Georgia vs Florida Men’s Tennis: A battle for the Southeastern Conference regular season crown will take place this weekend as the top two teams in the conference standings, as the 7th-ranked Bulldogs and the 14th-ranked Gators, are set to square off Friday at 5 p.m. ET at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. The Bulldogs are searching for their fourth-straight SEC regular season title.
Georgia can clinch at least a share of the 2016 SEC Regular Season Championship and the No. 1 overall seed in the SEC Tournament with two wins this weekend. The Bulldogs have won the regular season title 29 times and the tournament crown on nine occasions.
Following its match against Florida on Friday, Georgia will face the 59th-ranked Auburn Tigers on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex for its final regular season home match of 2016. Sunday’s contest will serve as Georgia’s Senior Day.
GEORGIA SENIORS RECOGNIZED: Bulldog seniors Austin Smith, Ben Wagland and Nick Wood will be recognized for their accomplishments on and off the court prior to UGA’s match against Auburn on Sunday. The trio has compiled three-straight SEC regular season titles, compiled 82 wins, a 49-2 record at home and a perfect record in home SEC matches during their four-year career. The seniors have won numerous All-SEC Awards, both regular season and postseason and several ITA Scholar Athletes honors.
BULLDOGS ON 10-MATCH STREAK: Georgia defeated No. 10 Texas A&M and No. 39 LSU last weekend to extend it current win streak to 10 matches. The Bulldogs have downed eight ranked teams in the stretch, highlighted by a 4-2 victory against No. 4 Ohio State on March 20 and a 4-1 win against No. 10 Texas A&M on the road on April 1.
SMITH EARNS SECOND SEC HONOR: Senior Austin Smith was recently honored as the SEC Player of the Week after his impressive performances in Georgia’s wins against No. 10 Texas A&M and No. 44 LSU. The Cumming, Georgia native clinched both matches, downing a pair of ranked opponents in singles play. This marks the second time Smith has earned the honor this season and the fourth in his career.
DAWGS ON TOP OF SEC STANDINGS: The Bulldogs sit atop the SEC standings following their perfect 8-0 start to conference play. Georgia remains the only team in the SEC that has yet to lose a conference match. UGA is 4-0 at home in SEC contests and 4-0 on the road. The Bulldogs are in search of their 39th Southeastern Conference title.
UNDERCLASSMEN SHINE FOR GEORGIA: The Bulldogs’ current lineup features a strong group of underclassmen. Four of Georgia’s six singles players are either freshmen or sophomores, while the Bulldogs’ current doubles lineup features a pair of freshman/sophomore duos in Paul Oosterbaan and Jan Zielinski as well as the Wayne Montgomery/Emil Reinberg pair. The Bulldog freshman trio of Walker Duncan, Zielinski and Reinberg are 16-2 in singles play vs. SEC opponents.
RANKINGS: Senior Austin Smith highlighted Georgia’s rankings in the latest ITA polls moving up to No. 22 in singles and No. 4 in doubles with fellow senior Ben Wagland. Sophomore Wayne Montgomery remained at No. 34, while freshman Walker Duncan moved up to No. 111. The Bulldogs remained in the No. 7 spot following their wins against No. 10 Texas A&M and No. 39 LSU
MONTGOMERY & OOSTERBAAN EARN RECOGNITION: Sophomore Wayne Montgomery and redshirt-sophomore Paul Oosterbaan both earned SEC Athlete of the Week honors earlier this season. Montgomery was honored as SEC player of the Week on March 23 after leading the Bulldogs to a pair of ranked wins, including a victory over #4 Ohio State. Oosterbaan picked up the recognition on March 9 after leading Georgia to a 2-0 start in SEC play.
UP NEXT: The Bulldogs hit the road for their final regular season SEC road swing. UGA faces Arkansas in Fayetteville on Friday, April 15 at 5:30 p.m. ET, before rounding out the weekend with Ole Miss in Oxford, Mississippi on Sunday, at 2 p.m. ET.
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For more information on the Georgia men’s tennis team, follow the team on Twitter (@UGATennis), Instagram (@ugatennis) and Facebook (UGA Men’s Tennis).