MTennis Grabs First ACC Win of the Season
No. 63 Georgia Tech vs. No. 70 Miami
|Juan Melian/Nathan Rakitt||9|
|Wilfredo Gonzalez/Omar Aly||8|
|Juan Spir/Eduardo Segura||8|
|Gabriel Flores/Diego Soto||5|
|Colin Edwards/Anish Sharma||0|
|Henrique Tsukamoto/Diego Soto||8|
"Our players are such great fighters on the court," head coach Mario Rincon said. "Today was an example of it, how they came back strong and had great effort on every court. For us, today is a great win and I am really proud of how we bounced back after the doubles."
The Yellow Jackets (7-8, 0-2 ACC) won a closely contested doubles competition as the final point was decided in a tiebreaker on court one. Miami's third duo of Marco Stancati and Henrique Tsukamoto dominated their match with a lopsided 8-0 victory over Colin Edwards and Anish Sharma. Georgia Tech quickly responded with a win on court two as Juan Spir and Eduardo Segura defeated Diego Soto and Gabriel Flores, 8-5. The doubles match on court one was closely contested, as the Hurricanes and Yellow Jackets stayed close through the early going. Service breaks went the way of the visitor, however, and the No. 1 doubles tandem of Wilfredo Gonzalez and Omar Aly dropped a 9-8 decision to Juan Melian and Nathan Rakitt, giving Georgia Tech the doubles point.
Going into singles competition in a 0-1 hole, the Hurricanes knew they had to have a strong singles performance to grab the victory over the Yellow Jackets.
"Coach Rincon does a great job between the singles and doubles," assistant head coach Mark Dickson explained. "He motivates the guys and gets them hungry to get out there right away and get the momentum. That really sets a tone."
Miami got off to a solid start in singles play, claiming the first set on four out of six courts. Sophomore Wilfredo Gonzalez and freshman William Albanese gave the Canes a quick 2-1 advantage after winning their matches with identical 6-4, 6-2 scores, beating Georgia Tech's Eduardo Segura and Garrett Gordon, respectively.
Junior Marco Stancati notched Miami's third straight singles win with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Anish Sharma at No. 5 singles, giving the Canes a 3-1 lead.
With a 3-1 lead, Miami needed one more singles win to clinch the victory, but Yellow Jackets rallied back with two quick victories.
Georgia Tech trimmed the Hurricanes' lead down to 3-2 after Juan Spir outlasted Diego Soto in a three set match, winning 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.
On court four, junior Omar Aly fought hard but came up short and dropped a 6-4, 6-4 decision to Nathan Rakitt, allowing the Yellow Jackets to tie the match at 3-3.
With the score tied at 3-3, the match came down to a No. 1 singles duel between Miami's Gabriel Flores and Georgia Tech's Juan Melian.
Flores, playing in his first match at the No. 1 singles position, gave the early advantage to Melian after dropping a 6-4 decision in the first set.
"Gabriel was in control at the beginning," Rincon said. "Somehow he went away from what he was doing and it cost him the first set. But he quickly regrouped in the second and third sets and closed the match for us in a great way."
Flores allowed Melian to win only two more games in the final two sets on his way to a pair of 6-1 victories in the final two frames and clinched the win for the Canes.
"It was exciting to see Gabriel clinch the match for us today," Dickson said. "He has been working really hard in practice. A lot of the shots that he saw today down the stretch, he and coach Rincon have been working on in practice every single day. It was wonderful to see the skill he has developed in practice carry over to the match."
Miami will return to action on Tuesday, March 19 at 2 p.m. when they battle No. 58 Minnesota at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center.
For more information on the University of Miami men's tennis team, visit HurricaneSports.com. To follow the UM men's tennis team socially, visit Twitter.com/CanesMensTennis and Facebook at /MiamiHurricanesMensTennis
1. Gabriel Flores (MIA) def. Juan Melian (GT) 4-6, 6-1, 6-1
2. Juan Spir (GT) def. Diego Soto (MIA) 6-4, 3-6, 6-2
3. Wilfredo Gonzalez (MIA) def. Daniel Sotomarino (GT) 6-4, 6-2
4. Nathan Rakitt (GT) def. Omar Aly (MIA) 6-4, 6-4
5. Marco Stancati (MIA) def. Anish Sharma (GT) 6-2, 6-4
6. William Albanese (MIA) def. Anish Sharma (GT) 6-4, 6-2
1. Juan Melian/Nathan Rakitt (GT) def. Omar Aly/Wilfredo Gonzalez (MIA) 9-8
2. Juan Spir/Eduardo Segura (GT) def. Gabriel Flores/Diego Soto (MIA) 8-5
3. Marco Stancati/Henrique Tsukamoto (MIA) def. Colin Edwards/Anish Sharma (GT) 8-0
Miami 10-5; National ranking #70
Georgia Tech 7-8; National ranking #63