match tally even at three wins apiece in singles, Benito, undefeated on the weekend, was left to contend with Ben Wagland on court 5 to decide bragging rights for the day. Wagland won the first set, 7-5, before the Tech sophomore came back to win the second set by the same score. Benito fell behind 3-1 in the third set, but continued to fight and send the match to a tiebreaker, which he won, 7-5.
Tech finished the weekend 11-12 in singles matches against three teams all ranked in the nation’s top 16. The Jackets had won five of nine singles matches and one doubles match against 16th-ranked Columbia Sunday after picking up just two wins in seven singles contests and no doubles wins Friday against No. 2 Oklahoma.
Benito and Segura got the Yellow Jackets off to a good start Monday, getting a service break at 4-3 and taking down the nation’s No. 16-ranked team in Wagland and Oosterbaan, 6-3. The Spanish duo, ranked for much of the fall season, finished the weekend 2-1 and missed going undefeated because of a tiebreaker loss to Oklahoma on Saturday. Rakitt and Fiegel also won for Tech, 6-3 over Pasha and Wood, helping the Jackets finish the weekend 3-6 in doubles.
“All these teams are great, and they’re tough, said Thorne. “I feel like we can be a very good team. We showed we can get there. We focused on correcting two things from each match and taking that to the next day. Strategically, we did that, so I feel we’re building something.”
Tech returns to action Saturday at 6 p.m. when the Yellow Jackets host Furman at the Byers Tennis Complex.
Monday, January 19, 2015 at Atlanta, Ga. (Ken Byers Tennis Complex)
#22 Winston Lin (Columbia) def. #14 Axel Alvarez Llamas (Oklahoma) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
#33 Dane Webb (Oklahoma) def. Dragos Ignat (Columbia) 1-6, 6-2, 6-3
Max Schnur (Columbia) def. #50 Alex Ghilea (Oklahoma) 6-3, 6-4
Jose Antonio Salazar (Oklahoma) def. Eric Rubin (Columbia) 6-2, 6-3
Florin Bragusi (Oklahoma) def. Shawn Hadavi (Columbia) 6-4, 7-5
Richard Pham (Columbia) def. Austin Siegel (Oklahoma) 6-4, 6-4
Christopher Eubanks (Georgia Tech) def. #15 Nathan Pasha (Georgia) 7-5, 7-5
#11 Austin Smith (Georgia) def. #49 Nathan Rakitt (Georgia Tech) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
#101 Nick Wood (Georgia) def. Eduardo Segura (Georgia Tech) 6-4, 6-4
Michael Kay (Georgia Tech) def. Paul Oosterbaan (Georgia) 4-6, 6-1, 6-4
Carlos Benito (Georgia Tech) def. Ben Wagland (Georgia) 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (7-5)
Cole Fiegel (Georgia Tech) def. Eric Diaz (Georgia) 6-4, 7-6 (7-5)
Peter Bertran (Georgia) def. Daniel Yun (Georgia Tech) 6-4, 6-3
#38 Axel Alvarez Llamas/Dane Webb (Oklahoma) def. Max Schnur/Ashok Narayana (Columbia) 7-6 (7-0)
Alex Ghilea/Florin Bragusi (Oklahoma) def. Winston Lin/Mike Vermeer (Columbia) 6-4
Richard Pham/Bert Vancura (Columbia) def. Jose Antonio Salazar/Austin Siegel (Oklahoma) 7-6 (7-3)
Carlos Benito/Eduardo Segura (Georgia Tech) def. #16 Ben Wagland/Paul Oosterbaan (Georgia) 6-3
#34 Eric Diaz/Austin Smith (Georgia) def. Christopher Eubanks/Michael Kay (Georgia Tech) 6-4
Nathan Rakitt/Cole Fiegel (Georgia Tech) def. Nathan Pasha/Nick Wood (Georgia) 6-3
About Georgia Tech Men’s Tennis
Georgia Tech’s men’s tennis team is in its 17th year under head coach Kenny Thorne. The Yellow Jackets have played in the NCAA Championship 14 times. Connect with Georgia Tech Men’s Tennis on social media by liking their Facebook page, or following on Twitter (@GT_MTEN). For more information on Tech men’s tennis, visit Ramblinwreck.com.