Three Georgia Tech teams were in action Thursday, and two more begin NCAA tournament play Friday.
In its first appearance in the round of 16 since 1994, the men’s tennis team fell to Southern California 4-0 Thursday. The Trojans, the two-time defending champions and the No. 2 seed, made fairly quick work of the Jackets. They won two of the three doubles matches convincingly and won three singles matches in straight sets to clinch the victory. Tech’s No. 1 doubles team of Kevin King and Juan Spir registered Tech’s only victory, 8-3 over Jaak Poldma and J.T. Sundling.
“We lost to a better team, USC outplayed us [Thursday],” coach Kenny Thorne said in an article on Tech’s website.
The Tech baseball team opened its final regular-season series with an 11-4 win at Virginia Tech. Shortstop Jacob Esch collected four of Tech’s 14 hits as pitcher Mark Pope gave up three runs (two earned) over seven innings for the win. Esch’s 4-for-6 barrage included a double and home run. Ranked No. 12 by Baseball America and in the hunt for an NCAA tournament national seed, Tech will continue the series with games Friday and Saturday.
The Tech golf team opened NCAA regional play also at Virginia Tech. The Jackets took a six-stroke first-round lead, led by Kyle Scott’s 4-under-par 68. James White was the second Tech scorer, shooting a 73 to tie for eighth. Tech, ranked second in the country, will need to finish in the top five of the 13 teams at the three-round regional to advance to the championships. Tech’s four scorers combined for a 1-over-par 289, six shots ahead of Duke. Second-round play is Friday.
Tech’s women’s tennis team plays its round-of-16 match against No. 3 seed Duke Friday. The Jackets will be playing for their first quarterfinals appearance since 2008.
(Update, 4:20 p.m.: The women’s tennis team lost to Duke 4-3 Friday in the round of 16. Jillian O’Neill will represent Tech in the NCAA singles championship, beginning next Wednesday.)
Tech’s softball team starts its NCAA tournament play at the Knoxville regional Friday. The Jackets, trying to bounce back from an upset loss in the ACC tournament, have a 4 p.m. game against Oklahoma State. They’ll likely need to knock out host Tennessee to get to their second super regional in school history.