MEN’S TENNIS: Georgia in Starkville for ITA Kick-Off Weekend

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MEN’S TENNIS: Georgia in Starkville for ITA Kick-Off Weekend

Phillip Henning, sophomore | UGA men's tennis team
Phillip Henning, sophomore | UGA men’s tennis team

The University of Georgia men’s tennis team is set to compete in the 12th annual Intercollegiate Tennis Association Kickoff Weekend this Saturday and Sunday on the Mississippi State University campus. 

The Bulldogs from Athens are part of a loaded regional, which includes four teams that combined to win 73 matches last season. No. 19-ranked Georgia joins No. 15-ranked South Carolina, No. 22 Oklahoma and host-school Mississippi State. 

Georgia begins action against MSU at 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT on Saturday. The winner of that match will play the winner of the South Carolina versus Oklahoma contest at the same time on Sunday. The two losers will play at 11 a.m. ET/10 a.m. CT Sunday. 

All four squads are competing for a chance to advance to the 2020 ITA Division I National Men’s Indoor Championship, which will take place Feb. 14-17 in Madison, Wisc. The 15 winners from this year’s regional sites will join host-school Wisconsin for a chance to play for a national title. 

Georgia’s seven appearances in the finals of the National Indoors Championships ranks fourth all-time among collegiate tennis programs. The Bulldogs have won the title twice, doing so in 2006 and 2007. 

Below are a few notes on the Bulldogs as they get set to compete this weekend. 

Phillip Henning, sophomore | UGA men's tennis team
Phillip Henning, sophomore | UGA men’s tennis team

Georgia Picked Third in SEC Preseason Poll

Georgia was picked third in the league’s preseason poll, it was announced this past Wednesday. Florida, which is ranked No. 2 nationally, was picked to win the title, while Texas A&M was selected second. The Bulldogs and South Carolina are tied for third according to a vote by conference coaches. 

Young Bulldogs Start Strong In Miami

Georgia’s 2020 season got off to a strong start earlier this year. The Bulldogs joined defending national champion Texas as well as Miami and Wisconsin at the Miami Spring Invite on Jan. 10-12. Georgia student-athletes totaled 21 total singles and doubles victories, including wins against some of the nation’s top players. 

Perhaps most notably was Trent Bryde’s 7-6 (10), 3-6, 6-4, triumph against No. 13-ranked Christian Sigsgaard from Texas. That win was one of three at the top four spots against the nation’s No. 1 ranked team. 

Georgia Downs Kennesaw State to Begin Dual-Match Play

The Bulldogs defeated Kennesaw State by an 8-1 score this past Monday. Georgia made quick work of the Owls in doubles, before posting wins on seven of eight singles courts. 

Freshman Leads Bulldogs in Wins

Young Bulldog Erik Grevelius leads Georgia with a 16-5 overall singles record since the fall campaign. The Stockholm, Sweden native has won nine-straight matches this year, including a victory against Florida’s Andy Andrade and Texas’ Eliot Spizzirri. 

Zink Captures US Open Junior Title

Bulldog freshman Tyler Zink became the first Georgia player in 13 years to win the US Open Junior doubles title this past fall. He is the first Bulldog since current associate head coach Jamie Hunt teamed with Nate Schnugg to claim the championship in 2006. Zink is currently 5-1 in singles and has won four-straight matches. 

Henning Among Nation’s Best

Georgia sophomore Philip Henning put together an impressive fall season, which helped him earn a No. 12 national ranking in singles and a No. 17 ranking in doubles with Blake Croyder. Henning is 13-5 in singles play and leads Georgia with four wins against ranked opponents. 

ITA Kick-Off Success

This year marks Georgia’s 12th appearance in the ITA Kickoff Weekend. The Bulldogs boast an impressive 18-2 overall record in the event. 

Diaz Closing in on SEC Wins Record

Head Coach Manuel Diaz has now recorded 701 all-time career head coaching wins during his 32 seasons in Athens. Diaz is just short of Hall of Fame head coach Dan Magill’s program and SEC record of 706 victories. 

UGA men's tennis head coach Manuel Diaz
UGA men’s tennis head coach Manuel Diaz

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