(C) Peter Staples 2015
By: Steve Pratt
Doubles domination clinched the 2015 USTA Tennis On Campus Fall Invitational for the University of Georgia as the Bulldogs defeated Boston College, 24-15, on Sunday under cloudy skies on the final day of play at the Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center.
The Bulldogs went 18-3 in the three doubles sets for the difference in the match, even though they lost both the men’s and women’s singles matches by 6-3 scores. By making the final, both teams received an automatic bid into the 2016 Tennis On Campus National Championships set for April 14-16 in Cary, N.C.
Georgia opened up a commanding 12-3 lead heading into singles as the women’s doubles team of Sheridan Schuster and Stephanie Grodecki won their doubles match, 6-1, and the men’s doubles team of Brian Brandt and Graham McNerney followed that with a 6-2 win over their Eagles opponents.
It was the first time since the event’s inception in 2010 that a USTA Southern Section team took home the title as the University of Alabama won the first Fall Invitational six years ago.
Other past champions include the University of Florida (2014 and 2013), Duke (2012) and Virginia (2011).
“Our new freshman were the difference, and our doubles play,” captain McNerney said. “Every line did great. It feels amazing. It’s awesome to win the Fall Invitational for the first time.”
The Eagles took a 12-6 advantage in singles play as Alena Frye and Colin Crawford won 6-3 matches pulling Boston College within three (18-15) heading into the final match, mixed doubles. From there McNerney and Marcinkowski pounded out a 6-0 to put an exclamation point on the undefeated weekend.
“It was a tough match,” Boston College’s captain Jake Sheehan said. “Georgia is a good team. It was a really good weekend and something to be proud of. We have a lot of positives to take home and bring back to Boston. This shows that we can compete on the big stage and we look forward to the Sectionals next weekend and then to Nationals.”
Georgia players included: Brian Brandt (Atlanta), David Brown (Atlanta), Ansley Bridges (Marietta, Ga.), Stephanie Grodecki (Germantown, Md.), Cole Adler (Alpharetta, Ga.), Graham McNerney (Marietta, Ga.), Sheridan Schuster (Snellville, Ga.), Emily Shull (Peachtree City, Ga.), Annie Marcinkowski (Johns Creek, Ga.).
Boston College players included: Erica Pascocello (Haddenfield, N.J.), Alena Frye (Overland Park, Kan.), Michael Gauch (Potomac, Md.), Colin Crawford (Clarksville, Md.), Alexis Ditomassi (Longmeadow, Mass.), Jake Sheehan (Willmette, Ill.).
In the third-place match, Central Florida defeated Virginia Tech, 30-18. It was the first time Central Florida had played the event since 2012, when they also finished third.
“It was a great weekend for us,” said UCF junior captain Kleber Fukamizu. “We’ve been playing together for a couple of years now and we have really good chemistry.”
Georgia 24, Boston College 15
Sheridan Schuster-Stephanie Grodecki (UGA) def. Erica Pascocello-Alexis Ditomassi (BC), 6-1
Brian Brandt-Graham McNerney (UGA) def. Michael Gauch-Jake Sheehan (BC), 6-2
Alena Frye (BC) def. Annie Marcinkowski and sub Stephanie Grodecki (UGA), 6-3
Colin Crawford (BC) def. Cole Adler and sub Brian Brandt (UGA), 6-3
McNerney-Marcinkowski (UGA) def. Crawford-Pascocello (BC), 6-0
Sunday’s Final Results
Final: Georgia 24, Boston College 15
Third place: Central Florida 30, Virginia Tech 18
Fifth place: Florida 26, Cornell 17
Seventh place: North Carolina 28, William and Mary 9
Ninth place: Georgia Tech 30, Auburn 21
11th place: Alabama and Ohio State (unplayed)
13th place: Northwestern 16, Pittsburgh 10
15th place: Pennsylvania 15, N.C. State 13
Champion: Washington-St. Louis 25, Duke 22
Third place: Kentucky 28, College of Charleston 17
Fifth place: Vanderbilt 25, Connecticut 20
Seventh place: Kennesaw State 26, Ohio University 21
Champion: Louisiana State 24, Georgia College 23
Third place: Clemson 20, Cincinnati 18
Fifth place: Toledo 25, Tennessee 23
Seventh place: Ferris State 16, Wisconsin 15
Champion: Harvard 25, Colorado School of Mines 22
Third place: Furman 14, Johns Hopkins 12
Fifth place: Elon 25, Wake Forest 21
Seventh place: Mercer 26, Coastal Carolina 15
Champion: Villanova 22, James Madison 21
Third place: Tennessee-Chattanooga 25, Georgia Southern 11
Fifth place: New Hampshire 17, Dayton 13
Seventh place: Armstrong State 22, Old Dominion 17
Tennis on Campus Fall Invitational Past Champions:
2015 — University of Georgia
2014 — University of Florida
2013 — University of Florida
2012 — Duke University
2011 — University of Virginia
2010 — University of Alabama