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tennis-men-d1 flag | January 27, 2014

Roundup: Tennessee earns trip to national indoor championship

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- With a trio of straight-set wins across the even-numbered courts Sunday, the  Volunteers booked their sixth consecutive trip to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships.

The Vols (6-0) shut out 30th-ranked VCU 4-0 to finish the ITA Kick-Off Weekend at Goodfriend Tennis Center.

From the first serve, the Vols came out strong in doubles. Andrew Dromsky and Markus Kerner won 6-1 on court 3, and Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese followed suit on court 1.

Victories in singles came from courts 2, 4 and 6.

Reese beat Michal Voscek 6-1, 6-3 on court 2, and Kerner followed suit a few seconds later with a 6-0, 6-5 win versus Vuc Velickovic, who lost the match in the tiebreaker on a game-penalty on his fourth official overrule.

Jarryd Chaplin, playing between Reese and Kerner on court 4, punched the Vols' ticket to Houston a few minutes later. He wrapped up the shutout with a 6-3, 6-4 victory versus Jean Baptiste Mateo.

No. 1 Virginia 7, Boston College 0
No. 1 Virginia 8, Navy 0

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Top-ranked Virginia concluded its opening weekend of the season by sweeping a Sunday doubleheader at the Boyd Tinsley Courts at the Boar's Head Sports Club. The Cavaliers (4-0, 1-0 ACC) downed Boston College 7-0 in their ACC opener before topping Navy 8-0 in the evening.

"These matches gave us the opportunity to get a lot of guys some action against live competition," said head coach Brian Boland. "We were able to go as deep as 10 players in these matches, which is what we needed so we could test them and see where they are at this point of the season. I was pleased with their composure and professionalism throughout the day and I think we are in a good place as a team. Hopefully they will continue to work hard as we prepare for National Team Indoors in a few weeks."

After downing Elon and Indiana on Friday and Saturday in the ITA Kickoff Weekend, the Cavaliers have shutout all four opponents they have played this season, dropping just two sets in the process. The victory against Boston College was also extended Virginia's conference win streak to 107 matches.

Virginia had five players record a singles victory in both contests Sunday, as Alex Domijan, Jordan Daigle, Thai-Son Kwiatkowski, Luca Corinteli and Harrison Richmond each posted a pair of wins. In addition, Justin Shane won his match against Boston College and Ryan Shane and Mac Styslinger added wins against Navy.

No. 3 Georgia 4, No. 40 Stanford 1

ATHENS, Ga. -- Third-ranked Georgia weathered a late charge by No. 40 Stanford en route to a 4-1 victory and a place in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Team Indoor Championships on Sunday evening at the Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Facility.

The Bulldogs (2-0) used two wins this weekend against Columbia and the Cardinal to advance out of the ITA Kickoff’s Athens region and snag a spot in the prestigious 16-team field next month in Houston.

“It wasn’t easy this weekend – both matches were very tight,” said head coach Manuel Diaz. “The Regional was very competitive, and our guys had to play their best to win. It’s a sign of how deep things are going to be this year. Nothing is going to be easy, but the guys really were up to the challenge. I thought we played much better doubles today than we have been, and we were able to win some good matches late and clinch a good victory.”

The Bulldogs started off strong in snagging the early doubles point with wins at Nos. 2 and 3. First off the court was the team of Garrett Brasseaux and Nathan Pasha at No. 2, defeating Yale Goldberg and Maciek Romanowicz, 6-3. They were shortly followed by the No. 3 team of Eric Diaz and Austin Smith, who posted a 6-4 victory over Trey Strobel and Jamin Ball to give Georgia the early 1-0 lead. The No. 1 match was unfinished with Georgia’s 12th-ranked pairing of Ben Wagland and Hernus Pieters leading 4-3.

The squad took a 3-0 lead overall in the match with quick singles wins from Wagland and Pasha. Wagland defeated Strobel, 6-4, 6-1, at No. 3, and Pasha handed Daniel Ho a 6-0, 6-3 loss at No. 1 to leave Georgia just one win shy of the clinch and the berth.

But Stanford got on the board with a victory at No. 2, as Romanowicz beat Smith 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 to cut it to 3-1. Then, after dropping a close first-set tiebreaker earlier, it would be Brasseaux who would provide the decisive fourth point for UGA, as he posted a 5-6(5), 6-4, 6-4 win over Anthony Tsodikov at No. 4 to seal it. The Nos. 5 and 6 matches were unfinished with Pieters and Wood both up sets and breaks on their courts.

The Bulldogs advance to National Indoors for the 11th straight season, and have failed to do so just one time (2003) since the tournament began in 1973. Georgia has won two indoor championships, coming in back to back years in 2006 and 2007, while reaching the finals six times – most recently in 2009.

No. 4 USC 4, Wichita State 0

LOS ANGELES -- No. 4 USC team came out on top of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend today, knocking off No. 63 Wichita State 4-0 at Marks Stadium. The victory earned the Trojans one of 16 spots in the ITA National Team Indoor Championships next month in Houston, Texas.

To open up the match, USC dominated in doubles, finishing quickly in the experimental six-game set format. Senior Ray Sarmiento and junior Yannick Hanfmann, both playing through lingering injuries, demolished their opponents -- Wichita State's Tomislav Gregurovic and Tin Ostojic -- by a 6-0 score. Their set lasted just over 10 minutes, getting the ball rolling quickly on a match that would only last an hour and a half in total.

Junior Roberto Quiroz and freshman Connor Farren also looked strong, taking down Wichita State's Jocelyn Devilliers and Guillermo de Vilchez, 6-2, behind Quiroz's skillful serving.

The win on court two gave USC the lead and suspended play on court three, where junior Eric Johnson and sophomore Max de Vroome held a slight lead over Wichita State's Ilija Cuic and Jocelyn Devilliers. 4-3.

Sarmiento, who sat out of the singles line-up in the first round of the tournament, returned today to the top singles slot. The No. 10 singles player in the country put on a show in his first match back, dispatching Wichita State's Cuic, 6-0, 6-0. Hanfmann, who played at the top spot in Sarmiento's absence, rested during singles play.

Meanwhile, junior Jonny Wang, ranked No. 67 in the nation in singles, was in control on court five, up 6-1, 4-1, when his opponent was forced to retire.

Johnson then clinched the victory for the Trojans with a powerful 6-2, 6-2 defeat of Wichita State's Ibian Hodgson on court six.

No. 5 Ohio State 4, No. 48 Louisville 1
No. 5 Ohio State 4, Toledo 0

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State claimed two wins on Sunday at the Varsity Indoor Tennis Center, including director of tennis and head coach Ty Tucker’s 400th of his career at Ohio State. The Buckeyes (5-0) defeated No. 48 Louisville 4-1 in the championship match of the 2014 ITA Kick-Off before posting a 4-0 shutout against Toledo in the nightcap.

With the win against the Cardinals, Ohio State advances to the ITA National Team Indoor, to be hosted by Texas A&M University Feb. 14-17 in Houston. The victory against the Rockets marked the 400th of Tucker’s career, while the Scarlet and Gray extended their home win streak to 177-consecutive matches. The nine-time Big Ten Coach of the Year is now 400-61 at Ohio State.

In doubles action against Louisville, the No. 7 duo of senior Peter Kobelt and redshirt junior Kevin Metka raced out to a 5-0 lead before defeating Seb Stiefelmeyer and Van Damrongsri 6-1 on court No. 1. Redshirt sophomore Chris Diaz and redshirt freshman Ralf Steinbach then clinched the doubles point for the second consecutive match with a 6-2 victory on court No. 3 against Alex Gornet and Luis Elizondo. Redshirt junior Hunter Callahan and freshman Herkko Pollanen trailed Albert Wagner and Chris Simich 5-2 when play was suspended

In singles play, the Buckeyes won the first set in four of the six matches. Metka was first off of the court with a 6-2, 6-3 win against Simich. Lousiville cut the lead in half with Gornet’s 6-2, 6-2 win against Steinbach. Moments later, Diaz outsmarted Wagner 6-0, 6-4 to put Ohio State up 3-1. Pollanen then sealed the victory for the second time this season with a 6-2, 6-1 win against Damrongsri. Kobelt, the No. 31 player in the country, was a set and a break up against Stiefelmeyer and Callahan was down a set but up a break in the second set when play was suspended.

In doubles play against Toledo, Metka and Diaz were first off of the court with a 6-2 win against Ben Brocker and Boris Pak on court No. 3. On court No. 2, Kobelt and Steinbach put the Buckeyes up 1-0 with a 6-3 victory against Garret Cona and Stjepan Sisko. The match between Callahan and Marko Goles-Babic and Mark Singnil and Nicky Wong on court No. 1 was suspended with the Buckeyes up 4-3.

In singles action, Metka won the first eleven games of the match before winning 6-0, 6-1 against Cona on court No. 4. Callahan gave the Buckeyes a 3-0 lead with a 6-2, 6-0 win against Pak on court No. 6. Steinbach clinched the match with a 6-3, 6-4 win against Wong on court No. 3. On court No. 1, No. 31 Kobelt led Singnil 6-3, 5-4 when play was called. Pollanen led Sisko on court No. 2 6-3, 4-3 and Goles-Babic was up 3-6, 6-1, 4-1 on court No. 5 when play was suspended.

No. 7 Baylor 4, No. 28 Auburn 1

WACO, Texas -- Seventh-ranked Baylor took down No. 28 Auburn 4-1 on Sunday at the Hurd Tennis Center. With the win, the Bears secured a spot in the ITA National Team Indoor Championships to be held in Houston on Feb. 14-17.

Baylor got off to a strong start in the match against the Tigers claiming the doubles point in dominant fashion. The pairing of Julian Lenz and Robert Verzaal secured a 6-1 victory on court three over Joseph Van Dooren and Dante Saleh. The Bears then locked up the doubles point on court one where Patrick Pradella and Mate Zsiga put away Daniel Cochrane and Peter Tomic, 6-3.

In singles action, the 18th-ranked Diego Galeano topped Dennis Lengsfeld 6-4, 6-5(6) to put the Bears up 2-0. The Baylor junior won five straight points in the second-set tiebreaker, after trailing 6-3.

Auburn answered back with a Van Dooren 6-5(4), 6-5(6) win on court six over freshman Vince Schneider.

Zsiga recorded his first win of the season with a 4-6, 6-5(2), 6-1 to give the Bears a 3-1 lead. Second-ranked Lenz secured the BU victory on court one with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 win over Lukas Ollert.

No. 9 Oklahoma 4, No. 31 Northwestern

NORMAN, Okla. -- No. 9 Oklahoma beat No.31 Northwestern 4-0 in the ITA Kick Off championship match Sunday at the Headington Family Tennis Center.

OU secured the doubles point with victories at the No. 2 and No.1 positions.

Axel Alvarez and Guillermo Alcorta recorded the first doubles win, ousting Alp Horoz and Fedor Baev 6-2.

Dane Webb and Andrew Harris sealed the Sooners doubles point, topping Mihir Kumar and Sam Shropshire 6-4.

OU collected three points in singles play, clinching the Sooner victory.

In the No. 2 position Alvarez earned the first point, beating Shropshire in straight sets 6-3, 6-1.

Alcorta claimed the next point for OU, defeating Raleigh Smith 6-3, 6-2.

Sophomore Austin Siegel secured the Sooner win. After being down 2-6 in the first set, he fought back and prevailed against Baev 2-6, 6-5, 6-1. 

No. 25 Clemson 4, No. 10 Mississippi 2

OXFORD, Miss. -- Clemson’s Fernando Sala defeated Zach Wilder of Mississippi 6-5, 6-4 at No. 6 singles in clinching the match and leading Clemson to a 4-2 upset win against Mississippi 4-2 in the consolation game of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend Tournament at the Gillom Sports Center on Sunday.

With the victory, Clemson is now 4-1 overall, while Mississippi drops to 0-2 this season.

This was the highest ranked team that Clemson head coach Chuck McCuen has defeated during his tenure that began in the 2009 season. It was the highest-ranked team that Clemson has defeated since the Tigers beat 10th-ranked Florida State at Clemson on March 2, 2007. 

Clemson's trip to Oxford, MS is only the second time the Tigers have played Mississippi on the road. The last time the Tigers played at Oxford was on April 3, 1941.  

After winning the doubles point, the Tigers’ momentum carried into the single competition. Clemson’s Dominique Maden upset No. 104 William Kallberg 6-2, 6-4 to take a 2-0 lead in the match.   

At No. 1 singles, No. 15 Nik Scholtz of Mississippi defeated Hunter Harrington 6-4, 6-3. In the third singles match, Clemson’s Alejandro Augusto upset No. 108 Stefan Lindmark of Mississipi 6-5, 6-1 to give Clemson the 3-1 advantage.

Mississippi won at No. 4 singles to narrow Clemson’s lead to 3-2 when Johan Backstrom defeated Austin Ansari, 6-0, 6-4.    

The Tigers clinched the match when Sala claimed his match against Wilder at No. 6 singles 6-5, 6-4 giving Clemson the 4-2 victory.