Feb. 3, 2009

Courtesy of Georgia

ATHENS - Third-ranked Georgia fought back for a 4-2 win over 36th-ranked Washington Saturday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex to advance to the sweet 16 of the ITA National Indoors.

Washington (4-2) grabbed a 1-0 lead by winning the doubles point over the Bulldogs (3-0). The team point came down to the No. 2 match where Derek Drabble and Patrik Fisher edged Josh Varela and Christian Vitulli 8-6. The Huskies No. 1 team of Martin Kildahl and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan won 8-4 while the No. 3 Bulldog tandem of Drake Bernstein and Javier Garrapiz won 8-3. It was the first time Georgia dropped the doubles point this season.

In singles, junior Nate Schnugg dispatched Fisher 6-2,6-0 at No. 1 to even the match at 1-all. He improved to 18-7 on the year. Garrapiz put the Bulldogs in front 2-1 with a 6-4,6-4 win over Kildhal in the No. 3 contest. However, the Huskies tied the match at 2-2 with Nedunchezhiyan’s 6-2,6-3 victory over 35th-ranked Jamie Hunt at No. 2. It was Hunt’s first match of the weekend after being held out of the lineup Friday due to an abdominal injury. Meanwhile, Bernstein dominated Ryo Sekiguchi in the No. 5 match, beating him 6-0,6-1 to put the Bulldogs back in front 3-2. At that point, Vaerla, the lone senior Bulldog, was locked in a third set tussle with Drabble at No. 4 while Washington’s Tobi Obenaus was up a set over Vitulli at No. 6.

Varela stormed back to win the final set in convincing fashion to clinch the victory for the Bulldogs who extended their home match winning streak to 50. Varela defeated Drabble 6-7(1),7-5,6-2. With the victory, Georgia will travel to Chicago, Ill., later this month for the National Team Indoor Championships (Feb. 13-16). The Bulldogs played host to one of the 15 early round sites and earned a spot in the final field of 16 along with the host University of Illinois.

“It was a total team effort today,” said Georgia coach Manuel Diaz. “After Washington won the doubles point, we knew what we had to do and everybody hung in there. Josh is a perfect example of a kid who came to Georgia to be a part of something special. He didn’t come in with a high ranking like some guys, he’s worked hard and gone from being like our eighth or ninth guy as a freshman to now winning big matches like today. He has a tremendous competitive spirit.”

In a consolation match, No. 51 South Carolina defeated No. 55 Indiana 4-3. The Gamecocks took the doubles point for a 1-0 lead. The No. 2 team of Josh Veeder and Pedro Campos posted an 8-4 win over Lachlan Ferguson and Guy Kubi. Then at No. 1, Diego Cubas and Ivan Machado rallied back to win 9-8(3) over Jeremy Langer and Santiago Gruter. The Hoosier pair went up a break and served for it at 8-7 before the Gamecocks got the break right back. Also, the IU team jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the tiebreaker but again the USC tandem responded and eventually clinched the point. USC led 7-4 in the No. 3 match when play was suspended.

In singles, USC went up 2-0 after Machado posted a straight-set win over Guy Kubi at No. 4. Then, Lachlan Ferguson got IU on the board when he upset of 42nd-ranked Diego Cubas 7-5,6-4 at No. 1. USC took a 3-1 lead with Jamie Cuellar’s win at No. 3. Gruter closed the gap to 3-2 when he outlasted Campos at No. 2, rallying back 1-6,6-3,7-6(4). The Hoosiers tied the match when Will Kendall defeated Johannes Pulsfort 6-1,7-5 at No. 5. All eyes turned to the No. 6 match where Indiana’s Ivan Cressoni and USC’s Jonathan Schroeder had split sets. Cressoni emerged with a 4-6,6-4,6-3 win to give the Gamecocks the 4-3 victory.

ITA Kickoff Weekend: Jan 31, 2009 at Athens, Ga.

(Hopkins Indoor Courts)


#3 Georgia 4, #36 Washington 2


1. Martin Kildahl/Jevan Nedunchezhiyan (WASH) def. Borja Malo/Nate Schnugg (UGA) 8-4

2. Derek Drabble/Patrik Fischer (WASH) def. Josh Varela/Christian Vitulli (UGA) 8-6

3. Drake Bernstein/Javier Garrapiz (UGA) def. Brad Bator/Alex Rosinski (WASH) 8-3



1. #18 Nate Schnugg (UGA) def. Patrik Fischer (WASH) 6-2, 6-0

2. Jevan Nedunchezhiyan (WASH) def. #35 Jamie Hunt (UGA) 6-2, 6-3

3. Javier Garrapiz (UGA) def. Martin Kildahl (WASH) 6-4, 6-4

4. Josh Varela (UGA) def. Derek Drabble (WASH) 6-7 (1-7), 7-5, 6-2

5. Drake Bernstein (UGA) def. Ryo Sekiguchi (WASH) 6-0, 6-1

6. Christian Vitulli (UGA) vs. Tobi Obenaus (WASH) 2-6, 3-0, unfinished

Match Notes:

Washington 4-2; National ranking #36

Georgia 3-0; National ranking #3

Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (1,3,2,5,4)

ITA Kickoff Weekend: Georgia advances to National Team Indoors (Feb. 13-16)

UGA Borja Malo in for Jamie Hunt at #1 doubles; Hunt has abdominal injury

Official: Walt Williams T-3:45 A-357


Consolation: #51 South Carolina 4, #55 Indiana 3


1. Diego Cubas/Ivan Machado (SCAR) def. Jeremy Langer/Santiago Gruter (IU) 9-8 (7-5)

2. Joseph Veeder/Pedro Campos (SCAR) def. Lachlan Ferguson/Guy Kubi (IU) 8-4

3. Peter Antons/Maxime Armengaud (IU) vs. Jamie Cuellar/Johannes Pulsfort (SCAR) 4-7, unfinished



1. Lachlan Ferguson (IU) def. #42 Diego Cubas (SCAR) 7-5, 6-4

2. Santiago Gruter (IU) def. Pedro Campos (SCAR) 1-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4)

3. Jamie Cuellar (SCAR) def. Jeremy Langer (IU) 7-5, 7-5

4. Ivan Machado (SCAR) def. Guy Kubi (IU) 6-3, 6-3

5. Will Kendall (IU) def. Johannes Pulsfort (SCAR) 6-1, 7-5

6. Ivan Cressoni (SCAR) def. Jonathan Schroeder (IU) 4-6, 6-4, 6-3


Match Notes:

South Carolina 4-1; National ranking #51

Indiana 4-4; National ranking #55

Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (4,1,3,2,5,6)

ITA Kickoff Weekend: Consolation, #3 seed IU vs. #4 seed USC

Official: Walt Williams T-5:16 A-51