Men's Tennis Drops Hard-Fought Loss to No. 4 Georgia, 5-2
April 6, 2012
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The men’s tennis team battled all afternoon, but came up short, dropping a 5-2 decision to No. 4 Georgia at the Alabama Tennis Stadium. With the loss, the Crimson Tide falls to 7-13 overall and 1-8 in the Southeastern Conference, while the Bulldogs improve to 18-2 on the season and 8-1 against league opponents.
“This is the proudest I have been of our team this year in terms of the way we competed in every spot and carried ourselves on the court,” said Alabama head coach Billy Pate. “We fought from the very first point in doubles until the end of singles, but Georgia is so good that you really can’t afford any missed opportunities, and we had a few. We had a very spirited crowd that got behind us too, and that was great to see. If we continue to show this improvement and fight in every match, we can be a strong team as we enter the last stretch of the year.”
Georgia narrowly edged out Alabama for the doubles point, which lasted nearly 90 minutes. On court two, the Bulldogs 59th-ranked team of senior Sadio Doumbia and freshman Nathan Pasha gave Georgia its first win with an 8-3 decision over Tide senior Vikram Reddy and sophomore Carlos Taborga. The doubles point would be decided on court three quite a while later as the match was played out in a tiebreaker. Bulldog senior Wil Spencer and junior KU Singh led 5-2 before the Alabama freshman duo of David Vieyra and Filippos Tsangaridis pulled back within one. Georgia would end up taking the match 9-8(5) to award the Bulldogs the first point. The Tide was able to get a win at the No. 1 spot as senior Ricky Doverspike and junior Jarryd Botha played solid doubles together to take down Georgia’s 34th-ranked pair of senior Ignacio Taboada and sophomore Hernus Pieters.
The Bulldogs took a 2-0 lead as they captured the first win in singles with Pasha taking a 6-1, 6-4 victory on court six over Tsangaridis. Reddy would put Alabama on the board next with its first point of the night with a 6-4, 6-4 win over 33rd-ranked Taboada. No. 32 Singh gave Georgia a 3-1 lead with a win on court two as he was able to outlast Botha 6-2, 7-6(3). Botha was down early in the second set and battled his way back to send the match into a tiebreaker, but came up just shy of making it to a third set. Next to finish was sophomore Daniil Proskura, putting the Tide within one, as he picked up a 7-6(5), 6-2 victory on court three over 24th-ranked Doumbia. From there, Georgia would go on to win the final two matches, first a 3-6, 6-4, 6-0 win on court five to clinch as No. 62 Pieters topped Vieyra and then a 7-5, 2-6, 5-5 win on court one as Doverspike was forced to pull out after battling severe cramps in the final set against eighth-ranked Spencer.
Next up, the Tide hosts No. 22 Tennessee on Sunday at the Alabama Tennis Stadium. First serve is slated for 1 p.m. CT.