Texas started well, grabbing the doubles point and #6 singles to take a 2-0 lead, but it wasn’t enough, as the defending Georgia Bulldogs rallied to win 4-2.
Of course it was Travis Helgeson who won the clinching match at #1 singles, as he won the final four games to defeat Dmitry Kutrovsky, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.
No. 7 Texas Falls to No. 4 Georgia in NCAA Title Match, 4-2
Texas completes the NCAA Championship unbeaten in doubles play, and the Horns add a singles win from junior Miguel Reyes Varela, but fourth-seeded Georgia rallies for a 4-2 victory Tuesday evening in the finals of the NCAA Men’s Tennis Championship.
TULSA, Okla. – Seventh-seeded Texas won the doubles point, and junior Miguel Reyes Varela scored a decisive straight-set victory at sixth singles, but it wasn’t enough, as fourth-seeded Georgia posted a 4-2 victory over the Longhorns Tuesday evening in the finals of the NCAA Men’s Tennis Championship.
Georgia (27-3) wins its second straight NCAA team title, as the Longhorns finish the 2007-08 season – arguably the finest in school history – as the NCAA runner-up with a 25-6 record. Texas swept all three spots on the NCAA All-Tournament doubles teams, as the Longhorn duos of freshmen Ed Corrie and Kellen Damico, senior Luis Diaz Barriga and Reyes Varela, and sophomores Dimitar Kutrovsky and Josh Zavala took all-tournament honors. Reyes Varela also made the NCAA All-Tournament Team at No. 6 singles.
Texas opened the match with a win at third doubles, as Kutrovsky and Zavala dealt Travis Helgeson and Christian Vitulli an 8-3 defeat. Diaz Barriga and Reyes Varela finished off the doubles session with an 8-6 win at second doubles over Luis Flores and Javier Garrapiz, as Texas assumed a 1-0 lead by taking its sixth doubles point in as many matches at the NCAA Championship.
Reyes Varela was broken early at sixth singles by Vitulli before pulling even at three-all in the first set. Trailing 4-3, Reyes Varela took the next three games to finish off the first set, 6-4. Reyes Varela took a 3-0 lead on his way to a 6-3 second-set win to close out the match and give Texas a 2-0 lead.
However, Georgia rallied gradually on its way to victories in the next four matches to close out the title victory. UGA sophomore Nate Schnugg topped UT’s Damico at second singles, 6-4, 6-2, and sophomore Jamie Hunt outlasted Texas’ Diaz Barriga, 6-1, 6-4, at the fourth slot to even the tally at two. Texas’ Corrie rallied from one set down to take the second set over Georgia’s Flores at third singles, 6-1, but Flores returned the favor in the third set, winning 6-1 to give the Bulldogs a 3-2 lead.
Texas’ Kutrovsky took the first set off of UGA’s Helgeson at first singles, 6-4, but Helgeson took the second set, 6-2, to force the decisive third set. Kutrovsky took a 3-2 lead in the final set, but Helgeson seized control and took the last four games to clinch the match and seal the title victory for Georgia.
NCAA Men’s Tennis Championship – Finals
Michael D. Case Tennis Center – Tulsa, Okla.
No. 4 Georgia 4, No. 7 Texas 2
Doubles – Order of Finish: 3, 2
1 Corrie/Damico (UT) vs. Hunt/Schnugg (UGA) – DNF
2 Diaz Barriga/Reyes Varela (UT) def. Flores/Garrapiz (UGA) – 8-6
3 Kutrovsky/Zavala (UT) def. Helgeson/Vitulli (UGA) – 8-3
Singles – Order of Finish: 6, 2, 4, 3, 1
1 Travis Helgeson (UGA) def. Dimitar Kutrovsky (UT) – 4-6, 6-2, 6-3
2 Nate Schnugg (UGA) def. Kellen Damico (UT) – 6-4, 6-2
3 Luis Flores (UGA) def. Ed Corrie (UT) – 6-3, 1-6, 6-1
4 Jamie Hunt (UGA) def. Luis Diaz Barriga (UT) – 6-1, 6-4
5 Milan Mihailovic (UT) vs. Javier Garrapiz (UGA) – 6-4, 2-6, 2-2, susp.
6 Miguel Reyes Varela (UT) def. Christian Vitulli (UGA) – 6-4, 6-3
· Texas falls to 34-26 all-time at the NCAA Championship after reaching the NCAA finals for the first time in school history.
· With its doubles win over Georgia, Texas finished the season by winning 27 of 30 doubles points contested (a doubles session was not played in Texas’ loss to Baylor at the Big 12 Championship)
· The Longhorns fell to 24-3 in matches where they have secured the doubles point (losses at Virginia and Texas Tech, vs. Georgia in NCAA finals).
· Senior Milan Mihailovic finished his UT career tied for eighth on UT’s all-time singles wins list with 94 victories.
· UT senior Luis Diaz Barriga finishes his career ranked 18th on UT’s all-time wins list with 84 singles victories; he finished the 2008 season with a 31-6 record and a 21-3 mark at No. 4 singles.