Men's Tennis Rallies Past Auburn, 4-3
No. 40 Jackets win at No. 4-5-6 singles
Feb. 17, 2010
ATLANTA - Georgia Tech scored victories from the bottom three positions in the lineup after losing at the top three spots, capped by Kevin King's straight-set win at No. 6, and 40th-ranked Georgia Tech rallied past No. 27 Auburn, 4-3, Wednesday at the Bill Moore Tennis Center.
King, a sophomore from Peachtree City, Ga., provided the Yellow Jackets a lift in his debut match, defeating Alexander Sanjoz, 6-4, 6-3. King had missed the entire fall and the first eight dual matches of the spring with a shoulder injury.
His win completed a dramatic comeback for Tech from a 3-1 match deficit after All-American Guillermo Gomez had lost a three-set thriller to Tim Puetz at No. 1. Freshman Juan Spir started the comeback with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Andy Mies at No. 4. Eliot Potvin, who dropped the first set of his match at No. 5, rallied to win at love in the third set, 4-6, 6-2, 6-0, tying the match and setting the stage for King's heroics.
"I felt good," said King. "It was good to get back out on the court with the team. This was definitely a team effort today, I felt their support the whole match, and it was ice to get the win."
"We knew they had a good team throughout the lineup. Our top guys played well, but came up short. But we kept fighting and played all three matches tough. It was a good fight by the team."
Tech got off to a good start, capturing the doubles point by winning easily at No. 2 and No. 3. Tech's team of Gomez and Ryan Smith downed Sajonz and Tim Hewitt, 8-2, while Magin Ortiga and Spir got past Michel Monteiro and Mies, 8-3.
Auburn rallied to take a 2-1 lead with straight-set victories at No. 2 and 3 singles. Hewitt downed Dean O'Brien, 6-4, 6-2, at No. 2, while Alex Stamchev got past the freshman Ortiga, 6-4, 6-4, at No. 3.
Puetz, ranked 28th nationally, put the Tigers ahead, 3-1, by outlasting Gomez, 2-6, 6-3, 7-5. Puetz rallied from a 5-2 deficit in the third set, breaking the junior from Alicante, Spain twice at 5-3 and 5-5. The win avenged a loss to Gomez in the fall.
"We knew it was going to be tough because they put the meat of their lineup at the top," said head coach Kenny Thorne. "We felt we were stronger down (than Auburn) below. It was going to be a battle. They did a great job sweeping us at the top three positions. Coming back from 1-3 was what this team needed.
"For Kevin to come back after eight months of not playing and clinch the match was terrific. Kevin has worked his tail off since August with his condiutioning and everything he can possibly do short of serving and playing matches. Every day he comes to practice with a great attitude. I couldn't have been prouder of his today. It was a nice welcome back."
Tech returns to action Sunday with its first Atlantic Coast Conference match of the spring, a 1 p.m. contest at 18th-ranked Florida State. It will be the sixth consecutive ranked opponent the Yellow Jackets have faced.
Tennis Match Results
#40 Georgia Tech 4, #27 Auburn 3