April 11, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
The 33rd-ranked men's tennis team went 1-1 in its Friday doubleheader as it beat No. 61 Tulane, 4-1, before dropping a 4-0 decision to ninth-ranked Georgia in the night match. The Crimson Tide now stands at 12-13 overall and 4-7 in Southeastern Conference play. The Green Wave dips to 13-8 in the loss, while the win lifts the Bulldogs to 15-6 on the season and 10-1 in league play.
"It was a great effort by our guys with the late-scheduled match against Tulane," said Alabama head coach George Husack. "In the Georgia match we were really close. This has been a season of inches. One or two points separate us from doing some special things, but that hasn't deflated us."
In the first match of the day against Tulane, Alabama won the doubles point with a pair of 8-3 victories on courts one and two. Sean Donohue and Stuart Kenyon were first to finish, topping the Green Wave's Sebastian Rey and Alex Van Cott on court two. No. 22 Becker O'Shaughnessey and Daniil Proskura then followed that up on court one, beating 36th-ranked Dominik Koepfer and Jao Chi-Shan.
In singles, No. 98 O'Shaughnessey and Kenyon posted back-to-back victories on courts two and four, respectively, to give the Tide a 3-0 lead. Rey would then get Tulane on the board as he claimed a 6-4, 6-4, win over Nikko Madregallejo from court three, however 25th-ranked Proskura would deliver the clinching victory shortly after as he won 6-3, 6-3, over Koepfer on court one.
"We played very well in doubles and carried that into singles," added Husack. "That certainly got us prepared for the Georgia match."
The doubles point against Georgia was the closest of the season for Alabama as all three matches went to tiebreakers. The Bulldogs would end up taking the point with wins on courts one and three as No. 12 Ben Wagland and Hernus Pieters topped 22nd-ranked O'Shaughnessey and Proskura, 8-7(3), and Eric Diaz and Austin Smith posted an 8-7(5) victory over Andrew Goodwin and Madregallejo.
In singles, the Bulldogs would get a trio of wins at the bottom of the lineup to secure the team victory. First to finish was the matchup on court five where Nick Wood topped Goodwin, 6-2, 6-0, which was followed by a 6-3, 6-4 win for No. 76 Wagland over Kenyon on court four. The clincher for Georgia came from court six as Pieters held on to beat Hayes Brewer, 6-2, 6-3.
"Tonight Georgia was the better team," said Husack. "They are very good, but had we gotten the doubles point I think we would have had a little bit more mojo in singles. There are still a lot of great things to take from this match."
Alabama will play another doubleheader on Sunday, hosting No. 21 Tennessee at 1 p.m. and Nicholls State at 6 p.m. CT.
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