Vanderbilt 4, Georgia Tech 3

May 14, 2005

Gainesville, Fla. * The 38th-ranked Vanderbilt mens tennis team dropped the doubles point and rallied from a 2-0 deficit to knock off 28th-ranked Georgia Tech, 4-3, Saturday afternoon in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Gainesville, Fla. With the win, the Commodores improved to 13-11 on the season, while Georgia Tech fell in the opening round of the event for the second straight season to end the 2005 campaign with a 14-10 mark.

I knew it would be a battle because the teams were so evenly matched, said Vanderbilt head coach Eddie Coates. It has been a tough year for our team and weve gone through a lot of different circumstances. Weve had to make adjustments and I think it is those experiences that gave us the edge toady. The win shows how mature our guys are and everyone played their part.

Vanderbilts win set up a meeting with Florida in the regional finals. The third-ranked and fourth-seeded Gators posted a 4-0 win over UCF in early action on Saturday. The two teams met in the regular season on March 14 in Gainesville where the Gators took a 7-0 win. On Sunday, the two conference foes will meet for the first time in the NCAA tournament with a trip to College Station, Texas on the line.

Were a different team since we were thumped here, said Coates. The last time we were here it was the first week of SEC competition since we switched coaches. Our minds were somewhere lese and it took two weeks to get a new identity and reset our goals. I dont know if the results will be different tomorrow, but we have earned the shot to play Florida. It should be fun and everyone is fired up about it.

The doubles point came down to court three after Georgia Techs Jose Luis Muguruza and Sukwha Young jumped to an 8-1 win on court two over Vanderbilts Nathan Sachs and Evan Dufaux and Vanderbilts 12th-ranked Scott Brown and Jason Pinsky took an 8-5 win on court two against the Yellow Jacket combination of 38th-ranked David North and Mario Rajevac.

With the issue in doubt, Vanderbilts Ryan Preston and Matt Lockin came back from a 7-6 deficit to force a tiebreaker where Georgia Techs Scott Blackmon and Zachary Rath edged out a 9-8 (5) victory in just over an hour and a half.

Rath increased the lead to 2-0 in Techs favor with a straight set 6-1, 7-5 win over Sachs on court five. The win improved the sophomore to 11-8 in dual match play this season.

Moments later, Lockin put Vanderbilt on the board for the first time on the afternoon with a 6-3, 6-3 win against Rajevac on court three. His win was the first of the season at the third spot in the order and improved his dual record to 8-15.

Preston evened the match at two when he turned in a straight set 7-5, 6-3 win against Young on court four. Preston continued to be steady for the Commodores increasing his dual match record to a team best 18-5 on the season.

Newcomer Jordan Delass got Georgia Tech to within one win away from clinching the match with a 6-2, 7-5 win on court six over Dufaux. However, Brown (ranked 39th nationally) evened things again with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 win against 22nd-ranked Muguruza at the top of the order to force the match to be decided on court two where Pinsky was ahead 3-2 in the third set at the time.

Pinsky had to fight to force a third set to begin with after falling in the opening set to North, 6-0. In the second set Pinsky turned things around and won in a tiebreaker, 7-6 (2), after North served at 6-5 in the second set for the win. North broke Pinsky to even the third set at three, however, Pinsky held on for a 0-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4 win that came in two hours and thirty eight minutes.

Vanderbilt vs. Ga. Tech
2005 NCAA Tournament First Round
Ring Tennis Complex - Gainesville, Fla.

39 Scott Brown (VU) def. 22 Jose Luis Muguruza (GT), 6-3, 4-6, 6-4
Jason Pinsky (VU) def. David North (GT), 0-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4
Matt Lockin (VU) def. Marko Rajevac (GT), 6-3, 6-3
Ryan Preston (VU) def. Sukwha Young (GT), 7-5, 6-3
Zachary Rath (GT) def. Nathan Sachs (VU), 6-1, 7-5
Jordan Delass (GT) vs. Evan Dufaux (VU), 6-2, 7-5
Order of Finish * 5, 3, 4, 6, 1, 2

12 Scott Brown/Jason Pinsky (VU) def. 38 David North Mario Rajevac (GT), 8-5
Jose Luis Muguruza/Sukhwa Young (GT) def. Nathan Sachs/Evan Dufaux (GT), 8-1
Scott Blackmon/Zachary Rath (GT) def. Ryan Preston/Matt Lockin (VU), 9-8 (5)*

Order of Finish * 2, 1, 3

* - Clinched doubles point/dual match

Georgia Tech Coach Kenny Thorne:
"It was interesting how it came down to two freshman playing at high spots in the lineup. Both sides fought and those two happened to be the last guys out there. There is no shame in the way North played for us today. I thought we had more energy at the end, but Pinsky had some big serves, which got him some critical points. I thought doubles would be big. I knew they'd be tough at certain position, but you have to give them a lot of credit. Our freshman played great today and got invaluable experience. They went out and played to win today."

-- Courtesy Florida