ATHENS, Ga. - The LSU men's tennis team was unable to overcome Georgia's home dominance as the eighth-ranked Bulldogs shut-out the Tigers 7-0 on Saturday afternoon at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
With the loss the Tigers drop to 6-9 overall and 2-3 in Southeastern Conference competition, while the win was the eighth-straight for Georgia, who improves to 13-3 overall and a perfect 5-0 in league play.
With the victory Georgia remains undefeated at home this season, and it was also the third home SEC shut-out of the season for the Bulldogs, who blanked Auburn 4-0 and swept Alabama 7-0 earlier this season.
"We played hard and we had a lot of close matches," LSU head coach Jeff Brown said. "In singles we were close in a lot of the first sets we just weren't able to close out any of them. We are getting better in a lot of spots and we are building towards something good. We are looking forward to Nebraska on Tuesday."
The Bulldogs swept all three courts in doubles to take the early 1-0 advantage. The 10th-ranked Georiga duo of Javier Garrapiz and Hernus Pieters were first off the courts with an 8-4 win over junior Neal Skupski and Mark Bowtell on Court 1.
The Tigers battled hard on the other two courts, but couldn't close either match out. The LSU pair of senior Julien Gauthier and sophomore Olivier Borsos tied their match on Court 3 up at 8-8, but they were unable to rally in the tiebreaker as Georgia's No. 47 duo of Drake Bernstein and Wil Spencer notched the 9-8 (3) win to clinch the point.
Georgia quickly extended its lead to 2-0 in singles as Taboda made quick work of junior Tom Knights 6-1, 6-1 on Court 6. Gauthier fell in straight-sets 7-5, 6-3 on Court 6, and Skupski fell to 13th-ranked Spencer 7-5, 6-2 at the top spot to clinch the match for the Bulldogs at 4-0.
The final three matches were played to their completion. On Court 3 Szacinski fell 7-5, 6-2 to the hands of No. 45 Doumbia, and Mark Bowtell couldn't build off a first-set win as the junior dropped a 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 decision to Bernstein on Court 4.
Borsos captured the first set of his Court 2 match 6-4, but 25th-ranked Garrapiz rallied to send the second set to a tiebreaker. After a long back-and-forth Garrapiz earned the hard-fought second set 7-6 (9) to send the match to a third-set super tiebreaker, where Borsos fell behind early and was unable to catch back up as he dropped the heartbreaker 4-6, 7-6 (9), (10-3).
The Tigers return home on Tuesday to square-off against No. 36 Nebraska at 3 p.m. in W.T. "Dub" Robinson Stadium.
For up-to-date information and behind the scenes access to the Tigers, fans can follow the LSU men's team on Twitter @lsutennis and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lsutennis.
#8 Georgia 7, #44 LSU 0
1. #13 Wil Spencer (UGA) def. #91 Neal Skupski (LSU) 7-5, 6-2
2. #25 Javier Garrapiz (UGA) def. Olivier Borsos (LSU) 4-6, 7-6 (11-9), 1-0 (10-3)
3. #48 Sadio Doumbia (UGA) def. Stefan Szacinski (LSU) 7-5, 6-2
4. Drake Bernstein (UGA) def. Mark Bowtell (LSU) 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
5. Hernus Pieters (UGA) def. Julien Gauthier (LSU) 7-5, 6-3
6. Ignacio Taboada (UGA) def. Tom Knights (LSU) 6-1, 6-1
1. #10 Javier Garrapiz/Hernus Pieters (UGA) def. Mark Bowtell/Neal Skupski (LSU) 8-4
2. #32 Sadio Doumbia/Ignacio Taboada (UGA) def. Stefan Szacinski/Roger Anderson (LSU) 8-5
3. #47 Drake Bernstein/Wil Spencer (UGA) def. Julien Gauthier/Olivier Borsos (LSU) 9-8 (7-3)
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (6,5,1,3,4,2)