Saturday, May 17, 2003
ATHENS, Ga. – The University of Alabama men’s tennis team (19-10) ended its season with a 4-1 loss to Baylor (28-1) in the NCAA championships round of sixteen at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga. Saturday.
In singles, Alabama won just two of the six crucial first sets, but was a hair away from four as Tide junior Stephen Mitchell dropped his first set tiebreaker at No. 2 singles to the 2nd-ranked player in the nation, Benedikt Dorsch, in a thrilling match on Mikael Pernfors Center Court. Mitchell won the second set, 6-1, before trailing 4-2 in the third set when the match was suspended.
“It was really good tennis,” Mitchell said. “We were both hitting some really great shots out there and I enjoyed it. I played well but that’s not what I’m focused on. We have three players who will be seniors next year and we want to come back here and give ourselves another shot.”
Bama senior Michael Ray Pallares served for the first set in his match before losing in a tiebreaker to Ivor Lovrak. Pallares won the second set when the match was suspended.
Baylor, the No. 2 seed in the championship field, scored a 4-1 victory, taking the doubles point and singles matches at Nos. 1, 4 and 5. Alabama junior Chris Gostek scored the only victory for the Crimson Tide by winning 6-1, 6-1 over Zoltan Papp at No. 3 singles. Baylor’s only loss of the season came in February, a 4-0 defeat to top-seeded Illinois on February 22. The Bears have won a school-record 19 straight matches.
Alabama was down 3-1, and trailing 3-0 in the third set of two of the three matches left on court when play was suspended due to rain for 24 minutes. When play resumed, Baylor’s Matias Marin quickly clinched the match with a 6-2 third set win at No. 4 singles over Alabama’s Geoff Hiscox.
Baylor 4, Alabama 1
1. Dorsch/Neurhor (BU) d. Belski/Gostek (UA) 8-5
2. Marin/Lovrak(BU) d. Bradley Friedman/Mitchell (UA) 8-6
3. William Boyles/Hiscox (UA) vs. Becker/Garcia (BU) 4-7 susp.
Order of finish: 1-2-susp.
1. Benjamin Becker (BU d. Maxim Belski (UA) 6-3, 6-4
2. Stephen Mitchell (UA) vs. Benedikt Dorsch (BU) 6-7, 6-1, 2-4 susp.
3. Chris Gostek (UA) d. Zoltan Papp (BU) 6-1, 6-1
4. Matias Marin (BU) d. Geoff Hiscox (UA) 3-6, 6-1, 6-2
5. Reiner Neurhor (BU) d. Christian Brodersen (UA) 6-1, 6-2
6. Michael Ray Pallares (UA) vs. Ivor Lovrak (BU) 6-7, 6-3 susp.
Order of finish: 3-5-1-4
- U of A -