Athens, Ga. – No. 12 Texas Men’s Tennis narrowly fell to No. 15 Georgia, 4-3, at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Georgia on Tuesday.
The Longhorns had singles victories as early as the second year Eliot Spizirri at No. 4, second No. 72 Micah Braswell at No. 2 and Senior No. 114 Richard Ciamarra at No. 3, in addition to having two match points in a third-set tiebreaker for second No. 104 Siem Woldeab at No. 6 which Georgia was able to fend off for the deciding game to come down to No. 1.
After the Bulldogs won the point in doubles, Spizzirri was the first to leave the court in singles with a straight-sets 6-4, 6-4 win over No. 79 Trent Bryde. Spizzirri used two early breaks to take a 3-0 lead, and although Bryde clawed back one of the breaks and held on at 3-2, the rest of the set stayed on serve with a two-for-each win. player leading to Spizzirri. Victory 6-4. In the second, Bryde opened with a hold, but Spizzirri went on a 5-0 run that included a 2-1 lead on a two-point break. Bryde used two straight wins to start a 3-0 run to move closer to 5-4, but Spizzirri closed serve for the game and leveled the aggregate score at 1-1.
Following that, Georgia recorded the next two singles wins to extend to a 3-1 lead. The first was a 6-4, 6-4 decision for No. 76 Blake Croyder on the second year Cleeve Harper at No. 5. The first four games stayed on duty until Croyder broke for a 3-2 lead. Harper fell back on a two point and held on to reclaim the lead, but a two point grab for Croyder in the following game sparked a 3-0 run to give him the set. In the second, Croyder opened with a two-point break to start a seven-game break streak, the last two of which were at two, which gave him a 4-3 lead. Croyder finally ended the streak with a hold at 5-3 and the last two games also stayed on serve until the final.
The next game to be completed had the potential to tip the aggregate score in favor of the Longhorns as it came down to a tight third-set tiebreaker with Thomas Paulsell surviving against Woldeab, 6-2, 1-6, 7 -6 (7) . Each player produced a deciding set which featured a 5-0 run with the first going to Paulsell and the second to Woldeab to send it to the third where it became a home and away game. Woldeab started on a break before the next three games went to two, with Paulsell taking the first on a break, and Woldeab the next two on a break and a hold for a 3-1 lead. However, Paulsell then made a 3-0 run to put the set back on serve where it remained in the tiebreaker. There Woldeab got the first two points, while Paulsell responded with four straight, but Woldeab took four of the next five to set up with a 6-5 lead and the first of two match points. Paulsell fought that one to tie it up, and after Woldeab took the next point for his second match point at 7-6, Paulsell went on a three-game winning streak to capture the tiebreaker at 9-7.
Despite that, Texas still had chances in the remaining three matches, and Braswell quickly capitalized on theirs for a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 win over No. 47 Tristan McCormick. In the first set, Braswell held their opening serve and then broke for a 2-0 lead, but McCormick responded on the break and held an equal point. The next four games remained on serve, with McCormick capping that streak with a two-point hold for 4-4 before taking another break for the lead and securing the win. McCormick opened the next set with a break, but Braswell responded with one of his own on a two-pointer to start a five-game two-point streak. With the next three all ended in strikes, Braswell used the last to take a 4-2 lead in a 4-0 run which he completed with another two-point break for victory. Deuces continued to be a big part of the game going into the third set, including three of the first four games, but they all stayed on serve. Braswell then mirrored their 4-0 run that finished second with another 4-0 that also included two two-point breaks for their victory.
By then Ciamarra had built a solid lead in his third set en route to a 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-2 win over No. 79 Philip Henning. Ciamarra earned a two-point break in Game 2 to open the game on a 3-0 run. Henning’s next service game also went to two, but Henning won it with a break in the next game to come back at 3-2. The next two games were both two-point breaks, with Henning serving as the start of a 4-0 run that also included two-point wins in the final two games. In the second, Henning used a break to take a 3-2 lead which he then turned to 4-2 with a two-point hold. However, Ciamarra rallied and salvaged the break at 4-4, held at 5-4 and had a set point of two, but Henning was able to hold that with the next two games remaining serving as well. a tiebreaker. Henning grabbed the first point there on a mini-break, but the next four belonged to Ciamarra, and although Henning came back twice in one, Ciamarra never gave up the lead for a 7-5 victory. In the third, it was all Ciamarra, as he won five of the first six games with Henning hanging on to trail 2-1 in that streak. Henning got one more two-pointer at 5-2, but Ciamarra finished it on serve to tie the game at 3-3.
This left him in Court 1 where Freshman #17 Pierre-Yves Bailly was facing No. 22 Hamish Stewart. Bailly booked the opening set with two-point holds, while taking the frame’s only break at 3-1 en route to a 6-3 victory. The second set also stayed on serve starting with Stewart until a 5-4 lead for him when he finally broke through with a two-point win for the set’s only break. That put him in a third set, which was the opposite of the first two and featured six breaks in eight games. After Stewart held the opener, the next five were all breaks, including a two-point win for each player at 2-1 and 3-1 in favor of Stewart. The streak left Stewart with a 4-2 lead when he finally held to extend to 5-2, then broke again for a 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 finish that clinched it for Georgia.
Earlier in doubles play, the Bulldogs recorded a pair of 6-2 wins at numbers 2 and 3 to take the point. In the match at No. 2, the No. 41 duo of Bryde and Henning defeated Woldeab and Bailly, while at No. 3 it was the No. 42 pair of Croyder and Erik Grevelius against Braswell and junior. Chih Chi Huang. In the remaining game at No. 1, the No. 60 duo of Stewart and McCormick were leading No. 38 Ciamarra and Harper, 4-3, when play stopped.
The Longhorns’ next game will also be on the road with a visit to College Station to take on No. 18 Texas A&M on Wednesday, March 9 at 6 p.m. CT.
#15 Georgia 4, #12 Texas 3
Singles – Order of finish (4,5,6,2,3,1)
1. #22 Hamish Stewart (UGA) def. #17 Pierre-Yves Bailly (UT) 3-6, 6-4, 6-2
2. #72 Micah Braswell (UT) def. #47 Tristan McCormick (UGA) 4-6, 6-2, 6-2
3. #114 Richard Ciamarra (UT) def. #79 Philip Henning (UGA) 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2
4. Eliot Spizirri (UT) def. #44 Trent Bryde (UGA) 6-4, 6-4
5. #76 Blake Croyder (UGA) def. Cleeve Harper (UT) 6-4, 6-4
6. Thomas Paulsell (UGA) def. #104 Siem Woldeab (UT) 6-2, 1-6, 7-6 (7)
Doubles – Order of arrival (2.3)
1. #60 Hamish Stewart/Tristan McCormick (UGA) vs #38 Cleeve Harper/Richard Ciamarra (UT) 4-3, unf.
2. #41 Trent Bryde/Philip Henning (UGA) def. Siem Woldeab/Pierre-Yves Bailly (UT) 6-2
3. #42 Blake Croyder/Erik Grevelius (UGA) def. Micah Braswell/Chih Chi Huang (UT) 6-2