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

5/17/2007 - Tennis

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.