May 8, 2009

Courtesy of Georgia

ATHENS, Ga. --- Fourth-ranked Georgia cruised in to the second round of the NCAA Men’s Tennis Championships with a 4-0 win over South Carolina State Friday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.

The Bulldogs (23-3) now will face 26th-ranked Virginia Tech here Saturday at 4 p.m. The Hokies (15-7) advanced with a 4-2 win over UNC-Wilmington earlier Friday. The Georgia-Virginia Tech winner moves on to the round of 16 next week in College Station, Texas.

Georgia took the early 1-0 lead by winning the doubles point. The fifth-ranked duo of Jamie Hunt and Nate Schnugg defeated Radek Pivonka and Gabriel Meana 8-2 in the No. 1 contest. Then, the No. 2 team of  Borja Malo and Christian Vitulli clinched the point with an 8-4 win over Ivan Milivojevic and Tomas Dobrotka. With the point determined, the No. 3 match was suspended with Georgia leading 6-5. The Bulldogs are 18-0 in matches this year after claiming the doubles point.

In singles, Malo gave the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead with a quick 6-0,6-1 win over Jan Langer in the No. 6 contest. Malo moved in to the lineup when Hunt was taken out after the doubles because he is recovering from an illness. Next, Javier Garrapiz made it 3-0 after a 6-0,6-2 victory over Pivonka at No. 2. The clinching win came from Vitulli at No. 5. He dispatched David Grund 6-3,6-1 to give the Bulldogs a 4-0 decision

“We were excited to start the tournament and to get it rolling like we did,” said Vitulli. “I thought we had a lot of energy, and it means a lot to get a win today for the team and to be able to clinch it too.”

“South Carolina State is a program on the rise, and they challenged us on every court in singles,” said Georgia coach Manuel Diaz. “We had tiebreakers in two of the top three singles spots, all the matches were competitive, and they were gentlemen on the courts.  I didn’t think we looked as fresh as I would’ve liked but some of that is due to the guys just finishing exams and we haven’t had a match in a week.”

Diaz added that Hunt was held out of the singles as a precaution and indicated he should be ready to go for both singles and doubles Saturday.

With the latest victory, Georgia extended its home winning streak to 61. South Carolina State ends the season with a 14-8 record.

NCAA Men’s Tennis First Round
Athens, Ga. (Dan Magill Tennis Complex)
#4 Georgia 4,  South Carolina State 0

1. #5 Jamie Hunt/Nate Schnugg (UGA) def. Radek Pivonka/Gabriel Meana (SCSU) 8-2
2. Borja Malo/Christian Vitulli (UGA) def. Ivan Milivojevic/Tomas Dobrotka (SCSU) 8-4
3. Drake Bernstein/Javier Garrapiz (UGA) vs. David Grund/Jan Langer (SCSU) 6-5, suspended

1. #12 Nate Schnugg (UGA) vs.  Ivan Milivojevic (SCSU) 7-6(2), 1-1, suspended
2. #62 Javier Garrapiz (UGA) def. Radek Pivonka (SCSU) 6-0,6-2
3. Josh Varela (UGA) vs. Tomas Dobrotka (SCSU) 7-6(5), 3-1, suspended
4. Drake Bernstein (UGA) vs. Gabriel Meana (SCSU) 6-2,5-2, suspended
5. Christian Vitulli (UGA) def. David Grund (SCSU) 6-3,6-1
6. Borja Malo (UGA) def. Jan Langer (SCSU) 6-0,6-1

Order of Finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (6,2,5)
Team Record: #4 Georgia (23-3); S.C. State (14-8)