May 10, 2013
LOS ANGELES -
The men’s tennis team’s efforts to come back after dropping the closest of doubles points fell just short as the Crimson Tide was edged out by San Diego, 4-3, on Friday in the first round of the 2013 NCAA Tennis Championship at Southern California’s Marks Stadium. With the loss, Alabama ends the team season with a 14-14 record, while the Toreros improve to 18-9 overall, advancing to Saturday’s second round.
“Hats off to (San Diego head coach) Brett Masi and the Toreros for battling down to the stretch,” said Alabama head coach George Husack. “There’s a lot to be proud of this year with the strides we made. The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat is all a part of the process. It’s time to get back to work because we have more to accomplish.”
San Diego claimed the doubles points thanks to come-from-behind efforts from its No. 1 and No. 3 tandems, earning the point in just under two hours. Alabama’s Becker O'Shaughnessey and Daniil Proskura made quick work at No. 2 doubles, nailing down an 8-2 win over San Diego’s Ciaran Fitzgerald and Uros Petronijevic. At No. 1, the Toreros duo of Clarke Spinosa and Thibaut Visy came back from a 3-6 deficit to force a tiebreaker, which they would win, 7-3, over the Tide’s Jarryd Botha and David Vieyra. With attention now turned to court three, San Diego staged another rally as Romain Kalaydjian and Victor Pugliese came back from 4-6 and 6-7 down to force a tiebreaker. From there, they never trailed and took the tiebreaker over Alabama’s Stuart Kenyon and Philippe Tsangarides, 7-5, clinching the doubles point.
Proskura won the first singles match at No. 3, 6-4, 6-1, over Kalaydjian, to even the score at 1-1, but Petronijevic downed Tsangarides, 6-4, 6-3, to put San Diego back on top. Vieyra again evened the match with a 6-3, 2-6, 6-1 win over Pugliese at No. 5 singles, but the Toreros regained the lead at 3-2 after Visy took his No. 1 singles match over Botha, 6-1, 4-6, 6-2. Kenyon defeated Fitzgerald, 6-2, 2-6, 6-1 at No. 6 singles to tie the match, but just as that finished, Spinosa began to take control of the third set at court two and ultimately defeated O’Shaughnessey, 7-6(7), 4-6, 6-1.
“This was a tough match today,” added Husack. “It was hard to swallow, especially with the leads we had in doubles, but I am happy with the way the guys clawed their way back in singles.”
The NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships will take place May 22-27 in Urbana, Ill., on the campus of the University of Illinois. Representing the Tide will be Botha and Vieyra in doubles and Botha in singles. O’Shaughnessey and Proskura are also second alternates to get into the doubles field of 32.
1. Spinosa/Visy (USD) def. Botha/Vieyra (UA) 9-8(3)
2. O’Shaughnessey/Proskura (UA) def. Fitzgerald/Petronijevic (USD) 8-2
3. Kalaydjian/Pugliese (USD) def. Kenyon/Tsangarides (UA) 9-8(5)
Order of finish: 2,1,3
1. Thibaut Visy (USD) def. Jarryd Botha (UA) 6-1, 4-6, 6-2
2. Clarke Spinosa (USD) def. Becker O'Shaughnessey (UA), 7-6(7), 4-6, 6-1
3. Daniil Proskura (UA) def. Romain Kalaydjian (USD) 6-4, 6-1
4. Uros Petronijevic (USD) def. Philippe Tsangarides (UA) 6-4, 6-3
5. David Vieyra (UA) def. Victor Pugliese (USD) 6-3, 2-6, 6-1
6. Stuart Kenyon (UA) def. Ciaran Fitzgerald (USD) 6-2, 2-6, 6-1
Order of finish: 3,4,5,1,6,2*