[break] The seventh-ranked Georgia men’s tennis team opened SEC play with a 4-1 victory over No. 17 Florida at the Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex in Gainesville on Thursday.
[break] [break] Georgia (8-2, 1-0 SEC) won doubles matches at Nos. 1 and 3 to gain the 1-0 advantage. The Bulldogs then won three out of the four finished singles matches at Nos. 2, 6 and 3 to defeat the Gators (5-3, 0-1 SEC) for the second consecutive time and the seventh time in the last eight meetings.
[break] [break] “It was a good win, a good team effort with everybody playing their hearts out,” Georgia head coach Manuel Diaz said. “It’s our first outdoor match and there were some things we probably could have done a little bit better, but our guys just kept fighting through it. We could have lost the doubles point about 10 different times, but they persevered, in singles and doubles, which was just overall a great effort. They beat a very good Florida team on their courts in the first outdoor match, overcoming a lot of adversity and I’m proud.”
[break] [break] In doubles, seniors Nathan Pasha and Eric Diaz fell on court No. 2 before freshmen Paul Oosterbaan and Wayne Montgomery quickly notched a 6-1 victory on No. 3. With the doubles point hanging in the balance, the 10th-ranked pair of Ben Wagland and Austin Smith came back from a 4-2 deficit to defeat Florida’s No. 47 Diego Hidalgo and Gordon Watson in a tiebreaker, 7-6(7). The point was the Bulldogs fifth straight since switching up the doubles lineups prior to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships.
[break] [break] No. 25 Austin Smith won the first singles match 6-1, 6-4 over No. 103 Maxx Lipman on No. 2. Paul Oosterbaan quickly followed, beating Florida’s Oliver Landert 6-4, 6-4 on No. 6 to give Georgia the 3-0 advantage. The Gators’ 80th-ranked Elliott Orkin defeated Nick Wood 7-5, 6-2 at No. 4 to make it 3-1, before Pasha then clinched his second match of the year. No. 16 Pasha rebounded after losing the second set to shut out Florida’s Gordon Watson in the third set, 6-2, 3-6, 6-0 at No. 3.
[break] [break] The Bulldogs continue their road trip on Saturday when they take on Auburn in their second SEC match of the season at 2 p.m. ET.
Men’s Tennis Match Results
Georgia vs. Florida
Feb. 26, 2015 at Gainesville, Fla.
(Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex)
#7 Georgia 4, #17 Florida 1[break] [break]
1. #17 Wayne Montgomery vs. #46 Diego Hidalgo 6-3, 3-6, 1-1, unfinished
2. #25 Austin Smith def. #103 Maxx Lipman 6-1, 6-4
3. #16 Nathan Pasha def. Gordon Watson 6-2, 3-6, 6-0
4. #80 Elliott Orkin def. Nick Wood 7-5, 6-2
5. Ben Wagland vs. #123 Chase Perez-Blanco 6-3, 6-7 (0), unfinished
6. Paul Oosterbaan def. Oliver Landert 6-4, 6-4
1. #10 Ben Wagland/Austin Smith (UGA) def. #47 Diego Hidalgo/Gordon Watson (UF) 7-6 (7)
2. Maxx Lipman/Elliott Orkin (UF) def. Eric Diaz/Nathan Pasha (UGA) 6-1
3. Wayne Montgomery/Paul Oosterbaan (UGA) def. Richard Brej/Oliver Landert (UF) 6-1
Florida 5-3; National ranking #17
Georgia 8-2; National ranking #7
Order of finish: Doubles (2, 3, 1); Singles (2, 6, 4, 3)