Georgia, N.C. State, Baylor, USC among opening day winners

Updated: May 17, 2007, 11:47 PM ET
Associated Press

ATHENS, Ga. -- The top-ranked Georgia men remained unbeaten for the season, blanking Florida 4-0 in the NCAA tennis championships Thursday night.

The Bulldogs (29-0) clinched the match at No. 3 singles when senior Travis Helgeson beat Nestor Briceno 6-4, 6-1.

UCLA will face Georgia in the quarterfinals Saturday. The No. 9 Bruins defeated eighth-ranked Oklahoma State by the same 4-0 margin in the final match of the night.

The Bulldogs won the doubles point for the 28th time in their 29 matches, picking up victories at the second and third positions.

First to finish was the duo of Helgeson and Matic Omerzel, who took down Briceno and Geoff Barton 8-1. The freshman tandem of Jamie Hunt and Nate Schnugg knocked off Jordan Dolberg and Dan Cash at the third position, 8-2.

"We had a lot of energy and we played outstanding doubles," Georgia coach Manuel Diaz said. "We got off to a fast start on both two and three. The day belonged to our No. 2 and No. 3 doubles teams. In singles we knew we'd be challenged, but our guys were ready."

In singles, Schnugg breezed past Dolberg, 6-1, 6-2 at the fifth position. Omerzel gave the Bulldogs a 3-0 lead when he defeated Billy Mulligan in the fourth slot, 6-2, 6-0, setting up Helgeson for the clinching win over the 19th-seeded Gators.

In other matches, North Carolina State pulled off its second straight upset, defeating No. 11 Texas 4-3. The 27th-ranked Wolfpack advanced to the round of 16 with a regional win over No. 6 North Carolina.

N.C. State will play third-seeded Baylor in the quarterfinals. The Bears advanced with a 4-0 win over No. 17 Alabama.

No. 2 Virginia came away with a 4-1 win over 13th-seeded Wake Forest, moving on to face Southern Cal in the quarterfinals. The 12th-seeded Trojans advanced with a 4-3 upset of fifth-seeded Notre Dame.

Illinois, the No. 10 seed, knocked off seventh-ranked Mississippi 4-3. Kevin Anderson defeated Erling Tveit in the decisive match at No. 1 singles, winning 6-7, 7-6 (7-2), 6-3.

The Fighting Illini advanced to play No. 2 Ohio State, which shut out 15th-seeded LSU 4-0.

Georgia is hosting the 12-day championships, which includes teams and singles competition for both men and women.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press