Jackets split home contests against VT, Virginia

The men’s tennis team split a crucial home conference series this past weekend, beating Virginia Tech 5-2 on Saturday, April 6, and losing to No. 2 Virginia 6-1 the following day at the Bill Moore Tennis Center. With this performance, the Jackets moved to 4-5 in the ACC and 9-10 overall.

On April 6, Georgia Tech took on the Hokies in a match that had significant conference tournament implications. The day’s action kicked off in Georgia Tech’s favor, as the tandems of senior Kevin King and junior Juan Spir in the first flight and senior Dusan Miljevic and freshman Eduardo Segura in the third flight clinched the doubles point with 8-5 and 8-6 wins, respectively.

The Jackets carried this momentum into singles play. Spir rolled through Virginia Tech’s Lucas Oliveira 6-3, 6-2.

The next victory came off the racquet of freshman Vikram Hundal, who defeated Trpimir Kujundzic 6-2, 7-5 to pick up his first ACC victory and one of the biggest wins of his young collegiate career. Junior Juan Melian clinched the match by knocking off Corrado Tocci in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4.

Georgia Tech did stumble in a couple matches after clinching the victory. Senior Kevin King, ranked No. 11 in the country, lost quickly to Luka Somen, ranked No. 119 in the country, 6-2, 6-2.

King complained of shoulder soreness immediately after the match and wound up not playing the following day against Virginia.

Nonetheless, Georgia Tech would go on to win by a count of 5-2 after freshman Sebastian Lopez and senior Dusan Miljevic finished their three-set matches, with Lopez winning his over Mauricio Antun 6-4, 3-6, 11-9 and Miljevic taking home a loss to Patrick Daciek 7-6, 2-6, 10-8.

Despite coming off a victory in Friday’s match, things did not go as well for Georgia Tech against the Cavaliers in what ended up a 6-1 loss.

The one bright spot of the day, though, was a major one. Spir, who filled in at the Jackets’ top singles spot for an injured King, notched one of the biggest victories of his career as he took down No. 3 Jarmere Jenkins, 6-4, 7-5.

It was the continuation of a highly successful season for Spir, who is 13-6 on the season and has won six of his last seven matches, including four in a row since losing to Maryland’s Vlad Stefan nearly two weeks ago.

Spir’s match was the last of the day to finish, though, and everything up until that point was fairly bleak for the Jackets.

The day was kicked off by solid doubles play; however, no one from Georgia Tech could quite get the job done.

The duo of Spir and Melian lost 8-5 at the hands of Jenkins and Drew Courtney, the No. 20 doubles team in the nation. Similarly, the freshman tandem of Lopez and Hundal went down 8-4 at the No. 2 doubles spot against Virginia’s Steven Rooda and Justin Shane.

With the doubles point already surrendered, Miljevic and Segura finished out their match, losing a tight contest against Alex Domijan and Mitchell Frank at No. 3 doubles, 8-6.

Apart from Spir’s victory, the Jackets went down quietly on the singles front against a Virginia squad that featured five ranked players, including two in the top three nationally.

Miljevic lost to No. 34 Alex Domijan 6-2, 6-1. Melian was quickly defeated by No. 1 Mitchell Frank 6-0, 6-3. Lopez, Hundal, and Segura all lost in straight sets in the bottom three singles spots, with Lopez falling to No. 75 Justin Shane 6-1, 7-5, Hundal falling to Drew Courtney 6-1, 6-4, and Segura dropping to Philippe Oudshoorn 6-2, 6-3.

Despite some recent struggles, Georgia Tech is still ranked sixth in the ACC. Given that the Jackets’ final two matches of the regular season are against N.C. State and Wake Forest, both 2-6 in the conference, the Jackets are well-positioned to earn themselves a higher seed in the ACC tournament.