The Georgia men’s tennis team dropped a 5-2 loss to the No. 8 Florida Gators, the Bulldogs’ fifth consecutive ranked opponent, at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
The Bulldogs continued their gauntlet of six consecutive top 40 opponents in March. After defeating No. 24 LSU last Saturday and No. 15 Tennessee the week before, Georgia fell to 6-6 and 2-2 in Southeastern Conference play. Florida improves to 11-2 and 4-0.
“It was a tough match for us. We didn’t win enough of the close matches,” head coach Manuel Diaz said. “Everything was highly contested and at five, Robert Loeb played probably one of his best matches all year … I think we’re knocking on the door, but we were not as effective on the big points today as we needed to be.”
After freshmen Trent Bryde and Philip Henning dropped a contested 6-3 decision on court three, the No. 65 pair of senior Jan Zielinski and junior Robert Loeb earned a 6-3 win over No. 73 McClain Kessler and Duarte Vale on court one. The duo improved to 4-1 against ranked opponents this season and 12-7 overall.
Seniors Walker Duncan and Emil Reinberg battled on court two, but ultimately fell 6-4 to Johannes Ingildsen and Andrade Perez, giving Florida the doubles point.
With some juice after a ranked doubles win, Loeb earned the first singles point for the Bulldogs on court five with a 6-2, 6-2 victory on court five. The win marked Loeb’s sixth win of dual play and second SEC victory.
From there, the Bulldogs fell at courts one, two and three in contested matches. Bryde dropped a 6-3, 6-3 match to No. 48 Sam Riffice on three. Reinberg battled in a long two-setter against No. 24 Oliver Crawford, who won 6-3, 6-4. On center court, Zielinski took No. 54 Andy Andrade to three sets, but Andrade won 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 to clinch the match.
As Georgia played through, Henning earned his fourth ranked singles win of the year on court four. Though he dropped the first set, the South African native won in a third-set tiebreaker by a final of 5-7, 6-4, 10-8. Henning improves to 9-4 in dual matches and 3-1 in SEC play.
On Sunday, the Bulldogs host another ranked conference opponent in No. 24 South Carolina. The match begins at 1 p.m. ET at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
Tennis Match Results
Florida vs Georgia
March 15, 2019 at Athens, GA
(Dan Magill Tennis Complex)
#8 Florida 5, #26 Georgia 2
1. #24 Oliver Crawford (UF) def. #20 Emil Reinberg (UGA) 6-3, 6-4
2. #54 Andy Andrade (UF) def. #10 Jan Zielinski (UGA) 1-6, 6-2, 6-3
3. #40 Sam Riffice (UF) def. Trent Bryde (UGA) 6-3, 6-3
4. #95 Philip Henning (UGA) def. #79 Johannes Ingildsen (UF) 5-7, 6-4, 10-8
5. Robert Loeb (UGA) def. Lukas Greif (UF) 6-2, 6-2
6. McClain Kessler (UF) def. Walker Duncan (UGA) 6-3, 6-7 (8), 10-3
1. #65 Robert Loeb/Jan Zielinski (UGA) def. #73 McClain Kessler/Duarte Vale (UF) 6-3
2. Johannes Ingildsen/Andrade Perez (UF) def. Walker Duncan/Emil Reinberg (UGA) 6-4
3. Oliver Crawford/Sam Riffice (UF) def. Phillip Henning/Trent Bryde (UGA) 6-3
Florida 11-2, 4-0; National ranking #8
Georgia 6-6, 2-2; National ranking #26
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (5,3,1,2,6,4)