The Georgia men’s tennis team defeated Utah State 4-0 on Sunday in the consolation draw of the 2017 ITA National Team Indoor Championship.
The Bulldogs (4-5) took the doubles point after a tiebreaker on court No. 3 before earning three wins against the Aggies (7-6) in the singles portion of the contest. This was Georgia’s final match at National Indoors.
“I’m proud of our guys for finishing the way they did,” said Georgia head coach Manuel Diaz. “This is not the tournament we intended to have, but we played hard today. I was extremely pleased with the way we competed today. We are going to work very hard when we get back to get ready for the start of our outdoor season.”
The two teams split the doubles results on court Nos. 1 and 2, with Georgia earning a victory on the first court and Utah State picking one up on the second. The Bulldog pair of Robert Loeb and Jan Zielinski, who went undefeated on the weekend, took down Utah State’s Samuel Serrano and Kai Wehnelt, 6-4, to notch Georgia’s first victory.
“I am very proud of our No. 1 doubles team,” Diaz said. “They’ve been impressing me for a while. Jan is showing that he is one of the best doubles players in the country and to me, one of the biggest surprises of the year has been the doubles play of our freshman, Robert Loeb, who has continued to get better and better. The chemistry between those two has been fantastic.
The doubles point came down to the match on court No. 3 which was settled by way of a tiebreaker. Georgia’s Nathan Ponwith and Wayne Montgomery clinched the point with an 8-6 win in the tiebreaker over the Aggie pair of Andrew Nakajima and Jaime Barajas. This was the first match this season in which Georgia clinched the doubles point on No. 3.
The Bulldogs jumped out to a hot start in singles, claiming the first set in five of the six matches. Freshman Robert Loeb earned the first singles victory for Georgia with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Jonas Maier on No. 6. Jan Zielinski was close behind with a 6-4, 6-4 victory on the fourth court.
Wayne Montgomery clinched at No. 1 with a 6-4, 6-4 victory of his own over Jack Swindells. For Montgomery, this was his first match clincher of the year. The Somerset West, South Africa native earned three a season ago on his way to being named First-Team All-SEC.
Georgia is off until they travel to Nashville, Tenn. for the start of conference play. The Bulldogs will take on Vanderbilt on March 3 at 5 p.m.
1. Jan Zielinski/Robert Loeb (UGA) def. Samuel Serrano/Kai Wehnelt (USU), 6-4
2. Jack Swindells/Jonas Maier (USU) def. Emil Reinberg/Walker Duncan (UGA), 6-4
3. Nathan Ponwith/Wayne Montgomery (UGA) def. Andrew Nakajima/Jaime Barajas (UNC), 7-6(6)
1. #15 Wayne Montgomery (UGA) def. Jack Swindells (USU), 6-4, 6-4
2. Kai Wehnelt (USU) vs. #55 Emil Reinberg (UGA), 7-5, 5-2, unfinished
3. #117 Nathan Ponwith (UGA) vs. Jaime Barajas (USU), 6-2, 6-5, unfinished
4. Jan Zielinski (UGA) def. Sergiu Bucur (USU), 6-4, 6-4
5. Walker Duncan (UGA) vs. Samuel Serrano (USU), 6-2, 4-6, 1-1, unfinished
6. Robert Loeb (UGA) def. Jonas Maier (USU), 6-3, 6-4
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (6,4,1)