April 3, 2009
ATHENS, Ga. - The No. 27 Auburn men's tennis team (10-7, 3-4 SEC) began its road weekend with a 5-2 loss at No. 3 Georgia (17-2, 6-1 SEC) Friday night.
"We didn't play well in doubles tonight, but we came out and competed well in singles," said head coach Eric Shore. "If you look at how many tie breakers we faced against the number three team in the nation on their courts, we competed well. We're continuing to get better. We feel like we're becoming a better team and this is going to be something that we can build on."
The Tigers competed for the win, but were unable to top the Bulldogs, finding only two singles wins in the match.
Starting in doubles, Auburn was swept for only the second time this season. Milan Krnjetin and Michel Monteiro took the first loss, 8-2, against Borja Malo and Christian Vitulli, while Drake Bernstein and Javier Garrapiz topped Auburn's Lukas Marsoun and Alex Stamchev, 8-5, to take the early lead.
On court one, the No. 11 pair of Alexey Tsyrenov and Tim Puetz took an 8-6 loss to Georgia's No. 9 duo, Jamie Hunt and Nate Schnugg.
In singles play, Georgia kept the early momentum, with Vitulli earning a 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) win over Alex Petropoulos. Bernstein built the lead as he defeated Krnjetin, 6-3, 6-4.
On the front four courts, the Tigers seemed to be able to top the No. 2 Bulldogs as each match-up went beyond two sets. On court two, No. 106 Puetz claimed his first set over No. 66 Garrapiz, but could not keep the heat, falling 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. The win at the two-spot gave the Bulldogs the match.
Next to finish was the freshman Stamchev, who rallied to force a third set, but took a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 loss against Josh Varela.
Auburn made its marks on the board as Tsyrenov and Marsoun prevailed in their super tiebreakers, as the match had already been decided.
On the front court, No. 59 Tsyrenov rebounded after a dropped first set to defeat No. 10 Schnugg, 6-7 (7-9), 6-4, 1-0 (10-3). Marsoun pulled his victory away from No. 72 Hunt as emerged victoriously, 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (8-6), 1-0 (10-6).
"Our top four guys played very well tonight," Shore stated. "We knew after the first sets that we had a chance to get four singles points. They've given us a chance all year and they're all playing extremely well now."
With the loss, the Tigers fall to 10-7 and 3-4 in SEC competition. The Bulldogs move to 17-2 and 6-1.
Auburn travels to Knoxville, Tenn. to face No. 4 Tennessee on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Fans may follow along with live stats at AuburnTigers.com.
#3 Georgia 5, #27 Auburn 2
1. #9 Jamie Hunt/Nate Schnugg (UGA) def. #11 Alexey Tsyrenov/Tim Puetz (AUB) 8-6
2. Drake Bernstein/Javier Garrapiz (UGA) def. Lukas Marsoun/Alexander Stamchev (AUB) 8-5
3. Borja Malo/Christian Vitulli (UGA) def. Milan Krnjetin/Michel Monteiro (AUB) 8-2
1. #59 Alexey Tsyrenov (AUB) def. #10 Nate Schnugg (UGA) 6-7 (7-9), 6-4, 1-0 (10-3)
2. #66 Javier Garrapiz (UGA) def. #106 Tim Puetz (AUB) 3-6, 6-3, 6-2
3. Lukas Marsoun (AUB) def. #72 Jamie Hunt (UGA) 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (8-6), 1-0 (10-6)
4. Josh Varela (UGA) def. Alexander Stamchev (AUB) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
5. Drake Bernstein (UGA) def. Milan Krnjetin (AUB) 6-3, 6-4
6. Christian Vitulli (UGA) def. Alex Petropoulos (AUB) 6-3, 7-6 (7-4)
#27 Auburn 10-7 (3-4 SEC); #3 Georgia 17-2 (6-1 SEC)
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (6,5,2,4,1,3)
Official: Walt Williams T-4:23 A-539