By John Anderson
Tech had a strong showing on Friday afternoon, handing Georgia State a 7-0 loss at the Bill Moore Tennis Center to improve their record to 4-2 on the season.
The well-rested Jackets, who had not played a team match since Jan. 31, got off to a quick start against the Panthers. Tech was able to show off its strength at doubles, taking all three matches relatively easily.
The doubles team of sophomore Doug Kenney and freshman Kevin King were the first to win their match, ending it quickly with a score of 8-2, and sophomores Guillermo Gomez and Ryan Smith clinched the point with an 8-4 victory over State’s Nejc Podkrajsek and Martin Shishkov. Sophomore Eliot Potvin rolled an ankle, but he and sophomore Miguel Muguruza were still able to pull out a win in their doubles match against Panthers William Adeimy and Lucas Thomaz with a score of 8-7.
The 15-minute break between doubles and singles play was not enough to cool off the Jackets as they picked up right where they left off. Muguruza was the first to draw blood at the No. 3 singles spot, winning easily over Henri Mangin 6-1, 6-1. In his singles match, Kenney controlled the points off his serve and finished next with a 6-2, 6-1 score, defeating Trenton Spikes.
Gomez improved his record to 19-4, clinching the match for the Jackets with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Nejc Podkrajsek in the No. 1 spot to give Tech the 4-0 lead to win.
Tech did not drop a set the entire day as junior Austin Roebuck finished last with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Lucas Thomaz, giving the Panthers their seventh straight loss and a record of 0-7, while handing the Jackets a 7-0 victory.
But the Jackets were unable to keep up their winning streak, as they fell to the No. 30 ranked Auburn Tigers in a tough match on Sunday.
Tech, now 4-3 on the season, fell in an early hole losing the doubles point. Down 0-1 in doubles play, Muguruza and Roebuck evened it at one apiece, but Gomez and Smith lost 9-7 in a hard-fought match. Smith got the Jackets on track again with a 6-4, 6-0 victory over Alex Petropoulos, tying the match score at 1-1.
But Auburn struck back when Alex Stamchev defeated Miljevic 6-1, 6-1 to regain the lead for the Tigers. Tech was able to rally back, tying the score at two apiece when Potvin won 6-2, 6-2 over Lukas Marsoun.
When Auburn took the lead 3-2, Tech needed a victory from either Muguruza or Gomez to keep the Jackets in the match, but Muguruza was unable to capitalize off an early one-set lead, ultimately losing to Milan Krnjetin 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 to give Auburn the 4-2 lead and the match. Shortly thereafter Gomez’s match was suspended early in the third set.
Gomez is now the highest ranked male tennis player in Tech history, advancing to the No. 7 spot. This season he holds a 19-4 singles record to lead the team and already has three victories over players ranked in the top 30. He will have a chance to improve this ranking with upcoming matches against two top 50 players.