After defeating both Middle Tennessee State and Mississippi State in the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament, the No. 15 Tech men’s tennis team made its first appearance in the NCAA Round of 16 since 1994.
In their Round of 16 matchup on May 19, Tech faced the No. 2 overall seed, the University of Southern California, and dropped the match 4-0 to the two-time defending national champion Trojans. Four of the USC players rank in the top 50 nationally, led by No. 1 Steve Johnson. The Trojans went on to win their third consecutive NCAA Tournament.
With team play over after the loss to USC, senior Guillermo Gomez, junior Kevin King and sophomore Juan Spir went to participate in the singles and doubles tournament.
Gomez was selected as the No. 14 overall seed in the NCAA singles championship, and King and Spir participated as a doubles tandem in the NCAA Doubles Championship.
Gomez advanced past the first round where he had a 7-5, 6-4 victory over Washington’s Kyle McMorrow. In the second round he won a closer 7-6 (7-4), 7-5 match over Oklahoma’s Costin Poval, allowing him to advance to the Round of 16.
Gomez saw his Tech career come to an end in the Round of 16, losing 7-5, 6-4 to No. 3 Rhyne Williams of Tennessee. Gomez ended his senior season with ACC Player of the Year honors and held a 34-8 season record in singles as a senior.
Gomez had a career record of 119-38 in his four years at Tech, setting a new singles wins record.
In the doubles bracket, King and Spir advanced past their first round match after defeating Washington’s McMorrow and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan in a tough three set match, 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-1.
King and Spir then faced the No. 1 overall tandem of Tennessee’s Boris Conkic and John-Patrick Smith. King and Spir upset the top seed in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4, to advance to the quarterfinals and earn All-American status.
The duo then faced ACC rival Duke’s tandem of Reid Carleton and Henrique Cunha in the quarterfinals and rallied after losing the first set in a tiebreaker. They overtook the Blue Devils in three sets with a final score of 6-7, 6-4, 6-4.
The run ended in the semifinals where they lost to the No. 4 pair of Texas A&M’s Jeff Dadamo and Austin Krajicek 6-4, 7-6 (9-7). Dadamo and Krajicek eventually went on to win the NCAA Doubles Championship.
King and Spir completed the deepest doubles run by a Jackets’ doubles team in school history. Overall, the duo posted a 35-11 record on the season, the highest wins total in school history.