MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – The #23 Georgia College Men's Tennis (2-0) remains undefeated on the young season after storming back in the final two matches to knock off #8 Valdosta State University (0-1) at the Centennial Center Tennis Facility Wednesday afternoon.
The Bobcats found themselves in a hole early after the Blazers clinched the opening match point with a 2-1 overall victory in doubles play.
The lone doubles win for the Bobcat men came in the first slot, with the duo of Robin Moller (Hamburg, Germany) and Matt Rogel (Sautron, France) dominating VSU's Yohan Nguyen and Florian Simbozel, 6-1. However, the Bobcats dropped the points with losses in second and third doubles. The pairing of Jordi Mas and Javier Pineda outpaced Jannik Kumbier (Neumünster, Germany) and Noah Wallace (Grayson) 6-4 and Alex Holm and Robert Cizek matched that score with a 6-4 victory over Enzo Kohn (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and Nathan Connelly (McDonough).
With the attention turned to singles, Georgia College needed to take four of the six singles contests to secure the overall team victory.
Rogel wasted no time getting the Bobcats on the board, bouncing back from a first set loss with a pair of commanding sets to take the win over Simbozel, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the second slot. In third singles, Kumbier and Nguyen battled for the team lead, with the Blazer slightly edging the Bobcat, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 to reclaim the VSU lead.
Moller drew things even at two a piece with a thrilling upset victory over #21 Mas in top-flight singles. Moller dropped the first set 5-7 but battled back and secured the point after 6-2 and 7-5 sets.
Cizek once again edged the Blazers out in front, leaving them one point away from overall victory with a 6-4, 6-2 performance against Connelly in sixth singles. From there, the two tightest matches of the day ensued.
After being outscored 6-2 in the first set by Holm, Kohn roared back to force a third with a hard-fought 6-4 result in the second. As Kohn raced out to a 5-0 lead in the final set, Holm found his stride and pulled even late, extending the match to a 10-point tiebreak. In a back and forth contest, Kohn reached the mark first, pulling the team scores to even at three with a 10-7 tiebreak victory.
As all eyes shifted to the final match of the day, it was much of the same, as Wallace and #19 Pineda were locked in a duel on the side court. Wallace edged the nationally-ranked Blazer 7-5 in the first set, but Pineda stormed back with an impressive 6-0 performance in the second. Locked in a point-for-point contest, the third set came to six all and a final tiebreak was needed to decide the outcome.
Wallace trailed early but collected himself and gained a late edge, securing the match victory and the team win with a thrilling 11-9 final score to complete the upset.
With the win, the Bobcats improve to 2-0 on the season. They will return to the courts Friday, Feb. 15 when they travel to take on No. 17 Queens University in Newberry, S.C. First serve is scheduled for 12 p.m.
The Georgia College Department of Athletics, two-time winners of the PBC Commissioner's Cup and the 2017 PBC Sportsmanship Institution of the Year, sponsors 11 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, Bobcat Athletics prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the teams' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at @GCBobcats on Twitter and Facebook for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit GCBobcats.PhotoReflect.com to purchase photo prints from home athletic contests.