ATHENS, Ga. - The Virginia Tech men’s tennis team won a tough 4-2 victory Friday afternoon over No. 59 UNC Wilmington in the opening round of the 2009 NCAA Men’s Tennis Championships. The Athens, Ga., regional is being played at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex on the University of Georgia campus. Tech improved to 15-7 on the year while the Seahawks saw their 10-match winning streak come to end and conclude the season with a 19-6 record.
The Hokies, ranked No. 26 nationally and making their third consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament, swept the two completed doubles matches and won three of the five completed singles contests for the victory.
In singles, Tech took a 2-0 lead as Nicolas Delgado de Robles (Sr., Madrid, Spain), ranked 94th-nationally, easily defeated Gustava Bertei, 6-2, 6-0, in the No. 2 match. The remainder of the competition featured five tight matches which could have gone either way.
UNC Wilmington picked up its’ first point of the afternoon as Kinshuk Sharma won the No. 3 match, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3, over Tech’s Pedro Graber (Jr., Santiago, Chile). Yoann Re (Jr., Verdun, Quebec, Canada), ranked No. 55 nationally and seeing his first action since suffering a collarbone injury in a March 29 match at Miami, gave the Hokies a 3-1 advantage with a come-from-behind, 2-6, 6-3, 6-3, win at No. 1 over Michael Pereira. The Seahawks closed to 3-2 as Alex Wetherell defeated Brandon Corace (Sr., Naples, Fla.), 2-6, 6-3, 6-3, in the No. 6 event.
Sebastien Jacques (So., Magog, Quebec, Canada) put the Hokies in the second round with a 6-0, 4-6, 6-1, win at No. 6 over Illia Ziamtsou. Luka Somen (Fr., Karlovac, Croatia) had his No. 4 match against Ryan Ybarra halted once the Hokies had clinched the victory.
Tech wasted no time in capturing the doubles point as Daciek/Delgado de Robles made short work of Sharma/Ziamtsou, 8-2, at No. 1 and Corace/Graber rolled to a 8-2 victory at No. 2 versus Bertei/Ybarra. The No. 3 match was halted with Jacques/Re leading 7-5 against Pereira/Wetherell.
“This was a very tough match and I am proud of the way our players competed,” said Virginia Tech head coach Jim Thompson. “We are pleased to advance to tomorrow’s second round where we will face another tough opponent.”
The Hokies face the winner of the second match of the day between two-time defending national champion and fourth-ranked Georgia against South Carolina State.
#26 Virginia Tech 4, #59 UNC Wilmington 2
1. #55 Yoann Re (VT) def. Michael Pereira (UNCW) 2-6, 6-3, 6-3
2. #94 Nicolas Delgado de Robles (VT) def. Gustava Bertei (UNCW) 6-2, 6-0
3. Kinshuk Sharma (UNCW) def. Pedro Graber (VT) 6-4, 2-6, 6-3
4. Luka Somen (VT) vs. Ryan Ybarra (UNCW) 7-6, 3-6, 0-1 DNF
5. Sebastien Jacques (VT) def. Illia Ziamtsou (UNCW) 6-0, 4-6, 6-1
6. Alex Wetherell (UNCW) def. Brandon Corace (VT) 2-6, 6-3, 6-3
Finishing Order: 2, 3, 1, 6, 5*
1. Daciek/Delgado de Robles (VT) def. Sharma/Ziamtsou (UNCW) 8-2*
2. Corace/Graber (VT) def. Bertei/Ybarra (UNCW) 8-2
3. Jacques/Re (VT) def. Pereira/Wetherell (UNCW) 7-5 DNF
For updates on Virginia Tech men's tennis, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_MTennis).