Bulls Fall to No. 12 Georgia in NCAA Second Round
By TOM ZEBOLD
USF Senior Writer
ATHENS, Ga., MAY 13, 2017 – A pillar of USF men's tennis the past four years, Sasha Gozun shined brightly in the final team match of his productive career as a Bull.
No. 22 USF came up just one victory short of its second Sweet 16 trip since 2015, falling to No. 12 Georgia, 4-1, Saturday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. The Bulls' fourth consecutive trip to the second round of the NCAA tournament was highlighted by Gozun's 6-2, 6-4 win over No. 56 Nathan Ponwith in the top singles spot.
Gozun's quick singles performance tied things up after Georgia took the doubles point with wins in the first and third positions. Georgia (20-7) pulled back ahead with a victory on court 3 and advanced to the round of 16 for the 14th straight season.
Fittingly, mentally tough USF fought to the end of the match that was secured on court 2. Junior Justin Roberts (Nassau, Bahamas) pushed Wayne Montgomery to the limit in the first set of his 7-6 (10-8), 6-3 loss.
USF ends its season with an 18-9 record after winning its fourth consecutive American Athletic Conference Championship title.
Gozun, the conference's co-player of the year, will continue to represent USF at the NCAA Singles Championship, which takes place May 24-29 back at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga.
Head coach Ashley Fisher on facing Georgia and the match overall:
“They play really good doubles, so we knew that was going to be a tough point, but felt we could get into some of the singles matches. We kind of got off to an awfully tough start, dug ourselves a hole and did a pretty good job of fighting back. It was just too deep of a hole.”
Fisher on senior Sasha Gozun's win and impact on the program:
“Sasha was one of the guys that has turned this program around. When he came here four years ago, USF men's tennis wasn't on the map. He became one of the guys that led that charge and he led us through the finish line here… It's a tribute to how hard he's worked and the sort of tennis he's playing. I really think he's going to be one of the guys to beat in the NCAA tournament. I think he's going to have a big future moving forward.”
Sasha Gozun's thoughts on USF and the team's season finale:
“It's been a pleasure playing for USF. I had fun although it wasn't the result we wanted today. The guys fought hard. The best of luck to the team next year."
Gozun on turning his attention to the NCAA Singles Championship:
“I'll go back and take a couple days off with my family because I haven't been around the house. Then I'm going to just keep working, get back at it and come back here and try to do well.”
No. 12 Georgia 4, No. 22 USF 1
1. Sasha Gozun (USF) def. Nathan Ponwith (UGA) 6-2, 6-4
2. Wayne Montgomery (UGA) def. Justin Roberts (USF) 7-6 (10-8), 6-3
3. Emil Reinberg (UGA) def. Alberto Campos (USF) 6-3, 6-1
4. Jan Zielinski (UGA) vs. Peter Bertran (USF) 6-1, 3-6, unfinished
5. Walker Duncan (UGA) vs. Vadym Kalyuzhnny (USF) 6-3, 4-6, unfinished
6. Robert Loeb (UGA) def. Jakub Wojcik (USF) 6-3, 6-4
1. Robert Loeb/Jan Zielinski (UGA) def. Alberto Campos/Sasha Gozun (USF) 6-3
3. Walker Duncan/Wayne Montgomery (UGA) def. Vadym Kalyuzhnny/Jakub Wojcik (USF) 6-2
USF 18-9; National ranking #22
Georgia 20-7; National ranking #12
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (1,3,6,2)
Official: Richard Rogers