Georgia Tennis blanks Notre Dame 4-0

PALO ALTO, Calif. - The No. 1-seeded University of Georgia men's tennis team defeated Notre Dame by a score of 4-0 in the Round of 16 at the 2006 NCAA Men's Tennis Championships in Palo Alto, Calif., Saturday evening. The match-clincher came off the racquet of junior Matic Omerzel (Kranj, Slovenia) as he took down Ryan Keckley at the fourth singles position, 6-2, 6-1.

"Our team played very well," said Georgia head coach Manuel Diaz. "We were told that Notre Dame couldn't play very well in doubles but I was very impressed with their doubles play. Our No. 3 doubles team was lights out and played a good, quick match, but at No. 1 and No. 2 Notre Dame took it to us. They were closing points and were quicker than us in many instances. They played intensely and made it tough on us. Then in the singles we had great play at No. 1 once again,John Isner continues to lead this team in many ways. Then Antonio Ruiz in the No. 3 spot played a great match and any time he wins it seems to give our team a whole lot of momentum. Finally at No. 4 (in the match clincher) that last point was one of the most sensational points I've ever witnessed. Matic Omerzel did a great job in both singles and doubles today."

Georgia took a 1-0 lead in the match by winning the doubles point for the 25th time this season. The 20th-ranked senior-captain duo of Strahinja Bobusic (Perth, Australia) and Colin Purcell (Louisville, Ky.) were first off the courts with an 8-4 win at the third position, defeating Stephen Bass and Santiago Montoya. After neither tandem in the No. 1 doubles match seemed able to earn a service break, Georgia's junior John Isner (Greensboro, N.C.) and senior captain Antonio Ruiz (Monterrey, Mexico) broke the Irish duo of Keckley and Eric Langenkamp, making the score 7-6, with Isner coming up to serve. Georgia went on to win the match 8-6, securing the doubles point. The match at No. 2 doubles was halted with Georgia's sophomore Luis Flores (Xalapa, Mexico) and junior Matic Omerzel (Kranj, Slovenia) leading Barry King and Sheeva Parbhu of Notre Dame, 8-7. Isner's doubles win was the 100th of his career.

In singles play, No. 2-ranked Isner extended Georgia's lead to 2-0 from the first position as he defeated 21st-ranked Bass, 6-2, 6-3, notching his 25th consecutive win. The lead became 3-0 as Ruiz defeated Brett Helgeson, 6-3, 6-1 at the third singles spot, setting Omerzel up for the clinch.

In the quarterfinal match on Sunday at 6 p.m. PST, Georgia will take on the winner of the match between eighth-seeded Virginia and ninth-seeded Miami, which was still in progress when Georgia's match ended.

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