[su_spacer size=”20″] The sixth-ranked Georgia men’s tennis team defeated Alabama 4-1 Sunday at the Alabama Tennis Stadium in what was the Bulldogs’ final road match of the regular season.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Georgia (17-3, 9-1 SEC) will enter the final week of the regular season in control of its own destiny in the SEC race. The Bulldogs can win at least a share of the league title and the No. 1 seed in the SEC Tournament with a pair of wins next week.
[su_spacer size=”40″] “Our guys fought very hard and really showed a lot of fight and tenacity,” said head coach Manuel Diaz. “Alabama found a way to win the doubles point, and that was very discouraging for our guys because we played well enough to win it. But it makes it even more impressive with the way we came back fighting. We showed a lot of tenacity.”
[su_spacer size=”40″] Alabama (15-15, 3-8 SEC) took an early 1-0 lead by winning doubles matches at Nos. 2 and 3. The Bulldogs’ No. 1-ranked tandem of Austin Smith and Ben Wagland beat No. 29 Korey Lovett and Becker O’Shaughnessey 6-3 at No. 1, then Alabama responded with a 6-4 win at No. 2. The doubles point came down to No. 3 where Sam Edwards and Andrew Goodwin edged Wayne Montgomery and Paul Oosterbaan 7-6(7).
[su_spacer size=”40″] Georgia answered by reeling off four consecutive wins in singles to clinch the win. No. 31 Smith defeated No. 88 Korey Lovett 6-1, 6-2 at No. 1, then Oosterbaan gave the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Edwards at No. 6.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Wagland extended the Georgia lead to 3-1 with his 6-3, 6-1 victory over Kenyon at No. 4, and Montgomery clinched his second match of the season with a 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 win over O’Shaughnessey at No. 2.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Said Diaz: “I was very impressed with Austin and Paul, giving us our first team points. Austin won a quick match, and he was followed not much later by Paul, then Ben won his match. Wayne showed tremendous maturity. His opponent won the first set and was playing well, and Wayne made some unforced errors, but he just refuses to lose, and that is a great quality about him. He finds a way. He showed great maturity out there today.”
[su_spacer size=”40″] For Montgomery, it was his first clincher since the 4-2 win over current No. 3 Illinois in the National Indoor Championships. Oosterbaan stretched his winning streak to eight matches, while Wagland has won five in a row.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Georgia will return home for the final two matches of the regular season next week. The Bulldogs will take on Arkansas on Thursday and Ole Miss on Saturday. Both matches at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex will begin at 5 p.m., and admission is free. Seniors Eric Diaz and Nathan Pasha will be recognized prior to the start of the Ole Miss match.
[su_spacer size=”40″] #6 Georgia 4, #71 Alabama 1
[su_spacer size=”40″] Singles
1. #31 Austin Smith (UGA) def. #88 Korey Lovett (UA) 6-1, 6-2
2. #28 Wayne Montgomery (UGA) def. B. O’Shaughnessey (UA) 3-6, 7-5, 6-1
3. Nikko Madregallejo (UA) vs. #18 Nathan Pasha (UGA) 5-7, 6-6 (7-7), unfinished
4. Ben Wagland (UGA) def. Stuart Kenyon (UA) 6-3, 6-1
5. Danny Kerznerman (UA) vs. Nick Wood (UGA) 6-4, 4-5, unfinished
6. Paul Oosterbaan (UGA) def. Sam Edwards (UA) 6-2, 6-2
[su_spacer size=”40″] Doubles
1. #1 Ben Wagland/Austin Smith (UGA) def. #29 Korey Lovett/B. O’Shaughnessey (UA) 6-3
2. Sean Donohue/Stuart Kenyon (UA) def. Nathan Pasha/Eric Diaz (UGA) 6-4
3. Sam Edwards/Andrew Goodwin (UA) def. Wayne Montgomery/Paul Oosterbaan (UGA) 7-6 (9-7)
[su_spacer size=”40″] Match Notes:
Georgia 17-3, 9-1 SEC; National ranking #6
Alabama 15-15, 3-8 SEC; National ranking #71
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (1,6,4,2)