Men’s tennis wins three matches

The No. 19 ranked Tech men’s tennis team faced a serious challenge from March 30 to April 3, playing three straight road matches at Clemson, at Boston College and at Maryland. The Jackets were looking to continue to improve their 12-2 record through a brutal away stretch. The road trip proved to be a successful one, as the Jackets were victorious over all three opponents, despite playing three matches in five days.

The Jackets began their road trip facing the No. 48 Clemson Tigers. Clemson came into the match with a 14-4 record, despite a 1-3 record in the ACC. The Jackets started strong and continued to keep up their pace en route to a 6-1 victory.

The Jackets began the match by winning the doubles point for their third straight match. Sophomore Juan Spir and junior Kevin King took an easy victory at the first spot, winning 8-2. The duo put pressure on their opponents early to earn every hit on the court, eventually tiring out the opponent. In the second doubles match, senior Eliot Potvin and senior Ryan Smith squeaked out a hard fought win over their opponents Yannick Maden and Moritz Dettinger with a 9-7 victory. The win secured the Jackets the doubles point and gave them an early lead in the match.

Senior Dean O’ Brien and senior Guillermo Gomez couldn’t complete the sweep in the doubles portion, losing late to their opponents, 9-8.

The singles portion began with Clemson’s Yannick Maden tying the match with a straight sets victory over Spir, 6-4, 6-1. King, however responded quickly, taking a straight set victory of his own at the No. 3 spot.

King won convincingly with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Gerado Meza to give Tech a 2-1 lead over Clemson. King’s win put the Jackets ahead for the rest of the match, as they won the rest of their matches through the day.

Gomez faced off against Clemson’s Derek DiFazio in a hard fought match, winning 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. Gomez squeaked out the win to earn his 24th victory of the season and his 109th of his career.

Then, Potvin clinched the team match with a victory over Dominique Maden, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2. Potvin struggled through the second set, but rallied in the final set for a strong finish to give Tech the victory at Clemson.

Sophomore Magin Ortiga and O’Brien both earned hard fought wins after the team match was decided, earning their victories in a third-set tiebreaker. Ortiga won his match 6-4, 3-6, 1-0 (10-5), while O’Brien rallied after dropping his first set, 5-7, 7-6 (8-6), 1-0 (10-5).

The Jackets immediately packed their bags and headed to Weymouth, Mass. to face off against Boston College on April 1. Tech continued their win streak, sweeping the Eagles 7-0. The Jackets earned the victory without dropping a single set through the day.

Spir and King continued their dominance in the doubles portion of the team match, cruising over their opponents 8-4. Their win, motivated the Jackets to continue to push the Eagles throughout the rest of the matches.

Potvin and Smith won their match over Michael McGinnis and Alex Skinner, earning an 8-6 victory. The tandem of Gomez and O’Brien also earned an easy 8-6 victory.

Tech was most impressive through singles play, however, winning each match without dropping a set. The Jackets did face difficulty, though, going down a break in two of the three first matches.

Gomez got the team started with a quick victory over opponent Akash Muppidi. Using his forehand finishes, Gomez pushed Muppidi around the court until his legs wore out, earning an easy 6-3, 6-4 victory. Gomez’s win pushed his individual win streak to eight matches.

King followed suit, defeating his opponent Erik Kreutzer 6-0, 6-3. King prevented Kreutzer from getting anything started in the first set, using his mobility to get to tough shots around the court. King also pushed his win streak to eight games.

Spir also finished his match strong, defeating Alex Skinner 6-4, 6-1. Spir struggled early before finishing his first set strong and rolling over Skinner to earn the straight set victory.

The Jackets already had the victory in hand, but didn’t let up, continuing to slam the Eagles through the rest of the day. Potvin easily handled his opponent Jonathan Schroeder on his way to a 6-3, 6-4 win. The victory pushed Potvin to a four-win streak of his own. Ortiga faced a tough first set against Billy Grokenberger at the fifth spot, before adjusting and dominating his second set for the straight set win, 7-6 (7-4), 6-0.

To finish the day, O’Brien won his match over Brendon Wong 6-4, 6-2 to secure the Jackets’ fourth straight conference win. The team match sweep was Tech’s sixth of the year.

To close out the road stretch, the Jackets travelled to College Park, Md. on April 3 to face the No. 44 Maryland Terrapins. Tech completed its ACC road sweep with a convincing 5-2 victory over Maryland. Tech’s win dropped Maryland to 10-8 overall, 2-5 in conference play.

The Jackets stumbled early in doubles play, with the No. 14 tandem of Spir and King falling to Maros Horny and Jan Surovic. The duo earned the upset in a close 8-7 (7-4) match. Tech would respond, however, with Potvin and Smith earning a victory over their opponents in an 8-4 match.

To finish the doubles portion, Gomez and O’Brien took down the No. 71 ranked John Collins and Tommy Laine to earn the Jackets the doubles point.

Gomez earned the Jackets their second point, winning in straight sets, 6-4, 6-1. Gomez continued his dominance, pushing his opponent Maros Horny around the court before tiring him out in the second set for the easy win. The win by Gomez pushes him to 111 career wins, only one away from tying Tech’s record of 112 career wins.

King then responded with a straight-set victory of his own, defeating John Collins 6-3, 6-3. The wins from Gomez and King extended both of their win streaks to nine games each.

O’Brien earned the Jackets the team match victory with another straight set victory, defeating Andy Magee 6-2, 6-3. Tech found themselves up 4-0 quickly, before finally losing their first match of the day.

Potvin struggled in his match against Tommy Laine, losing in consecutive sets 6-4, 7-5. Potvin had a tough time finishing sets, losing on a late break point in each set.

Ortiga also struggled at the fifth spot, losing in three sets 3-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-7). Ortiga rallied in the second set to tie the match after some quick adjustments. However, he fell in a close third set tiebreak to give the Terrapins their second and last point of the day.

Spir closed things out, defeating Sergio Wyss in a comeback win, 4-6, 7-6 (8-6), 1-0 (10-8). Spir dropped the first set after giving up a break point, before coming back to secure the Jackets fifth point of the day.

The win over the Terrapins gave the Jackets their fifth straight victory, and improved their record to 15-2 overall, 6-1 in the ACC.

The Jackets will return home to Bill Moore Tennis Center on April 8 to face the Duke Blue Devils before a match against the North Carolina Tar Heels on April 10. Gomez will look to surpass Tech’s career win total with a victory in both team matches.


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