Welcome to another WUOG live-blog. We’re taking a slight break from baseball today to cover the Mens tennis match against Tennessee. The baseball team did win 4-3 with another walk-off hit in the ninth by Matt Cerione. Sound familiar? I’d also like to give a shot to the Gymdogs for taking home ANOTHER national championship. FIVE in a row?! Simply amazing.
NCAA rules permit me to update 10 times during this session, so check back every thirty minutes or so to catch up on the action as the #4 Georgia Bulldogs take on #6 Tennessee.
The doubles are starting off the match. Here are the matchups:
#4 Georgia vs. #6 Tennessee
Ct 1. #7 Jamie Hunt/Nate Schnugg vs. #5 John-Patrick Smith/Davey Sandgren (Georgia wins 8-4)
Ct 2. Drake Bernstein/Javier Garrapiz vs. #46 Boris Conkic/Matteo Fago (Tennessee wins 8-6)
Ct 3. Borja Malo/Christian Vitulli vs. Matt Brewer/Bryan Swartz (Georgia wins 8-3)
Ct 1. Nate Schnugg vs. John Smith (Tennessee wins 6-4, 6-4)
Ct 2. Javier Garrapiz vs. Matteo Fago (pronunciation unsure)
Ct 3. Jamie Hunt vs. Boris Conkic
Ct 4. Josh Varela vs. Davey Sandgren (Georgia wins 6-4, 6-3)
Ct 5. Drake Bernstein vs. Matt Brewer (Georgia wins 6-3, 6-3)
Ct 6. Christian Vitulli vs. Christian Hansen (Georgia wins 6-1, 6-0)
This is my first Georgia tennis match and I can already assure you that it won’t be my last. I played tennis in high school so watching these guys is a treat. Not quite at Wimbledon level, but still. Typically in the press box, cheering for a particular side is frowned upon to say the least. However, we looked around and saw that there was no one here from Tennessee and have decided to ignore that unwritten rule which is making this much more enjoyable than normal. Alright, enough about me, here are some tennis updates:
The crowd is really getting into these matches. Court 1 is leading 4-2 in a fairly even match, which figures as these are two of the best doubles pairings in the country. Georgia got up an early break and look very solid on serve. Court 2 is having a tougher time. Tennessee is up 4-2 there which is the court Coach Manny Diaz has been paying particular attention to. Court 3 is quickly becoming a bloodbath as the Dawgs lead 5-1. Tennessee doesn’t have any answer for Malo and Vitulli. Unless something changes for Tennessee, which looks extremely unlikely, I’m going to focus more on the closer matches.
Ok, so maybe I lied. Brewer and Swartz of Tennessee are getting frustrated on court 3 and are arguing with the ref about a call. It comes to no avail, as usual, and they’ve now lost 8-3. Georgia has stormed to a comeback on court 2 taking the lead 6-4. They’ve been playing very well and were completely unfazed by the early deficeit. Hunt and Schnugg have gone up 6-3 on court one, taking control of the match. Georgia’s looking in great shape to sweep the dubs. Don’t worry, I knocked on wood.
Court 1 is up 7-4 and they’re serving for the match. Tennesee is playing both players back which allows Hunt and Schnugg to get ot the net easily and take the first two points with some stellar vollying. Tennessee can’t return the 3rd serve and the Dawgs go up 40-0. Match point was a perfect doubles point for the Dawgs: huge serve, weak return from Tennessee and a great put away volley to seal the deal at 8-4. Boom goes the dynamite. Georgia’s now clinched the doubles and we’re waiting on the finish of the match on court 3 with the score at 6-6 Georgia with Tennessee serving.
Tennessee took the lead in the final match 7-6 with Georgia serving. Bern and Garrapiz seem to have lost a bit of their edge having clinched the doubles already. They quickly go down 0-30 and the crowd provides them with some support to push them to win this match. Smart crowd. Unfortunately, it goes to no avail as the Dawgs seemed to tank that last game to lose the match 8-6. Poor last few games there, but Georgia head to the singles after a brief intermission. Check back later for lineups and more “in-depth” analysis.
We’re back underway here in Athens and watching 6 matches at once is FREAKING SWEET. Unfortunately, it’s not the easiest thing to live-blog. We’ll see how it goes.
Good news: I’m in a much better seat in the press box and my view of the courts is even more phenomenal than it was for the doubles. What does that mean for you guys? Nothing. But my posting might be even more cheerful now that I’m that much more happier. Or maybe I’ll just forget to update now that I’m on cloud 9.
Well, maybe this won’t be as difficult as I thought. Every match is tied at 1-1.
I’m going to focus on courts 1, 2 and 3 and mainly 3 because Conkic for Tennessee is a lefty and lefthanded tennis players have always fascinated me/haunted my tennis career. And because Jamie Hunt is a badass. Can I say badass on radio? Yes. But even if I couldn’t, this is the internet where all things are possible. If you don’t like it, you could always read a different live-blog. Oh, WUOG Sports is the only one bringing that kind of action? Looks like you’re stuck with me this evening.
I was considering updating the scores as they happen but then I realized my 10 update limit. Here’s a link to see the game scores at a better pace.
Hunt is wearying Conkic down (who will now be known as lefty as that’s far more natural for me to type) with some stellar defense and movement. He has a patience I’ve never had and it makes me jealous. He’s standing quite far behind the baseline and Lefty’s attempted a couple of dropshots with 50% success rate.
I’m looking across the board and seeing a couple of things that make me want to vom (which after my night last night is a not a good thing). First, Tennessee changed from their black shirts to orange ones and everyone knows Tennessee orange makes me vom. Second, Georgia is down a break in most of the matches. The lone bright spot is Christian Vitulli who’s making this look like childsplay, taking the first set 6-1.
Coach Diaz is now talking to Hunt to try and get him back in this match as he’s now down 4-1. As much as I hate to say it, Lefty is looking pretty solid in this match. My mood is brightened as I’ve just been offered sandwhiches from Jimmy Johns. Thank you Mr. Lakos. I’ve also lost track of how many times I’ve updated. If the NCAA catches me, I’m blaming the Jimmy Johns for the distraction. I think they’ll understand.
Things are looking grim for Mr. Hunt as he’s now down 5-1. Vitulli continues to roll as he’s up 2-0. Tennessee took the first set on court 1 6-4 in a match that could go either way. As I’m sick of watching this damn lefty I’m going to shift over to the court one match between Schnugg and Smith as they begin the second set. While they’re in intermission, Josh Varela steals the first set 6-4 with a very loud “Come on!” He is fired up and the crowd loves it.
Oh great. John Smith is a lefty also. I just can’t escape. No wonder he’s winning. Lefty freaks. Another loud “Come on!” grabs my attention on court 2 as Garrapiz goes up 5-3. Huge. Things aren’t looking nearly as bad and now my Jimmy Johns tastes even better. Bernstein just smacked an overhead that bounced over the fence to clinch the first set 6-4. Is there a better way to win a set? I’m going to have to take it easy on the updates as I think I’m at 8.
I love the intensity Georgia brings to these matches. A deaf man could live-blog this event just by the various shouts of “Come On” from the Dawgs. It looks like Georgia’s settling into a groove on most of these courts. They’ve taken the first set on courts 2, 4, 5, and 6. Only Hunt and Schnugg are down and Nate Schnugg is looking frustrated as he lost a very close line call that looks to have effected him. He’s missing shots he should be making.
Vitulli closes out the match, 6-0 in the second. Not sure, but I think Hansen is crying. Ok, so he’s not, but he probably will later after the spanking he just received.
The chair umpire just asked the crowd behind Lefty to chill out. Hey, welcome to Athens homie.
They lefties are continuing to be a problem for Georgia which further proves my theory that they, like HGH, should be banned from the game.
Or maybe they’re not. Hunt and Schnugg have a game lead over their opponents in the second set. Which brings me to a troubling thought: I have just one update left and we may see two 3-set matches. Whoops!
Jamie just snuck up to the net and put away a great backhand volley. Smooth. I like the way he’s mixing it up this set. He’s also a lot more into this match than he initially appeared to be.
Josh Varela is a man on a MISSION. He is so fired up. It is his last match in Athens and his emotion has been shining through the whole match. He’s up 4-3 in the second.
I hate to say it, but Nate Schnugg looks a little out matched. He has the look like he’s not sure if he can win this one. Smith seems to be a touch ahead today. And he’s lefty. It’s just not fair. Lefty just tried another dropshot which caught the tape. That drew quite a cheer from the crowd. As does his next shot in the net. I’m not a big fan of cheering errors, but this guy is a lefty. Have I hammered that point in yet? OK, no more.
Yep, Nate Schnugg just lost, 4 and 4. Tough loss there but Smith is a heck of a player.
Varela clinches his match and lies down on the court. He’s taking in every moment for his last match in Athens. He’s earned it. Georgia now just needs one more win to seal the deal. It’s a race between Bernstien and Garrapiz to see who can win it. Bern is up 4-1 in the second while Garrapiz is up 3-2.
Interesting note: the team all uses Babolat racquets. I asked if they had some sort of deal but it appears they do not.
The safe bet is on Bernstein who goes up 5-2. Garrapiz looks to be in cruise control mode. Jamie Hunt is battling Lefty well in a tight second set that could go either way, though the match will likely be decided by the time they finish so we won’t really know for sure.
We’re in a bit of an interesting position. Garrapiz has definitely entered cruis mode and is down 4-3. Bernstein, now faced with closing it out, is playing tight. His shots are landing short and his follow through is snappy. It’s now 5-3 as he’s serving for the match. Things could get dicey.
Luckily, Garrapiz has left cruise control, possibly sensing what’s going on down on court 6. He just won a huge point to level the set at 4 and is now serving to take the lead. The huge roar from the crowd looks to have eased Bernstien as well. He’s serving for the match.
Wow, he tried to let one loose that lands in the bottom of the net. Second serve is good, and after a short rally, Brewer hits a winner off the net. Tough break.
Second chance here for Bernstein. Another big serve hits the net. Second serve is again effective and Brewer can’t handle a deep Bernstein backhand which will seal the deal. WOOOO!!
Georgia’s home winning streak is now up to 60 wins.
Right, that’s all from me. I’m late for a hot date.