The team finals in Athens was a great day for me. First, I got to watch my team, the Georgia Bulldogs win the men's title. And then we hung around to watch our rivals the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets win the ladies title. So it was a great night for the Peach State.
Considering how big of an underdog UCLA was, I was very impressed with them. I had seen some of an earlier match they had that week and they really peaked at the right time. Kudos to Stella for doing an excellent job of "coaching up" her team while in Athens.
GT wasn't the strongest team in doubles so it wasn't a major surprise to see them lose the doubles point. The whole match was close throughout with UCLA always having a lead right until the end. I can't remember the players' names but the match turned on Court 5 when the UCLA player got sick on court while leading early in the 3rd set. I wasn't sure if it was heat exhaustion or not. But play had to be stopped for about 20 minutes to clean up where she got sick. The GT player jumped on that opportunity and won that match going away in the 3rd, though the UCLA player gamely fought on. Pete would've been proud of the effort.
Once it appeared that the match would hinge on the outcome on court 2, people pretty much knew that GT would win the title. GT's #2 player was very solid and had clinched for them several times that week already. The UCLA player was tough. But you always got the feeling that she wouldn't be able to pull through when it counted. She also had the GT fans in the crowd on her as several close calls went her way.
Overall, it was very entertaining tennis. Congrats to former touring pro and GT player Bryan Shelton for building a nice womens program in Atlanta. I'm sure there will be lots of great matches between the Lady Dawgs and the Lady Jackets in the years to come.