[su_spacer size=”20″] The top-seeded Georgia men’s tennis team blanked eighth-seeded Tennessee 4-0 Friday afternoon to advance to the Southeastern Conference Tournament semifinals at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center in College Station, Texas.
The SEC regular season champions move to 20-3 (12-1 SEC) on the season and will face fourth-seeded Ole Miss on Saturday in semifinal-action.[su_spacer size=”40″] “It was a good solid win today,” head coach Manuel Diaz said. “I’m proud of our performance. Our No. 1 doubles team played a classic. Those were two top-10 doubles teams going back and forth and it was a great conclusion to the doubles point. From there our guys certainly imposed themselves early on and never looked back.”
[su_spacer size=”40″] The fifth-ranked Bulldogs won the doubles point with victories at Nos. 1 and 2. Paul Oosterbaan and Nathan Pasha got Georgia on the board at No. 2 with a 6-2 victory over the Volunteers’ Andrew Dromsky and Igo Smelyanski. After the Bulldogs’ No. 3 pair of Nick Wood and Wayne Montgomery fell 6-3, the doubles point was decided on No. 1. After a long tiebreaker, Georgia’s top-ranked pair of juniors Austin Smith and Ben Wagland defeated Tennessee’s sixth-ranked team of Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese for the second time this season, 7-6(9). [su_spacer size=”40″] Riding momentum from the doubles point, Georgia won four out of six first sets. Wood was first off the court with a quick 6-2, 6-2 victory over Dromsky at No. 5. Oosterbaan gave the Bulldogs a 3-0 advantage just minutes after at No. 6 with a 6-0, 6-3 win against Brandon Fickey. Pasha, a senior and ranked 26th-nationally, clinched the match for Georgia at No. 3 over Jack Schipanski, 6-2, 6-2.
No. 28 Montgomery had won his first set while Wagland and No. 29 Smith were looking to force third sets when the match was clinched.
Added Diaz: “The challenge ahead is now to play another good match against a very good Ole Miss team.”
[su_spacer size=”40″] The Bulldogs defeated Ole Miss 4-0 in their final regular season game last Saturday to claim a share of the SEC regular season title for the 29th time. Saturday’s match will start at 4 p.m. ET.
Georgia vs Tennessee[su_spacer size=”40″]
1. #29 Austin Smith (UGA) vs. #15 Mikelis Libietis (UT) 6-7 (2-7), 2-1, unfinished
2. #28 Wayne Montgomery (UGA) vs. Hunter Reese (UT) 6-4, 4-2, unfinished
3. #26 Nathan Pasha (UGA) def. Jack Schipanski (UT) 6-2, 6-2
4. Ben Wagland (UGA) vs. Luis Valero (UT) 5-7, 1-1, unfinished
5. Nick Wood (UGA) def. Andrew Dromsky (UT) 6-3, 6-3
6. Paul Oosterbaan (UGA) def. Brandon Fickey (UT) 6-0, 6-3[su_spacer size=”40″]
1. #1 Ben Wagland/Austin Smith (UGA) def. #6 Mikelis Libietis/Hunter Reese (UT) 7-6 (11-9)
2. Nathan Pasha/Paul Oosterbaan (UGA) def. Andrew Dromsky/Igo Smelyanski (UT) 6-2
3. Luis Valero/Jack Schipanski (UT) def. Wayne Montgomery/Nick Wood (UGA) 6-3[su_spacer size=”40″]
Tennessee 14-12; National ranking #42
Georgia 20-3; National ranking #5
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (5,6,3)