Feb. 7, 2015
By Matt Winkeljohn | The Good Word
– Freshman Christopher Eubanks took down another ranked player from No. 4 Georgia and Cole Fiegel won his sixth straight as No. 75 Georgia Tech fell 4-3 to the Bulldogs Friday in a match that hinted what can be for the Yellow Jackets.
Georgia juggled its lineup and rallied to win when No. 101 Nick Wood topped Tech’s Carlos Benito on court five, 6-2, 5-7, 6-1 to clinch, but Tech’s promise was evident before a standing-room-only crowd at the Ken Byers Tennis Complex.
The Jackets (5-1) took the doubles point in convincing fashion when Benito and Eduardo Segura beat the 16th-ranked tandem of Peter Oosterban and Ben Wagland, 6-2, and freshmen Eubanks and Michael Kay beat No. 53 Nathan Pasha and Wayne Montgomery by the same score.
Tech’s Fiegel and Nathan Rakitt led No. 34 Eric Diaz and Austin Smith 5-3 at the time, and the Byers Complex was rocking.
The Bulldogs (4-1) won four of five singles matches from there to lock up the match, but Eubanks played on and topped No. 11 Austin Smith 7-5, 5-7, 7-6 (7-4) on court No. 2 as the Jackets closed valiantly.
Three weeks ago, Eubanks beat Georgia senior Pasha in the Martin Luther King Invitational. He’s won five straight matches to push his record to 16-8.
“It was a good way to finish for the entire team,” head coach Kenny Thorne told ramblinwreck.com. “Our guys believe in themselves, and are doing some good things.”
With the bleachers packed and dozens of fans waiting in line outside, the Complex was charged with the feel of big-time college tennis.
Byers was on hand, and so was most of the Athletic Association senior staff, including athletic director Mike Bobinski. Several former Tech players were on hand, including professionals Kevin King and Juan Spir, and All-American golfer Ollie Schniederjans – the world’s top-ranked amateur – was in attendance.
The match featured several dozen ball boys and girls, and six chair umpires – all more typical of postseason tennis than an early-season meeting – and Tech student Maggie Bridges singing the Star Spangled Banner beforehand.
Fiegel tied the match 2-2 when he beat Oosterbaan 6-3, 7-6 (7-1) on court No. 6. The Tech sophomore from Alachua, Fla., has won nine of his past 10 matches dating to last fall, and 13 of 16 since an 0-3 start.
Benito and Segura moved to 11-5 with their third straight win together.
After playing nine times at home to start the spring, three times outside of dual match format, the Jackets will play at Auburn next Sunday before returning to Tech for three matches prior to the start of the ACC season March 6 at Clemson.
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