Eubanks Falls in NCAA Singles Championship
7th-seeded Tech sophomore upset by Vinsant of Texas A&M
Tulsa, Okla. - Georgia Tech's Christopher Eubanks, seeded No. 7, fell in three sets Wednesday to Shane Vinsant of Texas A&M in the opening round of the NCAA Singles Championship, being held at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center on the campus of the University of Tulsa.
The match was close throughout between the Tech sophomore, ranked seventh in the nation, and the Aggie senior, ranked No. 52. Eubanks started fast, leading 3-1 in the first set, but Vinsant rallied to take the set, 6-4. Eubanks came back to win the second set by the same score, then battled Vinsant on serve through eight games in third set before the Texas A&M player scored a service break and then held to win the match.
"Chris had a tough loss today," said Tech coach Kenny Thorne. "Shane played a smart match and handled the tough wind conditions just a little better than Chris. Chris had opportunities the entire match to get on top and start rolling but he never quite settled in. Chris is disappointed in this loss, but he still had one of the best seasons of any individual in Georgia Tech history. He was ACC player of the year and only lost two matches all spring. By being seeded at the NCAA tournament he earned All-American status as well. He will be back next season stronger and better. I know that because he works extremely hard and loves the game. It will pay off down the road."
One of 14 automatic qualifiers, Eubanks made the NCAA Singles field for the second straight year, becoming the first Tech player to participate in singles in multiple years since Juan Spir in 2012 and 2013. The 6-foot-7 sophomore won his first-round match in 2015 before falling in the round of 32.
A native of Atlanta, Ga., Eubanks finished his sophomore year with a 34-7 record in singles, the second most wins for a season in Tech history. Eubanks has been in the top 15 of the ITA Singles Rankings all season, and has been ranked as high as No. 6. A semifinalist in the USTA/ITA National Collegiate Indoor Championship in the fall, he posted a 12-5 record against opponents ranked in the ITA poll this year, including top-10 foes Ryan Shane of Virginia and Nicolas Alvarez of Duke.
Vinsant will face the winner of a first-round match between Jared Hiltzik of Illinois, No. 16 in the ITA rankings, and Piotr Lomacki, ranked No. 43, of Miami on Thursday.