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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Georgia Back in Men's Team Indoor Final with 4-2 Win Over Stanford

©Colette Lewis 2009--
Chicago IL--

Winners of the ITA Team Indoor in 2007 here at the Midtown Tennis Club, and the last two NCAA titles, the Georgia Bulldogs put themselves in position for another national title when they downed the No. 11 Stanford Cardinal 4-2 Sunday afternoon.

No. 3 Georgia took the doubles point when Jamie Hunt and Nate Schnugg eased past Blake Muller and Richard Wire 9-8 (4) at No. 1 after Stanford had won at No. 2, and Georgia at No. 3.

Stanford quickly took control on the back three courts, with Ryan Thacher pulling his team even at No. 4 with a 6-1, 6-3 dismantling of Borja Malo, and Richard Wire giving the Cardinal a 2-1 lead with an equally dominating 6-2, 6-4 victory over Drake Bernstein at No. 5. Greg Hirshman had also taken the first set at No. 6 for Stanford, but on the other side of the curtain, it was a different story.

Georgia had won the first sets at Nos. 1, 2, and 3, with Hunt taking a tiebreaker against Bradley Klahn in the last first set to be decided. Stanford's Matt Bruch came back to take the second set in his match against Javier Garrapiz at No. 3, but on No. 6, Josh Varela had also even that match for the Bulldogs with a second set win.
Meanwhile Nate Schnugg put Alex Clayton in the difficult position of serving down a set and 4-5, and Schnugg broke to earn Georgia's second point.

Unlike Bruch, who fell behind early in the third set, Varela came all the way back, and his 2-6, 6-0, 6-3 victory over Hirschman brought all the Georgia fans to the front three courts, where both Hunt and Garrapiz were up a break. It was Hunt that provided the clinching point, taking out Klahn 7-6, 6-3, and putting his team in yet another national championship match, the fourth of his two and a half year career at Georgia.

For complete scores, visit the ITA results page.