Athens, Ga. – Georgia Tech’s All-American doubles team of Kevin King and Juan Spir came up short in a valiant rally from a first-set loss, falling to Mississippi’s Chris and Marcel Thiemann, 7-6, 3-6, 6-4, Friday in the second round of the NCAA Doubles Championship.
The third-seeded Yellow Jackets lost for only the fifth time all year, finishing the season 22-5. It also was the final match in a Tech uniform for King, a senior from Peachtree City, Ga. He and Spir completed their doubles career at Georgia Tech with a 71-26 mark.
King finished his career with 90 doubles victories overall, surpassing the previous Tech career record of 82 by Sergio Aguirre (1997-01). Spir, a junior from Medellin, Colombia, has 75 doubles wins in three years, fifth on the all-time Tech list.
The Tech duo, ranked second in the ITA national rankings, was seeded third in the doubles championship. The Thiemanns, twin brothers for the Rebels, were not seeded in the championship but are ranked 17th nationally.
“Give them credit. They’ve had some great accomplishments and have the experience, and they played well today,” said Tech head coach Kenny Thorne. “Kevin and Juan played well today, but we may have thrown a few too many second serves in there today. They’re returning well, so we’re in a battle, and it’s a matter of getting your percentages up. The momentum swung back and forth, and they did a good job of grabbing it in the third set and holding on.”
Tech lost the first set in a tiebreaker, getting down a service break early, but then getting back on serve with a break of its own to tie the set, 5-5. The Jackets and Rebels were knotted, 6-6, at the changeover in the tiebreaker, but Ole Miss came back out and won the first two points to grab the set.
The second set remained on serve until the sixth game, when the Yellow Jackets broke and went ahead 4-2. After both teams held, Tech broke Ole Miss again to win the set, 6-3, and tie the match.
Tech won the first game of the final set on King’s serve, but Ole Miss broke on Spir’s serve to go up 2-1, then held on the rest of the way. The Rebels rebuffed a couple of break attempts by the Yellow Jackets to prevail, including one in the final game when Tech went ahead 40-30 in a bid to tie the set and get back on serve. A disputed line call that would have won that game for Tech went to Ole Miss, who then won the next two points to close it out.