Georgia Men’s Tennis Wins 10th Straight

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Georgia Men’s Tennis Wins 10th Straight

Eric Diaz returns the ball during an NCAA men’s tennis match between the University of Georgia and Vanderbilt University on Friday, March 27, 2015 in Athens, Ga. (Photo by Sean Taylor)
[su_spacer size=”20″] The fifth-ranked Georgia men’s tennis team remained perfect in the SEC with a 4-1 win over No. 17 Vanderbilt Friday afternoon at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
[su_spacer size=”40″] The Bulldogs (16-2, 8-0 SEC) have now won 10 consecutive matches, and Friday’s victory was the sixth this season against a top-20 opponent.
[su_spacer size=”40″] “We faced windy conditions today, but I told the guys coming in that it was an equalizer and we needed to be tough,” said Georgia coach Manuel Diaz. “I thought we did a super job out there. We played great doubles, especially at No. 3, and it was wonderful to see our No. 2 team clinch for us. The singles matches were all competitive, and I’m proud of the effort everywhere.”
[su_spacer size=”40″] Georgia won the doubles point for the 12th time this season to take a 1-0 lead. The No. 1 match featuring the Bulldogs’ No. 1-ranked team of Austin Smith and Ben Wagland against Vanderbilt’s No. 4 team of Gonzalez Austin and Rhys Johnson did not finish, but Georgia claimed wins at Nos. 2 and 3 to take the early lead. At No. 3, Wayne Montgomery and Paul Oosterbaan cruised to a 6-1 win over Suresh Eswaran and Daniel Valent, then Eric Diaz and Nathan Pasha clinched the point with a 6-3 win over No. 71 Pen Binet and Baker Newman at No. 2.
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Wayne Montgomery prepares to hit the ball during an NCAA men’s tennis match between the University of Georgia and Vanderbilt University on Friday, March 27, 2015 in Athens, Ga. (Photo by Sean Taylor)
[su_spacer size=”20″] In singles, No. 31 Smith was first to finish with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Johnson at No. 2, and moments later Oosterbaan stretched Georgia’s lead to 3-0 with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Newman at No. 6. Vanderbilt (15-6, 5-4 SEC) got on the board as Valent snapped Pasha’s 10-match winning streak at No. 3, 4-6, 6-0, 6-1, but the Bulldogs quickly responded at No. 5 as Nick Wood clinched the match with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 win over Eswaran.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Said Manuel Diaz: “Austin gave us a quick point, and Paul gave us the third point to set up Nick, who lost the first set and turned that around in such a quick manner. He won the second set and got ahead 3-0 in no time, and that was tremendous and showed a lot of composure, tenacity and maturity on his part. He went on to clinch and now we’ll have a day or two off before we get ready for a big road trip next week.”
[su_spacer size=”40″] Matches at Nos. 1 and 5 were in the third sets when Wood clinched. No. 28 Montgomery had just won the second set against No. 7 Austin at No. 1, while Wagland had forced a third set against Kris Yee at No. 5.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Wood now leads the team with five match clinchers this season, and he is tied with Smith and Pasha for the team lead with 11 dual match wins. Smith and Oosterbaan each extended their singles winning streaks to seven matches.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Georgia men’s tennis will play a pair of road matches next week at Mississippi State and Alabama on Friday and Sunday, respectively. The final matches of the regular season will beat home April 9 against Arkansas and April 11 vs. Ole Miss. Both matches at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex will start at 5 p.m.
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Nick Wood returns the ball during an NCAA men’s tennis match between the University of Georgia and Vanderbilt University on Friday, March 27, 2015 in Athens, Ga. (Photo by Sean Taylor)

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Greg is closing in on 11 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.