Tech Downs Clemson 4-3 in ACC Opener

March 4, 2009

Picking up a crucial point in doubles play, the Georgia Tech men’s tennis team defeated Clemson 4-3 in the conference opener Wednesday at the Hoke Sloan Tennis Center in Clemson, S.C.

“We have been work a lot on doubles lately, and to get that point was very important,” head coach Kenny Thorne said. “Guillermo [Gomez] and Ryan [Smith] came out solid and were the catalyst behind our win.”

For the third-straight match, it came down to the final pair to determine the doubles point. Unlike the last two times, Tech (5-4) was finally able to grab the point for a 1-0 lead.

After the No. 59 duo of Guillermo Gomez and Ryan Smith easily handled Clemson’s Carlos Alvarez and Rok Bizjak 8-3, Kevin King and partner Doug Kenny fell to Gera Boryachins and Wesley Moran 8-6. Tech’s No. 3 of Miguel Muguruza and Austin Roebuck would then pull out winner with a 9-7 victory over Kevin Galloway and Robert Pietrucha.

In singles play, Clemson tied the match at 1-1 as King Fell to Boryachins 6-2, 7-5 at the no. 2 position. Potvin and Muguruza would soon after notch back-to-back wins at the No. 2 and No. 3 spots in the lineup to put the Jackets up 3-1, needing only one more win to clinch the match. Potvin defeated Bizjak 7-6, 6-4, while Muguruza came back from a set down to drop Galloway 2-6, 6-2, 6-4.

Gomez was the eventual clincher for the Jackets, with a comeback of his own for a 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 triumph over Clemson’s Alvarez and a 4-1 lead. Gomez, the nation’s 11th-ranked singles player, grabbed his 20th win of the season, and his fourth in dual match play.

“Guillermo has been there for us all year,” Thorne added. “He fought hard and picked up a well deserved win.”

Tech won just its second conference opener since the 2003 season, but grabbed its third victory in a row over the Clemson Tigers. Ironically, all three wins have come as a 4-3 result.

The Jackets continue ACC play with a match at Miami Saturday at 12 p.m. in Coral Gables, Fla.

Match ResultsSingles1. #11 Guillermo Gomez (GT) def. Carlos Alavarez (CU) 5-7, 6-2, 6-42. Gera Boryachins (CU) def. Kevin King (GT) 6-2, 7-53. Eliot Potvin (GT) def. Rok Bizjak (CU) 7-6, 6-44. Miguel Muguruza (GT) def. Kevin Galloway (CU) 2-6, 6-2, 6-45. Kevin Fleck (CU) def. Dusan Miljevic (GT) 6-1, 7-56. Ike Belk (CU) def. Ryan Smith (GT) 6-2, 6-4

Doubles 1. #59 Gomez/Smith (GT) def. Alvarez/Bizjak (CU) 8-3 2. Boryachins/Moran (CU) def. King/Kenny (GT) 8-6 3. Muguruza/Roebuck (GT) def. Galloway/Pietrucha (CU) 9-7


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