BATON ROUGE -- For the second-straight year, Georgia and Ole Miss will face each other in the men’s Southeastern Conference Tournament Championship as Georgia defeated LSU, 4-1, and Ole Miss beat Florida, 4-2, in the semifinals.
The No. 1-seeded Bulldogs and No. 2-seeded Rebels will square off on Sunday at noon at the W.T. “Dub” Robinson Tennis Stadium.
Below is a recap of each of the semifinal matches:
2007 SEC MEN’S TENNIS TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
Thursday, April 19 (Day 1 Recap)
Match 1: #6 Alabama def. #11 South Carolina, 4-1
Match 2: #7 Auburn def. #10 Kentucky, 4-0
Match 3: #9 Mississippi State def. #8 Vanderbilt, 4-0
Match 4: #5 Tennessee def. #12 Arkansas, 4-1
Friday, April 20 (Day 2 Recap)
Match 5: #3 Florida def. #6 Alabama, 4-3
Match 6: #2 Ole Miss def. #7 Auburn, 4-0
Match 7: #1 Georgia def. #9 Mississippi St., 4-0
Match 8: #4 LSU def. #5 Tennessee, 4-2
Saturday, April 21
Match 9: #2 Ole Miss def. #3 Florida, 4-2
Match 10: #1 Georgia def. #4 LSU, 4-1
Sunday, April 22
Championship: #2 Ole Miss vs. #1 Georgia, noon
NO. 1 GEORGIA KNOCKS NO. 15 LSU OUT OF SEC TOURNAMENT, 4-1
BATON ROUGE– The No. 15-ranked LSU men’s team gave a valiant effort in singles and doubles against the No. 1-ranked Georgia Bulldogs in the Southeastern Conference Tennis Tournament semifinals but the host team could not out duel the defending champs as they fell, 4-1, Saturday afternoon at the W.T. “Dub” Robinson Tennis Stadium.
The Tigers (16-6, 7-4 SEC) will have to wait to see whether they will host or travel for a NCAA Regional beginning May 11. The tournament selection show will be announced May 1st on ESPNews.
The Bulldogs will face the Ole Miss Rebels in the championship match for the second –straight year on Sunday at noon.
“This was a tough loss, but I felt our team gave a great effort today,” LSU head coach Jeff Brown said. “Our crowd was outstanding and you could tell our guys were feeding off of it. It was nice to play in that type of environment, because we don’t get many opportunities to do so.
“This tournament made us more optimistic for the NCAA tournament. Georgia is still ahead of us but I feel we gained some ground on them.”
The match started with the most intense doubles battle for LSU this season as each team went shot for shot trying to out duel their opponent. On court one, Georgia’s Luis Flores and John Isner faced LSU’s Danny Bryan and Colt Gaston. The Tiger tandem took a 2-1 advantage before the Bulldogs bounced back by winning three straight games to take a 4-2 lead. Bryan and Gaston took three out of the next four games to tie it at 5-all. The Georgia pair took over from there as they took three of the next four games to give them the win.
On court three, Kevin Dessauer and Jan Zelezny rallied back from a 3-1 deficit by taking five of the next games to put them in the lead, 6-5. The LSU pair held the momentum the rest of the way as they went on to win by an 8-6 decision.
Seconds later, LSU’s James Cluskey and Ken Skupski could not hold on to a 7-6 lead as Georgia’s Travis Helgeson and Matic Omerzel won three-straight games to get the win and clinch the doubles point for the Bulldogs.
In singles, Dessauer struggled in his match against Omerzel as he fell in straight sets, 6-2, 6-0.
LSU’s co-captain Bryan put the Tigers on the board by upsetting the No. 11-ranked Helgeson, 6-3, 6-0.
Georgia extended its lead to 3-1 on court five when Schnugg took out Cluskey, 6-3, 6-3.
The remaining three matches went back and fourth before Flores was able to clinch the match for the Bulldogs against Gaston, 6-3, 7-5.
“There is not much I would have changed with how we played today,” Brown said. “It is tough when you lose a tight doubles point. We put ourselves in position to win three or four of the singles matches but unfortunately we couldn’t pull through today. I still feel we are one of the top teams in the country and hopefully we can put it all together for the NCAAs.”
#1 Georgia 4, #4 LSU 1
SEC Men’s Tennis Tournament
April 21, 2007 at Baton Rouge, La.
1. #1 John Isner (UGA) led. #25 Ken Skupski (LSU), 4-6, 7-5, 1-0, unfinished
2. #49 Danny Bryan (LSU) def. #11 Travis Helgeson (LSU), 6-3, 6-0
3. #12 Luis Flores (UGA) def. Colt Gaston (LSU), 6-3, 7-5
4. #41 Matic Omerzel (UGA) def. #91 Kevin Dessauer (LSU), 6-2, 6-0
5. #89 Nate Schnugg (UGA) def. James Cluskey (LSU) 6-3, 6-3
6. #101 Jamie Hunt (UGA) led. Jan Zelezny (LSU), 7-6, 3-2, unfinished
1. #1 Luis Flores/John Isner UGA def. #5 Danny Bryan/Colt Gaston (LSU), 8-6
2. #19 Travis Helgeson/Matic Omerzel (UGA) def. #13 James Cluskey/Ken Skupski (LSU), 9-7.
3. Kevin Dessauer/Jan Zelezny (LSU) def. Jamie Hunt/Nate Schnugg (UGA), 8-6
Order of finish: Doubles (1, 3, 2); Singles (4, 2, 5, 3)
Quoted from Georgia head coach Manuel Diaz:
“Our team really fought like warriors today. They showed great tenacity and composure in front of this huge home crowd for LSU. The crowd was really on top of them but I think our guys were excited by it. This was a tremendous challenge.”
OLE MISS DEFEATS FLORIDA, 4-2, TO REACH FINALS
BATON ROUGE – The No. 2-seed Ole Miss Rebels will play in the finals of the Southeastern Conference Tournament for the third time in four years after they defeated the No. 3-seed Florida Gators, 4-2, Saturday morning at the W.T. “Dub” Robinson Tennis Stadium.
The win marks the second-straight year the Rebels (22-3, 9-2 SEC) have defeated the Gators (13-7, 7-4 SEC) by a 4-2 score in the SEC semifinals. Ole Miss will face the winner of the LSU and Georgia match on Sunday at noon.
The Rebels notched the first point of the match by capturing wins on courts two and three in doubles to get the doubles point. The Rebels are now 18-0 when they win the doubles point.
In singles, Kalle Norberg gave the Rebels a 2-0 lead when he beat Billy Mulligan, 6-4, 6-0.
Florida’s Greg Ouellette began to chip away at the Ole Miss lead by defeating Matthias Wellermann, 6-3, 6-4.
Jesse Levine tied the score by shutting down Erling Tveit of Ole Miss, 7-5, 6-4. Levine’s point was the last for the Gators as Jonas Berg and Jakob Klaeson of Ole Miss won in straights sets to push the Rebels to victory.
#2 Ole Miss 4, #3 Florida 2
SEC Men’s Tennis Tournament
April 21, 2007 at Baton Rouge, La.
1. #3 Jesse Levine (UF) vs. #13 Erling Tveit (UM), 7-5, 6-4
2. #13 Greg Ouellette (UF) vs. #98 Matthias Wellermann (UM), 6-3, 6-4
3. Nestor Briceno (UF) led. #35 Robby Poole (UM), 7-6, 3-6, 2-1 (unfinished)
4. Kalle Norberg (UM) def. Billy Mulligan (UF), 6-4, 6-0
5. Jonas Berg (UM) def. Jordan Dolberg (UF) 6-2, 3-6, 6-4
6. Jakob Klaeson (UM) def. Dan Cash (UF), 7-6, 7-6 (7)
1. #6 Jesse Levine/Greg Ouellette (UF) tied. #27 Eric Cdlaesson/Erling Tveit (UM), 7-7
2. Jonas Berg/Matthias Wellermann (UM) def. Jordan Dolberg/Billy Mulligan (UF), 8-3
3. Robbye Poole/Jakob Klaeson (UM) def. Nestor Briceno/Geoffrey Barton (UF), 8-4
Order of finish: Doubles (2, 3); Singles (4, 2, 1, 5, 6)