The Georgia men’s tennis team will begin their SEC schedule this weekend, starting on the road in Nashville with a 5:00 p.m. ET match versus Vanderbilt this evening.
Following Friday’s match against the Commodores, the Bulldogs will make their way to Lexington, KY to take on the 15th-ranked Wildcats for a Sunday afternoon match at 1:00 p.m. ET.
Georgia (4-5) will look to get off to a good start in conference play in hopes of winning its fifth consecutive SEC title this season. The Bulldogs pulled out a 5-2 win against the Commodores (8-4) in Nashville last year and later defeated the Wildcats (9-4) in Athens, 6-1.
CLICK HERE for the Georgia men’s tennis match notes for this weekend.
Georgia is currently ranked 22nd in the Oracle/ITA team rankings and tied with Kentucky for No. 14 in the USTA Top 25. In singles rankings, Wayne Montgomery leads the Bulldogs at No. 30, followed by Emil Reinberg at No. 38. Freshman Nathan Ponwith is ranked 104th.
In doubles, Jan Zielinski and Robert Loeb, who went 3-0 on the No. 1 court at National Indoors, are ranked 44th, while Zielinski and Walker Duncan are ranked No. 52.
Opponents’ last five: No. 30 Vanderbilt enters the match having lost three of its last five, but each loss came against teams currently ranked in the top-10 in the nation. 15th-ranked Kentucky recently completed a four-match road trip against four teams from the Big Ten, splitting those four.
Freshmen Recognized Thrice: Bulldog freshman Robert Loeb, who went 3-0 in doubles and 2-1 in singles at National Indoors, was named the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week following the team’s trip to Charlottesville. The Hilton Head, S.C. native joins teammate Nathan Ponwith as winners of SEC Freshman of the Week this year, with Ponwith earning it twice earlier in the season. Loeb has paired with Jan Zielinski at the No. 1 court in doubles in each match this season and has picked up three wins at the No. 6 singles court.
Loeb arrived in Athens as the No. 4 recruit in the nation for the 2016 class, helping Georgia land the top-ranked class in the country.
Five In A Row?: The Bulldogs were selected the preseason favorite to win the 2017 Southeastern Conference Championship in a vote by league coaches. The Bulldogs received 168 points in the poll, while Florida was the next closest with 151 and Kentucky came in at No. 3 with 133 total points. Georgia, winners of the last four SEC titles, will look to make it five in a row for the first time since they won each year from 1971-1975.
Following the trips to Nashville and Lexington, the Bulldogs will return to Athens for their SEC home opener, welcoming Ole Miss to the Classic City on March 10, followed by another home conference matchup against Arkansas on March 12.