May 13, 2011
ATHENS, Ga. - The No. 23 Auburn Tigers edged out the No. 39 UNC-Wilmington Seahawks, 4-1, in the first round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament at the Dan Magill Tennis Center in Athens, Ga.
"We knew they were a very good team," Auburn head coach Eric Shore said. "They had four seniors and a 21-4 record. We knew it was going to be a battle and we are happy to leave with the win today."
The win marks the fifth consecutive time, and 12th overall, the Tigers have made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament under Shore.
In doubles, Auburn's Andreas Mies and Alex Stamchev defeated UNC-Wilmington's Kosta Blank and Illia Ziamtsou, 8-5, in the No. 2 spot. On court one, the Tigers' No. 12 Tim Puetz and Daniel Cochrane topped UNCW's Chris Cooprider and Kinshuk Sharmah, 8-5, to secure the doubles point.
The Seahawks' Michael Pereira and Alex Wetherell were leading 7-6 over Auburn's Lucas Lopasso and Rafael Rondino before doubles play was called.
In singles, Auburn's No. 12 Tim Puetz cruised past Kinshuk Sharma, 6-2, 6-1, to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead. With the win, Puetz has now won nine straight matches. On court two, No. 115 Alex Stamchev earned a straight-set victory over UNCW's Michael Pereira, 6-4, 6-1.
In the No. 6 position, the Seahawks' Illia Ziamtsou defeated Auburn's Michael Wardell, 6-3, 6-4 to give UNCW its lone point. On court three, Auburn's Andreas Mies lost the first set to UNCW's Chris Cooprider, 7-5, but battled back to win the second and third set, 6-1, 6-2, to clinch the match for the Tigers.
The Tigers will face sixth-ranked Georgia in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The match is set to start at 2 p.m. CT, in Athens, Ga.
Against No. 39 UNC-Wilmington
1. #12 Tim Puetz (AUB) def. Kinshuk Sharma (UNCW) 6-2, 6-1
2. #115 Alex Stamchev (AUB) def. Michael Pereira (UNCW) 6-4, 6-1
3. Andreas Mies (AUB) def. Chris Cooprider (UNCW) 5-7, 6-1, 6-2
4. Daniel Cochrane (AUB) vs. Rafael Aita (UNCW) 5-7, 6-3, 1-2, unfinished
5. Rafael Rondino (AUB) vs. Kosta Blank (UNCW) 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (7-3), 0-1, unfinished
6. Illia Ziamtsou (UNCW) def. Michael Wardell (AUB) 6-3, 6-4
1. #12 Tim Puetz/Daniel Cochrane (AUB) def. Chris Cooprider/Kinshuk Sharma (UNCW) 8-5
2. Andreas Mies/Alex Stamchev (AUB) def. Kosta Blank/Illia Ziamtsou (UNCW) 8-5
3. Lucas Lopasso/Rafael Rondino (AUB) vs. Michael Pereira/Alex Wetherell (UNCW) 6-7, unfinished
UNCW 21-5; National ranking #39
Auburn 16-9; National ranking #23
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (1,2,6,3)
Official: Walt Williams T-3:48 A-113