May 23, 2011
STANFORD, Calif. --- The Georgia men's tennis team was eliminated from the NCAA Championships via a 4-0 loss to the two-time defending national champions and second-seeded Southern California in the semifinals Monday afternoon at Stanford's Taube Tennis Center.
Georgia ends the 2011 campaign at 24-6 overall while the Trojans will head to tomorrow's final vs. No. 1 Virginia looking for its third consecutive title at 26-2 and on a 19-match winning streak. Today's match featured the last four NCAA champions as Georgia won in 2007-08 and USC in 2009-10.
"Overall it was just a phenomenal season," said head coach Manuel Diaz. "It's great getting to the final four and I'm very proud of our team. I'm disappointed with the fact that we could've played better today, but not with our effort. USC was dominant in doubles. We couldn't seem to find any traction anywhere, even though we were battling in singles. Playing behind today caught up to us in the end."
Southern California took the doubles point with wins on courts three and one respectively, but unlike in the quarterfinal match, Georgia was unable to rebound in singles.
Javier Garrapiz won the first set over 38th-ranked Jaak Poldma on court two, and Ignacio Taboada and Hernus Pieters were close to victories in their second sets on five and six, but the Trojans were able to seal the clincher first as 44th-ranked Daniel Nguyen defeated Sadio Doumbia 6-3, 6-2 at No. 3 to secure the shutout and the place in the finals.
The Bulldogs - the 2011 SEC regular-season co-champions - were playing in their fifth final four in the last six years.
Georgia's Garrapiz, Spencer, and Doumbia will continue their seasons in the singles competition, while sixth-ranked Garrapiz and Pieters will compete in the doubles draw. The individual tournament is set to begin Wed., May 25.
#2 Southern California 4, #6 Georgia 0
1. #1 Steve Johnson (USC) def. #18 Wil Spencer (UGA) 6-0, 6-0
2. #38 Jaak Poldma (USC) vs. #32 Javier Garrapiz (UGA) 2-6, 6-5, unfinished
3. #44 Daniel Nguyen (USC) def. #51 Sadio Doumbia (UGA) 6-3, 6-2
4. #47 Ray Sarmiento (USC) def. Drake Bernstein (UGA) 6-2, 6-3
5. Emilio Gomez (USC) vs. Ignacio Taboada (UGA) 7-5, 1-3, unfinished
6. Peter Lucassen (USC) vs. Hernus Pieters (UGA) 7-5, 3-5, unfinished
1. #22 Jaak Poldma/JT Sundling (USC) def. #6 Javier Garrapiz/Hernus Pieters (UGA) 8-6
2. Steve Johnson/Emilio Gomez (USC) vs. #88 Sadio Doumbia/Ignacio Taboada (UGA) 6-4, unfinished
3. Daniel Nguyen/Ray Sarmiento (USC) def. Drake Bernstein/Wil Spencer (UGA) 8-3
Georgia 24-6; National ranking #6
Southern California 26-2; National ranking #2
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (1,4,3)