Georgia 4, LSU 0

May 21, 2005

COLLEGE STATION, Texas The sixth-seeded University of Georgia mens tennis team quickly dispatched 11th-seeded LSU in the Round of 16 of the NCAA Championships at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center. Sophomore Matic Omerzel won the match-clinching contest, a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Jason Hazley.

We played a pretty good match, said Georgia head coach Manuel Diaz. We were very fortunate to get off the courts in quick fashion. When you can take care of business and close out a match quickly, it is a big advantage in this heat.

It was very hot out there, very tough, said Omerzel. Jason (Hazley) played very well. I had to earn every point.

Georgia got off to a quick start, taking the doubles point with wins at No. 1 and No. 3. The nations No. 1 team of sophomore John Isner and junior Antonio Ruiz easily dispatched Mark Growcott and Ken Skupski 8-3 from the top spot, in a match accented by big serves and good hands at the net. At the third slot, and sophomore Ricardo Gonzalez battled to an 8-5 win over Peter Richman and Hazley.

We knew we had to come out strong, said Omerzel. Weve played against them before so we knew we had to expect them to come out and play tough.

In singles action, Isner gave Georgia a 2-0 lead as he was first off the court with a quick 6-2, 6-0 victory over Growcott at the top spot.

I felt a little slow at first, said Isner. But once I got used to his serve, I knew I could capitalize on any mistakes and get a break. We had a lot of momentum going into the singles, that doubles point was huge. The No. 3 team (Omerzel and Gonzalez) played amazing, that was one of their best matches of the year.

The Bulldogs advantage became 3-0 when junior Colin Purcell topped Richman, 6-3, 6-3, to set Omerzel up for the clinch.

I felt good about the way I played, said Purcell. But it was really hot out there. The further your match goes the more tense you get toward the end, so when those mix together its really tough. I just wanted to play quick points and get them over as soon as possible.

The Bulldogs take on another SEC foe in the quarterfinals as they clash with third-seeded Ole Miss at 1 p.m. CST on Sunday. The Rebels advanced through the Round of 16 by taking out Texas Tech, 4-2.

More post-match quotes:

Coach Diaz:

Matic (Omerzel) had to overcome a lot in the last couple of days. His has struggled with a sinus infection that has only gotten worse, especially on the plane ride. He has missed the last couple of team workouts. His effort today was really exceptional.

John (Isner) seemed to come along slowly but about halfway through the match he caught on fire. His win was a very emotional one for the team, that gave us a big advantage and a lot of momentum. Then Colin and Matic both beat a couple of very good veterans.

LSU is a very well-coached, very fit team and they made us work for every point.

John Isner:

In this heat, playing at 9 a.m. was a big advantage. We knew coming in that we had to capitalize on any opportunities we were given.

They crowd was great. We had some former players here cheering us on, it really makes a difference.

#7-rank, #6-seed University of Georgia 4, #10-rank, #11-seed Louisiana State 0

Singles competition
1. #21 John Isner (UGA) def. #79 Mark Growcott (LSU) 6-2, 6-0
2. Ken Skupski (LSU) def. Antonio Ruiz (UGA) 4-6, 6-5, unfinished
3. Matic Omerzel (UGA) def. Jason Hazley (LSU) 6-2, 6-3
4. #100 Colin Purcell (UGA) def. Peter Richman (LSU) 6-3, 6-3
5. Ricardo Gonzalez (UGA) vs. Danny Bryan (LSU) 6-2, 3-6, 1-0, unfinished
6. Colt Gaston (LSU) def. Matias Ormaza (UGA) 4-6, 5-4, unfinished

Doubles competition
1. #1 John Isner/Antonio Ruiz (UGA) def. #6 Mark Growcott/Ken Skupski (LSU) 8-3
2. Danny Bryan/Colt Gaston (LSU) def. Strahinja Bobusic/Colin Purcell (UGA) 7-5, unfinished
3. Ricardo Gonzalez/Matic Omerzel (UGA) def. Jason Hazley/Peter Richman (LSU) 8-5

Match Notes:
Louisiana State 21-9; National ranking #10
University of Georgia 20-6; National ranking #7
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (1,4,3)

Round of 16 NCAA Tournament
Georgia - No. 6 Seed; LSU - No. 11 Seed.

-- Courtesy Stanford