Georgia Wins Second Straight National Championship

May 21, 2008 02:27 PM

Coming into the NCAA tournament, the fifth ranked University of Georgia Bulldog men’s tennis team was not the favorite to win the national championship. After upsetting top ranked Virginia in the semifinals, the Bulldogs suddenly saw themselves as the higher seed playing seventh ranked Texas for the title. After a hard fought match at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center in Tulsa on May 20, Georgia was able to capture their second straight NCAA Division I Championship.

Texas jumped out to a quick lead, winning two out of three doubles matches to take the very important doubles point. After Miguel Reyes Varela of Texas defeated Christian Vitulli 6-4, 6-3 in the No. 6 singles match, Georgia all of a sudden found themselves in a 2-0 hole. The Bulldogs would need to win four out of the remaining five singles matches in order to achieve their goal of repeating as national champions.

Nate Schnugg won Georgia their first point of the match by defeating Kellen Damico 6-4, 6-2. Then Jamie Hunt helped tie the match score at two by defeating Luis Diaz Barriga 6-1, 6-4. With the national championship coming down to whichever team could win two more matches, Luis Flores beat Ed Corrie 6-3, 1-6, 6-1 to put Georgia ahead. With two matches still being played, Georgia only needed one more to win. In the No. 1 singles match, Travis Helgeson put away Dimitar Kurtovsky 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 to give Georgia the 4-2 victory.

With national championships in each of the last two years, the Georgia men’s tennis team ran their tally up to six national championships in the school’s history. This was coach Manny Diaz’ forth title as a head coach. Diaz was also part of Georgia’s other two championships as an assistant coach. With their victory over Texas, Georgia became first team to repeat as national champions since Stanford ten years ago.