Feb. 18, 2007
CHICAGO – Top-seeded Georgia, No. 2 Ohio State, No. 3 UCLA and No. 4 Virginia posted quarterfinal wins Saturday at the U.S. Tennis Association/Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Men’s Team Indoor Championships at the Midtown Tennis Club. The University of Illinois is hosting this year’s championships, presented by DLA Piper.
Defending champion Georgia beat No. 9 Pepperdine 4-0 and will face Virginia, 4-3 winners over Mississippi, in tomorrow’s noon semifinals. Ohio State beat Baylor 4-2 and will face UCLA, 4-2 winners tonight over No. 6 Illinois, in the other semifinal at 3:30 pm.
This event, which features 16 of the nation’s top programs, has annually crowned an national indoor champion every year since 1973. This is the second time in three years Midtown Tennis Club and Illinois has served as hosts.
Illinois (7-2) was looking to make its sixth straight semifinal appearance at this event. UI won the doubles point, but UCLA (7-1) bounced back in singles with wins from 2006 NCAA champ Ben Kohlloeffel, Philipp Gruendler, Chris Surapol and Michael Look. The Bruins will be making their 15th trip to the semifinals at this event. The Fighting Illini captured back-to-back titles at this event in 2003-04 and had lost in the semis each of the past two years. Ruben Gonzales provided the lone win in singles for Illinois.
Georgia (6-0) beat Pepperdine (7-2) in last year’s Team Indoor final, 4-0. This was also a rematch of last year’s NCAA final in May, which was won by Pepperdine, 4-2. Tomorrow marks Georgia’s 15th trip to the Team Indoor semifinals. The Bulldogs won their first Team Indoor title last year in Seattle and have now won 36 of its last 37 matches dating back to the beginning of last season. Georgia won the doubles point and got wins in singles from Nate Schnugg, Jamie Hunt and Travis Helgeson.
“It’s great to be in the semifinals again,” Georgia coach Manuel Diaz said. “The challenges continue to get bigger and bigger as you advance. Tomorrow we’re going to have to come back and sustain this level of play and also improve in a couple of spots.”
This was Ohio State’s first ever showing in the Team Indoor quarterfinals. “We’ve never been to the semifinals at a national tournament, so we’re excited,” said Ohio State coach Ty Tucker. “We were able to beat what is probably the best college program of all-time in Stanford yesterday and the best over the past several years in Baylor tonight. So we’re feeling good about what we’ve done so far and look forward to matching tonight’s effort tomorrow.”
Ohio State (9-0) won the doubles point and got wins in singles from Devin Mullings, Justin Kronauge and Drew Eberly. Eberly, a junior who is from nearby Lake Forest, Ill., clinched the win at No. 6 singles, beating Denes Lukacs, 7-6 (14), 7-6 (3).
Virginia-Mississippi came down to No. 6 singles where UVA freshman Lee Singer beat Jakob Klaeson 3-6, 7-6, 7-6. Singer won the last three points of the third set tiebreaker to close out the match, 7-5. UVA (8-0) won a tight doubles point and also got wins in singles from Treat Huey and Somdev dev Varman. Robbye Poole, Matthias Wellerman and Karl Norberg provided wins for the Rebels. Norberg’s win at No. 5 tied the score at 3-3, setting the stage for Singer.
“Great college tennis match,” UVA coach Brian Boland said. “There were so many momentum changes and our guys did a good job dealing with adversity throughout their matches. I have to give a lot of credit to Ole Miss, they played a great match.
“That was a really impressive performance by (Lee) Singer. It was a high pressure situation for him and really impressive considering he’s just a freshman.”
This is the second time in three years that UVA has advanced to the Team Indoor semifinals.
In today’s consolation matches Texas beat Boise State 4-1, Notre Dame beat Penn 4-0, Oklahoma State beat Miami 4-3, and Duke beat Stanford 4-2.