ATHENS, Ga. — The Georgia Bulldog men’s tennis team earned a decisive 4-1 victory over the No. 22 Vanderbilt Commodores at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex on Friday evening.
The No. 25 Bulldogs (11-9, 4-7) clinched the doubles point swiftly and never looked back. Georgia won three of the first four singles matches to conclude the win over Vanderbilt (16-7, 6-5), marking the team’s third top 25 win of 2018.
“I was really, really excited about the way we played doubles today. Probably one of the best doubles points we’ve played all year” Georgia head coach Manuel Diaz said. “The energy was great. We played with confidence. We were decisive out there. We did the two things that we needed to do in order to play good doubles: we served extremely well and we returned very, very well.”
Georgia cruised to a decisive doubles point victory behind impassioned play on all three courts. The court two pair of sophomore Nathan Ponwith and senior Wayne Montgomery earned their first ranked victory of the season, downing the No. 80 duo of Lachlan McPhee and Panu Virtanen 6-1.
The Bulldogs nearly earned their second ranked win of the afternoon on court one. The 15th-ranked pair of Robert Loeb and Jan Zielinski led No. 28 Cam Klinger/Billy Rowe 5-3, with the tandem looking for their fourth-ranked win of the season. However, redshirt freshman Alex Diaz and junior Emil Reinberg finished the job, racing to a 6-1 win on court three to clinch the doubles point.
The victory marked Diaz and Reinberg’s third clinching match in dual play in the five matches that the two have played as a pair. The pair now leads the team in that category.
Georgia continued the momentum from doubles into its singles play. Ponwith, the 93rd-ranked singles player, struck first with a 6-1, 6-3 victory on court four over Billy Rowe to give the Bulldogs a 2-0 advantage. With the win, Ponwith has now won his last four completed matches and joins Montgomery with 10 wins in dual play.
From there, the two players from Georgia’s No. 1 doubles pairing finished out the contest in the singles matches. No. 38 Jan Zielinski earned his second-straight win at the second court spot by finishing off a 7-5, 6-3 victory over No. 21 Cam Klinger, giving the Warsaw native a 9-5 record over ranked opponents this season.
Loeb, Zielinski’s doubles partner, closed out a 4-1 Georgia victory on court five by outlasting the Commodores’ Max Freeman with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 win. The freshman from Hilton Head, South Carolina, fired off a tricky second serve to seal the match and the Bulldog win.
Next up, the Bulldogs host the Kentucky Wildcats for Senior Day on Sunday, April 15, at 1 p.m. ET. Georgia recognizes its two seniors, Montgomery and Andy Martinez, with festivities beginning at 12:45 p.m. The match will be played at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex and admission is free.