Jaguar Men's Tennis Archives Seventh Place NJCAA National Tournament 2011

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May 17, 2013

Haile wins national championship as Jaguars tie for sixth in NJCAA

Jaguar sophomore Gelawydiyos Haile won the national championship match in Flight 6 singles at the National Junior College Athletic Association championship tournament Friday in Plano, Texas.

Shem Alexis

Gelawdiyos Haile

Georgia Perimeter College moved into a tie for sixth place in the final standings when freshman Shem Alexis won the final match of the No. 3 singles consolation bracket.

Seeded No. 1 in No. 6 singles, Haile won handily 6-3, 6-3 over the flight’s second seed, George Rivers of Tyler Junior College (Texas).

“Gelawidyos has a great work ethic,” said GPC head coach Mohamed “Reda” Nait Omar. “It showed in each match, and he was disciplined and showed a lot of maturity. Very proud of him. He deserves it.”

Alexis, the third seed in No. 3 singles, overcame top-seeded Kyle Joseph of ASA College (N.Y.) with a 3-0 advantage when Joseph quit the consolation final match.

“Shem competed well in the back draw and got us some points that were needed to finish where we did,” Nait Omar said.

The two victories gave Georgia Perimeter 26 team points in the tournament, boosting the Jaguars from seventh place in the standings to a sixth-place tie with Seminole State College (Okla.).

Tyler tallied 6.5 points on the final day to dominate the tournament with 47 points, while ASA finished a distant second with 35.5. The Jaguars’ Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association rival Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College ended up in ninth place with 24.5 points.

With his national championship, Haile earns All-America status, joining GPC’s other All-Americans for 2012-13—Alexandra Truitt in women’s soccer (first team), Ronita Garrett in women’s basketball (third team) and Fatyha Berjane and Idia Amen in women’s tennis (No. 2 and No. 3 singles).

Haile fairly cruised through the No. 6 flight in four matches. He didn't lose a set, and only one set was close at 6-4, which came in his 6-4, 6-1 quarterfinal victory over Carlos Rodriguez of Cowley College (Kansas).

Alexis dropped into the consolation bracket in the round of 16 and then face only one troublesome match, a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over Garrett Mandrell of Vincennes University (Ind.).

SCORECARD:

No. 6 SINGLES CHAMPIONSHIP: Gelawdiyos Haile (1st seed), GPC, def. George Rivers (2nd seed), Tyler Junior College (Texas) 6-3, 6-3.

No. 3 CONSOLATION SINGLES FINAL: Shem Alexis (3rd seed), GPC, def. Kyle Joseph (1st seed), Asa College (N.Y.) 3,0 (retired).

The tournament brackets and results are available under “Draws” at the USTA website.

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May 16, 2013

Haile advances to national title match

Winning one match and losing one on a grueling day of doubleheader tennis, Gelawdiyos Haile advanced to the championship match in No. 6 singles at the National Junior College Athletic Association championship tournament at Collin College in Plano, Texas.

In Texas: front row from left, G. Haile, E. Verdi, P. Samowitz, P. Hackling, T. Ojeda; back, J. Pleasant, C. Clark, A. Barney, S. Alexis, B. Dashiell. Photo/Reda Nait Omar

Haile reached the final by beating fifth-seeded Dimitar Komov of Seminole State College (Okla.) 6-3, 6-2. Seeded No. 1 in the flight, Haile faces a showdown with the second seed, George Rivers of Tyler Junior College at 8 a.m. Friday for the national championship.

After his morning singles semifinal match, Haile teamed with Jerel Pleasant for a No. 1 doubles quarterfinal match at noon, but the duo fell in a 7-5, 6-3 battle to the No. 1 seed, Patrick Clynes and Donovan McSeveney of Collins College (Texas).

The real rumble came in the No. 3 doubles quarterfinal as Eric Verdi and Preston Samowitz dropped a hard-fought match 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 to second-seeded Gino Raneri and Ian Sioux of Collin College.

Freshman Shem Alexis reached the finals of the consolation bracket of flight 3 singles when Colin Ferry of Elgin Community College (Ill.) forfeited in the semifinals. Alexis, third seed in the flight, will face top seed Kyle Joseph of Asa College (N.Y.) at 8 a.m. Friday for the consolation title.

The Jaguars finished Day 4 of the tournament tied for seventh place with rival Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. Each team has 24.5 team points and it is the third consecutive day they have been tied.

Tyler surpassed tournament host Collin to take the lead in team points with 40.5. ASA is second with 34.5 points and Collin is third with 33.Tyler surpassed tournament host Collin to take the lead in team points with 40.5. ASA is second with 34.5 points and Collin is third with 33.

It has been a team effort for the Jaguars to stay ranked in the top ten in team points. Monday Chris Clark won a Flight 2 singles match, and Clark and Ben Dashiell won a No. 3 doubles match. Reserves Patrick Hackling and Tomas Ojeda didn't see action.

GPC Athletic Director Alfred Barney attended the tournament to cheer on the Jaguars.

SCORECARD:

SINGLES SEMIFINALS: No. 6, Gelawdiyos Haile (1st seed), GPC, def. Dimitar Komov (5th seed), Seminole State College (Okla.) 6-3, 6-2.

DOUBLES QUARTERFINALS: No. 1, Patrick Clynes/Donovan McSeveney, (1st seed) Collin College (Texas), def. Jerel Pleasant/Gelawdiyos Haile (7th seed) 7-5, 6-3. No. 3, Gino Raneri/Ian Sioux (2nd seed) Collin College (Texas), def. Preston Samowitz/Eric Verdi (6th seed) 6-3, 3-6, 7-5.

CONSOLATION SINGLES SEMIFINALS: No. 3, Shem Alexis (3rd seed), GPC, def. Colin Ferry, Elgin C.C. (Ill.), 11 a.m., forfeit. \

FRIDAY’S SCHEDULE (Mountain Time):

SINGLES CHAMPIONSHIP: No. 6, Gelawdiyos Haile (1st seed), GPC, vs. George Rivers (2nd seed), Tyler Junior College (Texas) 8 a.m.

CONSOLATION SINGLES FINAL: No. 3, Shem Alexis (3rd seed), GPC, vs. Kyle Joseph (1st seed), Asa College (N.Y.) 8 a.m.

Follow the tournament brackets and results by clicking on “Draws” at the USTA website.

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May 15, 2013

Haile leads fifth-place Jaguars at nationals

Gelawdiyos Haile faces a daunting schedule Thursday at the National Junior College Athletic Association championship tournament at Collin College in Plano, Texas. If things go right, the Jaguar sophomore will play three matches.

Gelawdiyos Haile

Ranked the top seed in the singles Flight 6, Haile Wednesday advanced to the semifinals with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Carlos Rodriguez of Cowley College (Kansas).

Unfortunately, the Jaguar sophomore became the last man standing in singles competition for the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars. Jerel Pleasant and Preston Samowitz each fell to top-ranked opponents Wednesday in the singles No. 1 and No. 5 flights.

Wednesday’s doubles matches were postponed, so Haile faces a Thursday tripleheader—his singles semifinals match, doubles quarterfinals and, hopefully, doubles semifinals.

Also, Thursday features a Jaguar midday quarterfinals two-ring circus with tournament leader and host Collin College. Haile and Pleasant battle Collin’s Patrick Clynes and Donovan McSeveney, while Samowitz and Eric Verdi play the host school’s Gino Raneri and Ian Sioux.

If Haile and Pleasant win, Haile will play his third match of the day because the doubles semifinals have been squeezed into the schedule for 3:30 p.m. Samowitz and Verdi also would play their semifinals at that time.

Meanwhile, in the consolation bracket, third-seed Shem Alexis meets Colin Ferry of Elgin Community College (Ill.) in the semifinals. Since losing Monday in the main bracket, Alexis has won two matches in consolation play, beating Kellin Rumsey of Mesa Community College (Ariz.) Tuesday 6-2, 6-2 and Wednesday besting Tyler Smith of Jacksonville College (Texas) 6-3, 6-0.

Pleasant lost to the No. 1 seed in the top flight singles bracket. Mousa Zayad of Scottsdale Community College (Ariz.) won the arduous showdown with the second-seeded Jaguar freshman 6-4, 6-4.

In Flight 5 singles, third-seeded Pavel Zhdanov of ASA College (N.Y.) downed Samowitz (6th seed) 6-2, 6-4.

The Jaguars finished Day 3 of the tournament tied with rival Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (Ga.) for fifth place with 22.5 team points.

Collin College, enjoying the home court advantage, continues to lead the 26-team field with 29 team points. Tyler Junior College (Texas) and ASA College (N.Y.) for the second straight day are tied for second place, each with 28.5 points. Scottsdale Community College (Ariz.) is third, 25 points; Seminole State College (Okla.) fourth, 24.5, and GPC and ABAC are tied for fifth at 22.5.

SCORECARD:

SINGLES QUARTERFINALS: No. 1, Mousa Zayad, Scottsdale C.C. (Ariz.), def. Jerel Pleasant (2nd seed), GPC, 6-4, 6-4. No. 5, Pavel Zhdanov (3rd seed), ASA College (N.Y.), def. Preson Samowitz (6th seed), GPC, 6-2, 6-4. No. 6, Gelawdiyos Haile (1st seed), GPC, def. Carlos Rodriguez, Cowley College (Kansas), 6-4, 6-1.

CONSOLATION SINGLES QUARTERFINALS: No. 3, Shem Alexis (3rd seed), GPC, def. Tyler Smith, Jacksonville College (Texas), 6-3, 6-0.

THURSDAY’S SCHEDULE (Mountain Time):

SINGLES SEMIFINALS: No. 6, Gelawdiyos Haile (1st seed), GPC, vs. TBD.

DOUBLES QUARTERFINALS: No. 1, Jerel Pleasant/Gelawdiyos Haile (7th seed) vs. Patrick Clynes/Donovan McSeveney, (1st seed) Collin College (Texas), 12:30 p.m. No. 3, Preston Samowitz/Eric Verdi (6th seed) vs. Gino Raneri/Ian Sioux (2nd seed) Collin College (Texas), 12:30 p.m. DOUBLES SEMIFINALS: No. 1, TBD, 3:30 p.m. No. 3, TBD, 3:30 p.m.

CONSOLATION SINGLES SEMIFINALS: No. 3, Shem Alexis (3rd seed), GPC, vs. Colin Ferry, Elgin C.C. (Ill.), 11 a.m.

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May 14, 2013

Jaguars advance to quarterfinals in 5 flights

Jerel Pleasant, Gelawdiyos Haile and Preston Samowitz each won two matches Tuesday, leading Georgia Perimeter College into the quarterfinals of five flights at the NJCAA National Championship Tournament in Plano, Texas.

Jerel Pleasant, left, and Gelawdiyos Haile next will take on the top-seeded team in No. 1 doubles. Archive Photos/David Tulis

The Jaguars finished Day 2 of the tournament, the “round of 16,” tied for fifth place with 21.5 team points.

In the top singles flight, second-seeded Pleasant defeated a strong opponent 6-2, 7-6 (4), before joining Haile for a somewhat easier 6-4, 6-2 victory in No. 1 doubles.

Haile, top-seeded in Flight 6 singles, won handily 6-2, 6-1 over his Georgia opponent from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

Samowitz shut out his opponent in No. 5 singles, 6-0, 6-0, and he teamed with Eric Verdi to cruise 6-1, 6-3 in No. 3 doubles.

But the Jaguars didn’t escape setbacks in the tough round of 16 competition. Chris Clark, who won in No. 2 singles Monday, fell 6-2, 6-1 to the third-seeded player in the flight, Patrick Clynes of Collin College (Texas).

Shem Alexis, the third seed in Flight 3 singles, succumbed in a see-saw 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 upset by an unranked opponent. In the fourth singles flight, Verdi was defeated 6-3, 6-3.

The Jags’ No. 3 doubles team, Preston Samowitz, left, and Eric Verdi, will face the second-seeded team in the quarterfinals.

Clark and Ben Dashiell dropped their No. 2 doubles match 6-1, 6-1 after winning Monday's first round match..

The competition stiffens in the quarterfinals. Pleasant and Haile, seeded seventh in No. 1 doubles, will take on the top-seeded team, Clynes and Donovan McSeveney of Collin College. The match starts at 1 p.m. Wednesday, immediately after Haile finishes his 11:45 a.m. No. 6 singles match.

In No. 5 singles, Samowitz faces the third seed, and he and Verdi meet the second seed in Flight 2 doubles.

Alexis moves into the consolation bracket, competing in Wednesday’s No. 3 singles consolation quarterfinals.

Collin College, the tournament host, leads the pack with 26 team points, and Tyler Junior College (Texas) and ASA College (N.Y.) are tied for second at 24.5. Seminole State College (Okla.) is third, 22.5, while Vincennes and Scottsdale Community College (Ariz.) are knotted at 22, just above GPC.

The other Georgia team in the tournament, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, is in seventh place with 20.5 points.

Follow the tournament brackets and results by clicking on “Draws” at the USTA website.

SCORECARD:

SINGLES ROUND OF 16: No. 1, Jerel Pleasant (2nd seed), GPC, def. Justin Pena, Seward County C.C. (Kansas) 6-2, 7-6 (4). No. 2, Patrick Clynes (3rd seed) Collin College (Texas) def. Chris Clark, GPC, 6-2, 6-1. No. 3, Garrett Mandrell, Vincennes Univ. (Ind.) def. Shem Alexis (3rd seed), GPC, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. No. 4, Oliver Nimmegeers, Johnson County C.C. (Kansas) def. Eric Verdi, GPC, 6-3, 6-3. No. 5, Preson Samowitz (6th seed), GPC, def. Scott Hale, Harford C.C. (Md.) 6-0, 6-0. No. 6, Gelawdiyos Haile (1st seed), GPC, def. Jordan Chastain, Abraham Baldwin (Ga.) 6-2, 6-1.

DOUBLES ROUND OF 16: No. 1, Jerel Pleasant/Gelawdiyos Haile (7th seed) def. Robin Hochguertel/Aaron Longoria, Temple College (Texas) 6-4, 6-2. No. 2, Adrien Berkowicz/Ryan Hudelson (2nd seed), Tyler Junior College (Texas) def. Chris Clark/Ron Dashiell 6-1, 6-1. No. 3, Preston Samowitz/Eric Verdi (6th seed) def. Alex Embres/Scott Hale, Harford C.C. (Md.) 6-1, 6-3.

CONSOLATION ROUND OF 16: No. 3, Shem Alexis (3rd seed), GPC, def. Kellin Rumsey, Mesa C.C. (Ariz.) 6-2, 6-2.

WEDNESDAY’S SCHEDULE (Mountain Time):

SINGLES QUARTERFINALS: No. 1, Jerel Pleasant (2nd seed), GPC, vs. Mousa Zayad, Scottsdale C.C. (Ariz.), 8 a.m. No. 5, Preson Samowitz (6th seed), GPC, vs. Pavel Zhdanov (3rd seed), ASA College (N.Y.), 10:30 a.m. No. 6, Gelawdiyos Haile (1st seed), GPC, vs. Carlos Rodriguez, Cowley College (Kansas), 11:45 a.m.

DOUBLES QUARTERFINALS: No. 1, Jerel Pleasant/Gelawdiyos Haile (7th seed) vs. Patrick Clynes/Donovan McSeveney, (1st seed) Collin College (Texas), 1 p.m. No. 3, Preston Samowitz/Eric Verdi (6th seed) vs. Gino Raneri/Ian Sioux (2nd seed) Collin College (Texas), 2:15 p.m.

CONSOLATION SINGLES QUARTERFINALS: No. 3, Shem Alexis (3rd seed), GPC, vs. Tyler Smith, Jacksonville College (Texas), 9:15 a.m.

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May 13, 2013

Jaguars sweep on nationals' Day 1

The Georgia Perimeter College men’s tennis team is vying for a national championship this week at Plano, Texas, and the results of Day 1 were akin to an ace serve on the first point of a game. GPC won every match played and didn’t lose a set, but there are more points to be served.

Ben Dashiell

Ben Dashiell

Chris Clark

Chris Clark

The Jaguars finished the day Monday tied for fourth place because they entered the tournament, hosted by Collin College, ranked third in the NJCAA by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. As a result, they drew numerous byes in the 26-team tournament's round of 32 and scored points only for the flights that weren't seeded with byes.

In the singles flights, four Jaguars enjoyed byes and only two played matches. Chris Clark came on strong in the second set to win in No. 2 singles, and Eric Verdi won handily in No. 4 singles.

Clark, the only Jaguar to play two matches, teamed up with Ben Dashiell for a round of 32 victory in the second flight of doubles competition.

In No. 1 doubles, Jerel Pleasant and Gelawdiyos Haile, seeded seventh, also won their first round match.

Pleasant, No. 2 seed in the singles top flight—and the ITA’s second-ranked player—received a bye in the first round. Also receiving byes were third-seeded Shem Alexis in No. 3 singles, Preston Samowitz (6th seed) in No. 5 singles, Gelawdiyos Haile (top seed) in No. 6 singles and Samowitz and Verdi (6th seed) in No. 3 doubles.

Leading in team points is Temple College (Texas), 18 points. Marion Military Institute (Ala.) is tied with three other teams for second place with 12 points. With eight points, GPC is in a fourth-place tie with four other teams, including Georgia’s Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

Follow the tournament brackets and results by clicking on “Draws” at the USTA website.

SCORECARD:

SINGLES: No. 2, Chris Clark, GPC, def. Christian de la Cruz, Elgin C.C. (Ill.), 6-4, 6-1. No. 4, Eric Verdi, GPC, def. Matt Peugh, Itawamba C.C. (Miss.) 6-0, 6-1. DOUBLES: No. 1 Jerel Pleasant/Gelawdiyos Haile, (7th seed), GPC, def. Farai Chiridza/Tyler Cook, Harford C.C. (Md.), 6-1, 6-2. No. 2, Chris Clark/Ben Dashiell, GPC, def. Daniel Apacible/Tyler Smith, Jacksonville College, (Texas), 6-3, 6-0.

TUESDAY’S SCHEDULE:

SINGLES: No. 1, Jerel Pleasant (2nd seed), GPC, vs. Justin Pena, Seward County C.C. (Kansas). No. 2, Chris Clark, GPC, vs. Patrick Clynes (3rd seed) Collin College (Texas). No. 3, Shem Alexis (3rd seed), GPC, vs. Garrett Mandrell, Vincennes Univ. (Ind.). No. 4, Eric Verdi, GPC, vs. Oliver Nimmegeers, Johnson County C.C. (Kansas). No. 5, Preson Samowitz (6th seed), GPC, vs. Scott Hale, Harford C.C. (Md.). No. 6, Gelawdiyos Haile (1st seed), GPC, vs. Jordan Chastain, Abraham Baldwin (Ga.).

DOUBLES: No. 1, Jerel Pleasant/Gelawdiyos Haile (7th seed) vs. Robin Hochguertel/Aaron Longoria, Temple College (Texas). No. 2, Chris Clark/Ron Dashiell vs. Adrien Berkowicz/Ryan Hudelson (2nd seed), Tyler Junior College (Texas). No. 3, Preston Samowitz/Eric Verdi (6th seed) vs. Alex Embres/Scott Hale, Harford C.C. (Md.)

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April 20, 2013

Jaguars return as Region 17 champions

When Coach Reda makes a promise, take it to the bank.

Coach Mohamed Nait Omar, right, and the Jaguars celebrate with their two GCAA championship trophies. Photo/Panda Nelson

Named head men’s tennis coach at Georgia Perimeter College in 2009, Mohamed “Reda” Nait Omar issued a bold statement about his goals. He aimed to return GPC to its glory years in tennis, to win the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association championship and return the Jaguars as a force at nationals.

Check all off the bucket list. Saturday the Jaguars won the championship of the GCAA (also known as Region 17 of the National Junior College Athletic Association) at Oxford College of Emory in Oxford, Ga.

They did it with a nail-biting 5-4 victory over the team that has dominated the region for a decade, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

To top it off, the GPC women’s team also won the conference championship Saturday at Oxford, besting perennial power ABAC 7-2.

Preston Samowitz returns during his key comeback victory in the Jaguars’ championship match. Photo/David Tulis

GPC’s Jerel Pleasant, a freshman who is ranked No. 2 nationally in the Intercollegiate Athletic Association rankings, received the GCAA 2013 Most Valuable Player award. Nait Omar was selected Coach of the Year.

Sophomore Preston Samowitz provided the winning margin for the Jaguars, rallying to beat ABAC’s Michael Bailey 6-7 (7-9), 6-4, 6-3 in the singles fifth flight, and then joining Eric Verdi to win an arduous No. 3 doubles match 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 over the Stallions’ Jordan Chastain and Parker Cuevas-Woodall. Samowitz’ duel with Bailey extended into the lunch period, with most players and gallery gone to fast-food restaurants.

After struggling through the tight, but unsuccessful first set and winning the second set by two games, Samowitz appeared to get stronger at the end of the third set and finally put Bailey away with a series of smashes and back spins.

GPC controlled the singles flights, garnering victories from Samowitz, Pleasant (No. 1 flight), Shem Alexis (No. 3) and Gelawdiyos Haile (No. 6). Pleasant rallied to edge Oliver Snaider 2-6, 6-4, 6-3, while Haile and Alexis won their matches in two sets.

The Jaguars’ Gelawdiyos Haile sets as MVP Jerel Pleasant serves in the top-flight doubles match. Photo/David Tulis

But after lunch Abraham Baldwin came on strong in doubles, winning the top two flights over Pleasant and Haile and Chris Clark and Ben Dashiell.

So, the Jaguars’ hopes came down to Samowitz and Verdi, and the veteran sophomores came through.

It represents the first region championship for Jaguar men’s tennis since 2001. GPC won NJCAA national championships four consecutive years from 1998 through 2001. Those were NJCAA Division 2 years, before the tennis program moved to Division 1 with more scholarships for student-athletes.

Two years ago No. 1 ace Salif Kante led the Jaguars to a No. 7 finish at the NJCAA national tournament, winning the No. 1 singles flight and teaming with Ismail Lemtouni for the No. 1 doubles championship. Last spring the Jaguars finished in a third-place tie at nationals with three national champions—Lemtouni (No. 2 singles), Menford Owusu (No. 1) and Davis Dawson (No. 1 doubles with Lemtouni).

However, those were at-large bids to the national tournament for the Jaguars. Abraham Baldwin won the conference championships those years, both times by a narrow 5-4 margin. The scores indicated the Jags were primed for a regime change, and they placed higher than ABAC at nationals.

GPC rolled by ABAC 7-2 in February and finished the regular season six days ago with a 7-3-1 record. Ranked No. 3 in the nation in the ITA poll, the Jaguars remain undefeated against two-year colleges. The losses and tie were to four-year institutions.

Next task for the Jaguars—practice hard and pack for the NJCAA national tournament May 12-17 at Collins County Community College in Plano, Texas.

SCORECARD:

SINGLES: No. 1, Jerel Pleasant (GPC) def. Oliver Snaider 2-6, 6-4, 6-3; No. 2, Dragomir Culjat (ABAC) def. Chris Clark 6-4, 7-6; No. 3, Shem Alexis (GPC) def. Ricky Symanski 6-2, 6-2; No. 4, Parker Cuevas-Woodal (ABAC) def. Eric Verdi 6-4, 4-6, 6-2; No. 5, Preston Samowitz (GPC) def. Michael Bailey 6-7 (7-9), 6-4, 6-3; No. 6, Gelawdiyos Haile (GPC) def. Jordan Chastain 6-2, 6-0.

DOUBLES: No. 1, Snaider/Symanski (ABAC) def. Pleasant/Haile 7-6, 4-6, 7-6; No. 2, Bailey/Culjat (ABAC) def. Clark/Dashiell 7-5, 6-2; No. 3, Samowitz/Verdi (GPC) def. Chastain/Cuevas-Woodall 7-5, 4-6, 6-2.

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April 14, 2013

Jaguars head into postseason with 7-2 triumph over SCAD

Winning two doubles matches and all but one singles, Georgia Perimeter College came away with its third victory against four-year colleges Sunday, a 7-2 triumph over Savannah College of Art and Design at GPC’s Dunwoody Campus.

As it was Georgia Perimeter’s final regular-season match, it’s now tournament time for the Jaguars. They travel Friday to Oxford College of Emory in Covington for the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association tournament.

The Jaguars (7-3-1) are 3-3-1 against four-year colleges. All of their losses and the tie have been to four-year schools, and they are undefeated against four two-year college opponents.

SCAD’s only match wins Sunday were scuffles in the second flights. GPC’s Chris Clark battled Mikaeah Vea but fell 6-4, 6-2 in singles, and in No. 2 doubles Clark and Ben Dashiell were edged by David Powell & Denzel Holis 8-6.

Jerel Pleasant defeated SCAD’s No. 1 singles player, Joseph Dwyer, 6-0, 6-3. Other Jaguar winners in singles were Shem Alexis, Tomas Ojeda, Ben Dashiell and Patrick Hackling.

In doubles Pleasant and Gelawdiyos Haile squeezed out a win in the top flight, and Eric Verdi and Preston Samowitz also posted a victory in the third flight.

Georgia Perimeter was ranked third in last week’s Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll for two-year colleges. Pleasant is ranked No. 2 in the individual poll, and Haile, Clark and Alexis are ranked among the top 50 players.

The Jags enter the postseason with previous victories over Oxford College and Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, the other teams in the GCAA tournament. On Feb. 15 they bested ABAC, ranked seventh in the ITA poll, by a score of 7-2. They beat Oxford 9-0 last week.

The GCAA also serves as Region 17 of the National Junior College Athletic Association.

SCORECARD:

DOUBLES: 1, GPC Jerel Pleasant & Gelawdiyos Haile def. Joseph Dwyer & Mikaeah Vea 8-6; 2, SCAD David Powell & Denzel Holis def. Ben Dashiell & Chris Clark 8-6; 3, GPC Eric Verdi & Preston Samowitz def. Joe Jackson & Alex Maeda 8-3.

SINGLES: 1, GPC Jerel Pleasant def. Joseph Dwyer 6-0, 6-3; 2, SCAD Mikaeah Vea def. Chris Clark 6-4, 6-2; 3, GPC Shem Alexis def. Alex Maeda 6-4, 6-4; 4, GPC Tomas Ojeda def. David Powell 6-1, 6-0; 5, GPC Ben Dashiell def. Denzel Holis 6-2, 6-1; 6, GPC Patrick Hackling def. Joe Jackson 6-0, 6-0.

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April 11, 2013

Pleasant returns; Jags post 5th shutout

Freshman Jerel Pleasant won his first matches coming off an injury and Georgia Perimeter College earned its fifth shutout of the season with a 9-0 victory over Oxford College of Emory Thursday at GPC Dunwoody courts.

Jerel Pleasant

Resuming his spot in the top flight singles competition, Pleasant blanked Gustavo Linde 6-0, 6-0 and teamed up with Tomas Ojedo in No. 1 doubles to win 8-1 over Linde and Zac Hersman.

Pleasant, ranked No. 2 in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll, hadn’t appeared in a match since Feb. 19 because of an injury in practice.

Georgia Perimeter (6-3-1) remains undefeated against two-year schools, and the Jaguars are ranked third in this week’s ITA poll for two-year colleges.

The victory was GPC’s fifth shutout of the season and fourth in the last five matches. Though Oxford College is an NJCAA Division 3 member, the Eagles compete with Division 1 schools GPC and Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association.

SCORECARD:

DOUBLES: No. 1, Jerel Pleasant and Tomas Ojeda def. Gustavo Linde and Zac Hersman 8-1; No. 2, Ben Dashiell and Chris Clark def. Alex Day ;and Anish Pari 8-1; No. 3, Patrick Hacking and Eric Verdi def. Roger Hunt and Alex Gedalia 8-1.

SINGLES: No. 1: Jerel Pleasant def. Gustavo Linde 6-0, 6-0; No. 2, Chris Clark def. Alex Day 6-4, 7-5; No. 3, Shem Alexis def Zac Hersman 6-1, 6-0; No. 4, Ben Dashiell def. Anish Pari, 6-2, 6-2; No. 5, Tomas Ojeda def. Roger Hunt 6-1, 6-0; No. 6, Patrick Hackling def. Alex Gedalia 6-0, 6-0.

Next up for the Jaguars is a home match Sunday with Savannah College of Art and Design, starting at 10 a.m.

The Jaguars’ home tennis matches are played at GPC’s Dunwoody Campus, 2101 Womack Road, Dunwoody, Ga., 30338.

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March 25, 2013

Jaguars defeat Morehouse a second time

The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars earned their fourth shutout of the season with a 9-0 victory over Morehouse College Monday on GPC’s Dunwoody Campus courts.

Georgia Perimeter blanked Morehouse in February. The Jaguars, ranked No. 2 among two-year colleges nationally in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll, improved to 5-3-1. They are 2-3-1 against four-year colleges—all of GPC’s losses and the tie have been to four-year institutions.

Monday’s results:

Doubles: No. 1, Tomas Ojeda and Ben Dashiell def. Kahai Hall and James Pressley 8-6; No. 2, Eric Verdi and Preston Samowitz def. Noah Terry and Chris Hawthorne 8-3; No. 3, Gelawdiyos Haile and Patrick Hackling def. Joseph Brooks and P.J. Stamps 8-0.

Singles: No. 1, Chris Clark def. Kahai Hall 6-4 ,6-1; No. 2, Ben Dashiell def. Jonathan McFarland 6-2 ,7-5; No. 3, Eric Verdi def. Chris Hawthorne 3-6, 6-1, 6-2; No. 4, Tomas Ojeda def. Joseph Brooks 6-0 ,6-2; No. 5, Shem Alexis def. Ryan Rutledge 6-1 , 6-2; No. 6, Patrick Hackling def. Nate Sinckler 6-0, 6-2.

The Jaguars get a rest until April 10, when they will host Oxford of Emory at 3 p.m.

The Jaguars’ home tennis matches are played at GPC’s Dunwoody Campus, 2101 Womack Road, Dunwoody, Ga., 30338.

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March 17, 2013

GPC earns third shutout of season

Still undefeated against two-year schools, the Georgia Perimeter College men’s tennis team posted its third shutout of the season with a 9-0 victory over No. 16 Gadsden State Community College Sunday on GPC’s Dunwoody Campus courts.

The Jaguars, ranked No. 2 nationally in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll, are 3-0 against two-year schools but have two losses and a rain-shortened tie with four-year institutions, making their season record 4-2-1.

Playing without injured singles ace Jerel Pleasant, GPC won four 6-0, 6-0 singles matches against Gadsden, ranked sixteenth in the ITA poll of teams in the National Junior College Athletic Association.

Singles results: No. 1: Chris Clark def. Aaron Triplett, 6-0, 6-2. No. 2: Eric Verdi def. Hayden Clowers, default. No. 3: Shem Alexis def. Nate Moore, 6-0, 6-0. No. 4: Tomas Ojeda def. Jacob Mitchell, 6-0, 6-0. No. 5: Patrick Hackling def. Quntel Walker, 6-3, 6-2. No. 6: Preston Samowitz def. Trey White, 6-0, 6-0. No. 7: Ben Dashiell def. Jake Croghan, 6-0, 6-0.

Doubles results: No. 1: Clark & Dashiell def. Triplett & Clowers, 8-4. No. 2: Verdi & Samowitz def. Moore & White, 8-1. 3. Hackling & Gelawdiyos Haile def. Mitchell & Walker, 8-0. The Jaguars’ next outing will be on March 25 when they host Morehouse College at 2 p.m.

The Jaguars’ home tennis matches are played at GPC’s Dunwoody Campus, 2101 Womack Road, Dunwoody, Ga., 30338.

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March 14, 2013

No. 2 Jaguars roll past Itawamba 9-0

The nationally ranked Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars remain undefeated against teams in their division, the National Junior College Athletic Association. Playing only their second match with a two-year school, the Jaguars handily won 9-0 over Itawamba Community College (Miss.) Thursday at GPC’s Dunwoody courts.

Ben Dashiell

Ben Dashiell

Chris Clark

Chris Clark

The Jaguars, ranked second in last week’s national poll by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, have a 3-2-1 record on the season. They defeated nationally ranked Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in February, and their other four matches have been against four-year colleges.

Georgia Perimeter dominated the matches at all flights Thursday. Itawamba is ranked No. 20 in the poll, which ITA conducts for the NJCAA.

“We looked pretty good,” said GPC head coach Mohamed “Reda” Nait Omar. “We just have to get ready, mentally and physically, for the big-time matches. When it gets down to crunch time, you need to have that confidence.”

The Jaguars demonstrated their depth, dominating the flights top to bottom.

In the top flight singles, freshman Chris Clark defeated Loucas Souza 6-0, 6-1 after Clark and Ben Dashiell downed Souza and Matt Peugh 8-3 in No. 1 doubles.

Tomas Ojeda and Shem Alexis teamed up in No. 2 doubles to take down James Jackson and Ambrose Wilson 8-2. Ojeda shut out Caleb Ballard in No. 5 singles 6-0, 6-0, while Alexis won the fourth flight, taking down Peugh 6-1, 6-0.

In No. 3 doubles Eric Verdi and Patrick Hackling blanked Ballard and Jamison Alred 8-0. Hackling won his No. 6 singles match with Jordan Trice by a score of 6-1, 6-0.

Preston Samowitz defeated Jackson 6-1, 6-1 in the No. 2 singles match, while Gelawdiyos Haile finished strong in the third flight with a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Wilson.

Because of an injury, GPC played without its top flight ace, Jerel Pleasant, ranked No. 2 in the ITA national rankings of NJCAA players.

“We hope to have him back soon,” Nait Omar said.

Sunday the Jaguars return to their home courts for an 11 a.m. match with Gadsden State Community College. Gadsden State is ranked 16th in last week’s ITA poll.

The Jaguars’ home tennis matches are played at GPC’s Dunwoody Campus, 2101 Womack Road, Dunwoody, Ga., 30338.

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February 19, 2013

Georgia Perimeter blanks Morehouse

Playing four-year colleges is the norm for Georgia Perimeter College, as Coach Mohamed Nait Omar believes it sharpens the Jaguars’ skills and prepares them for this spring’s tournaments as well as competition at the next level.

Tuesday, the Jaguars demonstrated their skills already are in midseason form as they collected a 9-0 victory at Morehouse College in Atlanta.

Scorebook: No. 1, GPC’s Jerel Pleasant def. Kahai Hall 6-1, 6-1; No. 2, GPC’s Chris Clark def. Jabez Beazer 6-2, 6-1; No. 3, GPC’s Ben Dashiell def. Christopher Hawthorne 6-1, 7-5; No. 4, GPC’S Patrick Hackling def. Nathaniel Sinckler 6-1, 7-5; No. 5, GPC’s Shem Alexis def. Ryan Rutledge 6-2, 6-0; No. 6, GPC’s Tomas Ojeda def. Jonathan Mcfarlane 6-3, 6-4.

The Jaguars open their home schedule Monday, hosting Oxford College of Emory.

The Jaguars’ home tennis matches are played at GPC’s Dunwoody Campus, 2101 Womack Road, Dunwoody, Ga., 30338.

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February 15, 2013

No. 3 Jaguars down No. 9 ABAC

In cards a three card usually doesn’t beat a nine, and a two doesn’t beat a three, but that’s how it was Friday at the three-way men’s tennis match at College of Coastal Georgia in Brunswick.

Jerel Pleasant

Jerel Pleasant Photo/David Tullis

Ranked No. 3 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association preseason poll, Georgia Perimeter College swept the doubles matches and the bottom three flights of the lineup to trump ninth-ranked Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College 7-2.

The Jaguars (2-1) also played Coastal Georgia in the three-way match and fell to the four-year institution 7-2.

The top flight singles match with ABAC featured a showdown that went three sets between the No. 2 and No. 3 players in the ITA rankings. GPC’s Jerel Pleasant, ranked No. 2 among the nation’s junior college players by the ITA, lived up to his billing and defeated third-ranked Oliver Snaider 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.

“That was a great match,” said GPC head coach Mohamed Nait Omar. “Jerel was very confident—he beat him [Snaider] in the fall USTA/ITA small college regionals. In the third set, he served well and minimized his errors.”

But it was the No. 4, 5 and 6 flights that gave the Jaguars the winning hand. The doubles sweep could have been nullified if those players—Shem Alexis, Gelawdiyos Haile and Preston Samowitz—hadn’t done the job.

“The four, five and six guys showed up and played very solid tennis. I hope they keep it up,” Nait Omar said.

Alexis won the fourth singles flight, besting Richard Symanski 6-2, 6-4; Haile beat Michael Bailey 6-1, 6-3 in the No. 5 flight; and in No. 6 Samowitz whipped Jordan Chastain 6-1, 6-2.

In No. 2 singles, the Jaguars’ Chris Clark put up a fight but fell to Dragomir Cujat 6-3, 6-2, and in No. 3 Eric Verdi rallied in the second set but came up short, losing to ABAC’s Parker Cuevas-Woodall 6-0, 6-4.

In doubles the courts belonged to Georgia Perimeter. Pleasant and Haile defeated Snaider and Symanski 8-2 to take the No. 1 flight.

The No. 2 duo of Clark and Ben Dashiell downed Cujat and Cuevas-Woodall 8-4, and Verdi and Samowitz rolled past Bailey and Chastain 8-1 to win the third flight.

In the Coastal Georgia matches, Samowitz and Verdi were the only victors for GPC, winning the third and fourth flights, respectively. Samowitz came from behind to defeat Robin Lucas 4-6, 6-4, 10-3; and Verdi did the same, rallying to beat Malhar Mali 5-7, 6-1, 10-7.

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February 13, 2013

Jaguars tie in rain-shortened opener

Rain doused the doubles events, but Georgia Perimeter College and Georgia Gwinnett College managed to get in the singles matches and played to a 3-3 draw in the Jaguars’ 2013 season opener Wednesday in Lawrenceville.

The Jaguars, No. 3 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association preseason poll for junior colleges, got wins from freshman Jarel Pleasant in No. 1 singles, as well as from sophomore veterans Gelawdiyos Haile and Eric Verdi in the fifth and sixth flights.

GGC, a four-year college, won the two, three and four flights. The result counts as a tie on the Jaguars’ season record.

Scorebook: No. 1, GPC’s Pleasant def. Erik Moberg 6-3, 6-2; No. 2, GGC’s Hernan Hatem def. Tomas Ojeda 6-1, 6-1; No. 3, GGC’s Tony Kostadinov def. Chris Clark 6-1, 6-3; No. 4, GGC’s Luke Moreland def. Shem Alexis 6-1, 6-3; No. 5, GPC’s Haile def. Taylor Hardy 6-2, 6-2; No. 6, GPC’s Verdi def. Theo Arruda 6-3, 7-5.

The Jaguars travel Friday to Brunswick for a three-way match with another four-year institution, College of Coastal Georgia, and conference rival Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

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February 12, 2013

Jaguar roster especially deep; goals set high for 2013 season

The bar has been raised for the Georgia Perimeter College men’s tennis team.

Gelawydiyos Haile

The 2013 Jaguars obviously have set a goal to make a third straight appearance at the National Junior College Athletic Association national tournament, to be held May 12-17 at Collins County Community College in Plano, Texas.

But they also will make a run on another objective on April 20—to visit Oxford College of Emory and win the championship of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (also known as Region 17 of the NJCAA).

Head coach Mohamed “Reda” Nait Omar says this team has the skills and, especially, the depth to capture the GCAA crown, something the Jaguars have not done since 2001.

“This team’s strength is depth,” Nait Omar said earlier this week. “They have more depth than we’ve had since I came here.” Nait Omar is in his sixth year at the helm.

Add to depth an exceptionally strong core of returning sophomores, veterans with experience at the national tournament.

Returnee Gelawdiyos Haile (Marietta, Lighthouse Christian Academy) stands to be a team leader. He is ranked among the top 50 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings of NJCAA players.

“He is a solid, solid player,” Nait Omar said. “Lot of experience, lot of maturity. He’s improved his game a lot.”

Jerel Pleasant

The coach expects Haile to play singles somewhere between No. 1 and No. 4.

Like Haile, returning sophomores Eric Verdi (Alpharetta, Centennial H.S.) and Preston Samowitz (Marietta, Pope H.S.) will provide valuable experience to the squad. Both won matches at nationals last spring, as did Haile.

According to Nait Omar, Verdi “is our No. 6 and he provides good depth. He just needs a little more experience in match play.” About Samowitz the coach said, “We’re looking for him to lead by example, and to give the other guys the confidence they need.”

Probably starting at No. 1 singles will be freshman Jerel Pleasant (Washington D.C., Woodrow Wilson H.S.). Pleasant is ranked No. 2 in the ITA junior college rankings.

“He comes with credentials. He’s very good,” Nait Omar said. “He’s got a big game. He’s hungry, very athletic and very competitive. He’ll start out No. 1, but he’ll have to work to keep earning it.”

Also ranked in the ITA’s top 50 are freshmen Shem Alexis (Grenada, St. David Catholic Secondary School) and Chris Clark (Lawrenceville, Collins Hill H.S.).

Shem Alexis

Preston Samowitz

Nait Omar said Alexis is “very talented. He’s self taught, really quick and very eager to learn. He’ll play anywhere between one and four.”

Clark likely will land between No. 2 singles and No. 5. “He was highly ranked in Georgia as a junior. He’s a solid kid, big serve, big ground stroke.”

Another freshman who may play between No. 1 singles and No. 4 is Georgia Gwinnett College transfer Tomas Ojeda (Tucuman, Argentina, Capitol Federal H.S., Buenos Aires).

“He’s a good player,” Nait Omar said. “I met him when he was 16 years old—he and his parents came to visit.”

Sophomore Ben Dashiell (Atlanta, Holy Spirit Prep) and freshman Patrick Hackling (Alpharetta, Milton H.S.) round out the deep roster.

Dashiell “can play anywhere between one and four,” Nait Omar said. Hackling is a “good, steady player who needs to get stronger, play a bigger ball” and will play between No. 4 and No. 6.

The season opens Wednesday with a match at Georgia Gwinnett College, the first four-year institution on a schedule loaded with four-year opponents, a Nait-Omar tradition.

Then on Friday the Jaguars swing right into conference play with rival Abraham Baldwin at a three-way match at College of Coastal Georgia (four-year school) in Brunswick.

ABAC is ranked ninth and Georgia Perimeter is third in the ITA preseason poll for two-year colleges, a sign that the tennis world notices the Jaguars’ steady march to former glory.

Playing in NJCAA Division 2, GPC won NJCAA national championships four consecutive years from 1998 through 2001. The Jaguars moved to Division 1 and have struggled to top Abraham Baldwin ever since. But lately they have been knocking on the door.

Abraham Baldwin won the GCAA championship the past two year by slim margins, beating GPC 5-4 both years. Despite the losses, the much-improved Jaguars impressed national organizers and both years received at-large bids to the NJCAA tournament.

Two years ago the Jaguars hammered out a No. 7 finish at the NJCAA national tournament, and they finished in a third-place tie at nationals last year.

So, the team goal is to go back to nationals and finish high. The deep roster represents a great start, Nait Omar says. Another major sign is the competiveness.

“They’re very competitive with each other. They’re all close in level of play,” the coach said. “They just want to beat the tar out each other. I’m putting in a lot of hours trying to set the lineup. This is a great problem to have.”

The Jaguars’ home tennis matches are played at GPC’s Dunwoody Campus, 2101 Womack Road, Dunwoody, Ga., 30338.

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