2008 NCAA TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS
Michael D. Case Tennis Center - University of Tulsa
May 15-26, 2008
Sunday, May 18, 2008-Day Three
The weather was once again picture-perfect and over 1,300 people came out to watch some incredible tennis. First up was No. 4 Georgia vs. Mississippi. The fifth-ranked Ole Miss team put up quite a fight against the defending champions from start to finish.
It was looking pretty clear that Georgia would get a fourth point -- but where? They were leading on all courts, yet struggling to close it out over a tough Ole Miss resistance. It had even taken Travis six match points and Luis Flores gave up three before losing the second set to Robby Poole. Jamie Hunt was leading it a third, where the games were all close with no end in sight. It was actually Nate Schnugg who finally did it with a command in the third set and a 4-0 Georgia win that was clearly not that simple.
The Baylor Bears kept up the pressure with a win by Denes Lukacs over Treat Huey in a tiebreaker. All eyes turned to the final courts, both in third sets. It was a loud crowd for both teams and Dominic Inglot finally gave the Cavaliers a chance to meet Georgia in the semis for the second year in a row and avenge last year's 4-1 loss.
The Ohio Buckeyes were once again stopped in the quarterfinals. This year the No. 2 team ran into the Texas Longhorns, who snapped their 24-match winning streak.
Even though Texas won the doubles point, there was no clear leader in the singles matches. The first sets were evenly split among the two teams. Four matches would eventually go into third sets
and it was, like many other matches today, the closing that mattered. I found this one harder than most to keep track of because of the back and forth breaks, injury timeouts, last minute lineup changes
(for Ohio State) and large, moving crowd.
Texas took a giant lead when Milan Mihailovic and Luis Diaz Barriga claimed their matches first. It took awhile, but Steven Moneke got the Ohio State win over Kellen Damico
and then the crowd waited and moved as the next one was uncertain. It would go to another Buckeye, Balazs Novak, but it would not be enough as Dimitar Kutrovsky (T) defeated Bryan Koniecko
for the upset.
The Pac-10 rivalry of UCLA-Southern California runs deep. It was the 176th meeting of these two powerhouses and, despite the fact that the crowd was dwindling and it was late in the day, neither team was prepared to lose. The doubles went down to the finish, with UCLA actually taking the final two at nearly the same time. And then they turned to singles, full of heated passions and line-call arguments.
Tomorrow will be the first day when both the men and women play. It will be ladies first as the Bears vs. Bears (Cal vs. Baylor) take to the courts, unfortunately at the same exact time as UCLA vs. Florida. Then the men come out in the evening as UCLA will have the opportunity for a place in both finals.Until tomorrow,
Photos above by Samantha Frost
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