Auburn 4, Middle Tennessee 3

May 14, 2005

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Auburn's Tom George won the final four games at No. 5 to give 36th-ranked Auburn and 4-3 victory over No. 30 Middle Tennessee in a match that took five hours at the Gillom Sports Center in Oxford, Miss. in a match forced indoors because of morning rain.

The Blue Raiders dropped the doubles point in a tiebreaker but came back to win a trio of three-set singles matches, overcoming a first-set deficit in all three.

Middle Tennessee played without sophomore Kai Schledorn, who is at home in Germany with his mother, who has brain cancer. Schledorn is ranked 26th nationally with junior Brandon Allan in doubles and plays No. 3 singles for the Blue Raiders in dual action.

Greg Pollack and Anant Sitaram opened doubles play with an 8-3 victory at No. 2 over Robert Lauthowers and George. Auburn's Nick Lane and Brett Hunter evened the doubles play with an 8-4 triumph at No. 3 over Allan and Marc Boiron.

The deciding match in doubles came down to a tiebreaker, with Auburn's 16th-ranked Alex Schweizer and Gabor Zoltan Pelva outlasting Middle Tennessee's 45th-ranked Andreas Siljestrom and Marco Born, 8-6, in the breaker.

The Tigers struck first in singles, with 38th-ranked Zoltan Pelva defeating No. 100 Siljestrom at No. 1, 6-4, 6-2. The Raiders got on the board at No. 2, with Born battling back from a set down against 120th-ranked Schweizer to take a 5-7, 6-4, 6-1, victory.

The comeback continued with another come-from-behind, three-set triumph, this one by Allan at No. 3. The junior defeated Lane, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, evening the match at two.

Hunter gave Auburn a 3-2 edge with a 6-0, 6-4, victory at No. 6 over Boiron. But Sitaram won the third three-setter of the day for the Blue Raiders, defeating Lauthowers at No. 4, 6-7, 6-2, 6-2.

Pollack's match was the deciding point, with AU's George taking the first set, 6-4. Pollack led in the second set, 5-3, before George won the final four games of the match to give the Tigers the 4-3 victory.

"It was a very heart-breaking and disappointing loss for us," Middle Tennessee head coach Dale Short said. "It was a nip-and-tuck match all the way through and our guys really battled. Marco, Brandon and Anant all played very well and showed a lot of heart battling back to win in three sets."

Middle Tennessee ends its season 18-7 overall after making its seventh NCAA Team Championships appearance.

#36 Auburn 4, #30 Middle Tennessee 3
1. (38) Gabor Zoltan Pelva (AU) def. (100) Andreas Siljestrom (MT), 6-4, 6-2
2. Marco Born (MT) def. (120) Alex Schweizer (AU), 5-7, 6-4, 6-1
3. Brandon Allan (MT) def. Nick Lane (AU), 4-6, 7-5, 6-3
4. Anant Sitaram (MT) def. Robert Lauthowers (AU), 6-7, 6-2, 6-2
5. Tom George (AU) def. Greg Pollack (MT), 6-4, 7-5
6. Brett Hunter (AU) def. Marc Boiron (MT), 6-0, 6-4

1. (16) Schweizer-Zoltan Pelva (AU) def. (45) Siljestrom-Born (MT), 9-8 (6)
2. Pollack-Sitaram (MT) def. Lauthowers-George (AU), 8-3
3. Lane-Hunter (AU) def. Allan-Boiron (MT), 8-4

-- Courtesy MTSU