MEN’S TENNIS: Wayne Montgomery Is SEC Freshman of the Year

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MEN’S TENNIS: Wayne Montgomery Is SEC Freshman of the Year

Wayne Montgomery
[su_spacer size=”20″] Georgia’s Wayne Montgomery has been voted SEC Freshman of the Year by the league’s head men’s tennis coaches, it was announced Thursday by the conference office.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Montgomery is also one of four Bulldogs who earned first team All-SEC honors, joining Nathan Pasha, Austin Smith and Ben Wagland. Georgia led the league with its four first team All-SEC selections, and Montgomery was also named to the All-Freshman Team. He is the first Georgia player to earn SEC Freshman of the Year honors since John Isner in 2004.
[su_spacer size=”40″] “I’m extremely proud of Wayne,” said head coach Manuel Diaz. “He certainly had a phenomenal year for us. He has played at the top of the lineup as a freshman, and that isn’t easy to do. I think this will give him motivation to continue to work hard and improve as a player, and also to become a leader in the years to come.”
[su_spacer size=”40″] Montgomery was a three-time SEC Freshman of the Week honoree, including back-to-back weeks in February. He leads team with 31 singles wins and is second with a combined 48 singles and doubles victories. The South Africa native has a 31-6 singles record and is 13-3 in dual matches. Montgomery has 11 wins against ranked opponents and has two match clinchers, including against No. 5 Illinois in the ITA National Indoor Championships. He owns a 48-18 combined singles and doubles record. Montgomery led the team with an 18-3 singles record in the fall and won singles titles at the Southern Intercollegiate Championships and the Cajun Classic.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Pasha owns a 24-11 singles record and is tied for the team lead with 12 wins against ranked opponents. The senior from Atlanta is 11-4 in dual matches and 5-2 in the SEC. He won 10 consecutive completed matches earlier this season and has played three matches at No. 1, two matches at No. 2 and 20 matches at No. 3. Pasha has 15 singles and doubles wins against ranked opponents, which is third most on the team. He currently has 217 combined singles and doubles wins, which is 11th most in UGA history since 1986, and he stands 10th on the all-time career doubles wins list at UGA.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Smith, a member of the SEC All-Tournament Team, has a 24-10 singles record and is 14-6 in dual matches, which is tied for the most wins on the team. He is 8-1 in the SEC, which is tied for team lead in SEC wins, and the Bulldogs are 8-1 when Smith plays No. 1 singles. The junior from Cumming, Ga., is tied for the team lead with 12 wins against ranked opponents and is second on the team with five match clinchers. He clinched the SEC championship with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Ole Miss’ No. 16 Nik Scholtz and also clinched matches against Utah, No. 15 Columbia, Tennessee and ETSU. He is a two-time SEC Player of the Week honoree. Smith has been ranked No. 1 doubles in the country with Ben Wagland for the last four weeks. He is 15-2 in doubles with Smith, including a 12-1 mark against ranked opponents.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Wagland, also a member of the SEC All-Tournament Team has a 20-13 singles record, is 10-5 in dual matches and is currently on a seven-match winning streak. The junior from Sydney, Australia has clinched three matches and has played 16 matches at No. 4 and nine matches at No. 5. He is 26-12 in doubles and is currently ranked No. 1 in the country with Smith. The tandem became first Bulldogs to be ranked No. 1 in doubles since John Isner and Luis Flores in 2007, and they have wins against doubles teams ranked Nos. 1, 2, 4, 6, 11 (twice) and 12. Wagland has played all 25 matches at No. 1 doubles – the first five with Paul Oosterbaan and the last 20 with Smith.
[su_spacer size=”40″] The NCAA Tennis Selection Show will be held Tuesday, April 28 on NCAA.com. The men’s selections will be announced at 5:30 p.m. The NCAA first and second rounds will be held on campus sites the weekend of May 8-10.
[su_spacer size=”40″] 2015 SEC Men’s Tennis Awards
[su_spacer size=”10″] Player of the Year: Gonzales Austin, Vanderbilt
Freshman of the Year: Wayne Montgomery, Georgia
Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Kyle Koch, South Carolina
Coach of the Year: Steve Denton, Texas A&M
[su_spacer size=”40″] First Team All-SEC
Lukas Ollert, Auburn
Diego Hidalgo, Florida
Ben Wagland, Georgia
Austin Smith, Georgia
Nathan Pasha, Georgia
Wayne Montgomery, Georgia

Jordan Daigle, LSU
Stefan Lindmark, Ole Miss
Nik Scholtz, Ole Miss
Florian Lakat, Mississippi State
Mikelis Libietis, Tennessee
Jeremy Efferding, Texas A&M
Gonzales Austin, Vanderbilt
[su_spacer size=”40″] Second Team All-SEC
Giammarco Micolani, Arkansas
Elliott Orkin, Florida
Beck Pennington, Kentucky
Chris Simpson, LSU
Gustav Hansson, Ole Miss
Rishab Agarwal, Mississippi State
Mate Cutura, Mississippi State
Juan Cruz Estevarena, Mississippi State
Kyle Koch, South Carolina
AJ Catanzariti, Texas A&M
Arthur Rinderknech, Texas A&M
Shane Vinsant, Texas A&M
Daniel Valent, Vanderbilt
[su_spacer size=”40″] All-Freshman
Korey Lovett, Alabama
Chase Perez-Blanco, Florida
Wayne Montgomery, Georgia
Gustav Hansson, Ole Miss
Juan Cruz Estevarena, Mississippi State
AJ Catanzariti, Texas A&M
Arthur Rinderknech, Texas A&M
Daniel Valent, Vanderbilt

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Greg is closing in on 11 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.