April 17, 2008
ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. – Senior David North and freshman Miguel Muguruza both won their singles matches in straight sets but the ninth-seeded Georgia Tech men’s tennis team (13-12) fell to No. 8 seed N.C. State by a tight 4-3 margin in the first round of the 2008 Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament at Sanlando Park.
“I felt like all the way down to the last game of the third set of Guillermo’s match we were going to win,” head coach Kenny Thorne said. “We came out and played our best doubles of the season and we got the momentum. I think it carried over into the singles play as we won four-of-six first sets. I have to give credit to N.C. State for hanging in there and fighting back.”
The Yellow Jackets took an early 1-0 lead over the Wolf Pack after picking up wins at the No. 1 and No. 3 doubles positions. North and Eliot Potvin took advantage of early breaks and went on to beat the NC State duo of Derek Stephens and Jay Weinacker, 8-2. In the top position, No. 42 Scott Blackmon and Ryan Smith followed suit and won an 8-3 decision over Christian Welte and James McGee to clinch the doubles point.
Muguruza pushed Tech’s lead to 2-0 with a 7-5, 6-3 win over State’s David Chermak in the No. 6 singles spot. N.C. State came back to take the lead with wins in the No. 4, 3 and 5 singles positions. North fought through a first set tiebreaker to win 7-6 (9-7), 6-3 on court two over Nick Cavaday to even the match at 3-3.
This put the fate of the match on the result of the top singles match between No. 51 Guillermo Gomez and No. 56 James McGee of NC State. Gomez took the first set in a tiebreaker, but McGee evened it with a 7-5 win in the second set. Both players exchanged breaks early in the third set and continued to hold serve until McGee broke serve to go up 5-4. He was able to hold serve and finish off the win 6-7 (7-5), 7-5, 6-4.
“I have to give a lot of credit to David for making it come down to the last match and Guillermo for fighting hard through his match all the way to the end,” Thorne said.
With the loss, the Jackets will now have to wait to see if they will earn an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament.
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