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September 26, 2010

Tech makes showing at Southern Intercollegiate Championships

ATHENS, GA. --- Two athletes represented Tech well as they competed amongst the top schools in the nation this weekend at the Southern Intercollegiate Championships at the University of Georgia. Josh Girling made it to the Round of 16 after topping off the sixth seed in the first singles division, and Justin Kirstein also captured a win for Tech in division II singles.

Girling, who now holds a 9-2 singles record this fall, kicked off the tournament with a win over Micheal Pereira from UNCW, 7-5, 2-6, 6-4. Then, when Girling met up with sixth seed, Christian Blocker from Miami the following round, he viewed it as more than a challenge, but an opportunity for him to rise above the challenge, and with a 6-3, 6-0 victory, he succeeded.

"It was a big win for me," Girling said. "I really wanted to win because it was my chance of beating a ranked player."

Girling fell in the following round to another top player from Georgia, but is looking ahead to earn a ranking for himself. He hopes to get another ranked win at this year's ITA Ohio Valley Regional which would most likely earn him a spot on the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) national rankings list.

"All I know is I've just got to keep winning," Girling said. With his success this fall in the UNCG Invitational and the IU Invitational, he proves to have a good chance of recieving national recognition.

Kirstein felt good about his tournament results after opening Friday with a first round win over Allan Donald from Wofford, 6-2, 6-3.

"It was a great tournament," said Kirstein, who lost a hard-fought battle in the second round to Vanderbilt, 3-6, 6-1, 4-6. "I had chances at 3-2 in the third to take advantage. It all came down to a couple of points in the end."

Kirstein, who played in the second singles division, said he felt he competed well and was proud of how he played overall.

"These are the top players in the country," he said. "I am happy to be able to represent Tech at this tournament, it was an overall good experience."

The two also competed in Division I doubles and fell in the first round to UNCW.

"We came back from 5-1 but just couldn't capture it in the end," Kirstein said.

Coach Kenny Doyle was impressed with the show of his two players this weekend.

"Josh did very well, it was a good performance," he said.

Doyle has been impressed with the way Girling has been playing in these first fall tournaments and in practice lately. He was also proud of Justin's fight in his matches.

"He had chances in the second match, it just came down to a few points, but he fought hard like he always does," Doyle said.

Doyle will be taking players next weekend to Chattanooga for the UTC Fall Classic.