Rival colleges Oxford, GPC split matches
OXFORD— If you’re looking to compare SAT scores between the two local colleges, there isn’t much of a contest.
However, on the tennis court Friday afternoon it was gridlocked, as Oxford College split with visiting Georgia Perimeter College in their second matchup of the season.
“We only have a couple of weeks before Nationals begin,” said fifth-year Oxford men and women’s coach Brandon Feldman. “ We still have been unable to put together two or three good days in a row, but days like today are great experiences for the guys.”
Both looked to make any last minute adjustments before heading to Nationals. And great experience it was, as the Oxford men won, 6-3, while the Georgia Perimeter women swept the Lady Eagles.
In men’s action, the Eagles led off with a loss after their No. 1 doubles team of Mike ReddyMiller and Erik Lanza dropped a quick 8-0 match to Mathew Baker and Eric Johnson.
But picking up the slack were the No. 2 and No. 3 doubles teams, who bounced back to victories by giving Oxford a 2-1 lead heading into singles play.
Niel Kuttappan and Paul Choi won 8-0 over Thong Phane and Aditya Prabhakar, while No. 3 doubles Najit Aujila and Andres Weigz won 8-5 over Alex Wilkenson and Jelene Reddish.
In singles action, the first match was taken by Georgia Perimeter’s Baker, who won 8-5 over Reddy-Miller. Taking another win in No. 5 singles was Georgia Perimeter’s Wilkenson 8-4 over Aujla.
However, that would be the end of their winning, as the Eagles took the rest of the matches during the day.
In No. 2 singles, Lanza won 8-5 over Johnson after calling a medical timeout, where Lanza found himself cramping and struggling to breathe.
In No. 3 singles, former Salem High standout Kuttappan won 8-1 over Phane. No. 4 singles was won 8-0 by Weigz over Prabhakar, while Choi won 8-4 over Jelene to complete the win for the Eagles.
“I am really glad the boys were able to pull this one out,” Feldman said after the match.
In women’s action, the Lady Jaguars swept the Lady Eagles.
“The girls played really well today,” said Georgia Perimeter coach Redanaitomar. “Our number one and two players are really strong and always set a good pace for us, and our doubles teams are meshing really well right now for us.” Unable to complete the roster due to forfeits at No. 3 doubles and No. 5 and No. 6 singles, Oxford trailed before the matches started. In No. 1 doubles during the most intense match of the afternoon, Georgia Perimeter’s Yooha Nam and Maria Baghati won 8-2 over Madeline Spratt and Maggie Daned.
In No. 2 doubles, the combination of Bich Vi Truong and Precious Alice won 8-0 over Sheetal Kandola and Lyndsey Davis before heading to singles play up 2-0.
Dividing the tough tandem of Nam and Baghati, Georgia Perimeter sent the duo into singles play anticipating similar results. Nam, a tough competitor who played No. 1 singles without cracking a smile, won 8-1 over Spratt, while her counterpart Baghati won 8-2 over Kandola.
In No. 3 singles, Omatayo won 8-5 over Daned. Closing out the match was Christina, who won 8-1 over Davis to give the Lady Jaguars the win.
Return to sender: Oxford’s Niel Kuttappan returns a serve against Georgia Perimeter College in No. 1 singles action Friday afternoon at the Oxford College tennis courts.
Eye on the ball: Georgia Perimeter’s Yooha Nam prepares to serve in No. 1 singles action Friday afternoon at Oxford College.