In front of a packed house at the Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Courts, the No. 11-ranked Georgia men’s tennis team rebounded from a doubles loss to sweep the singles courts en route to a 6-1 victory against Georgia Tech on Saturday.
The win improves Georgia’s record to 3-1 this season and gives the Bulldogs their 29th win in the last 30 meetings against the Yellow Jackets. Georgia owns a 62-9 all-time series advantage over Georgia Tech, who falls to 3-3 overall this season.
“We responded to a big challenge,” head coach Manny Diaz said. “Georgia Tech came out very strong in doubles and really put us under the gun. I’m proud of our guys for answering that challenge. Our top four guys deserve a lot of credit. Georgia Tech competed very well. They are a very good team, and I thought our guys did a tremendous job.”
Georgia and Georgia Tech split the No. 1 and 2 doubles courts as GT’s Christopher Eubanks and Carlos Benito defeated Georgia’s Paul Oosterbaan and Jan Zielinski, 6-3. UGA’s No. 10 ranked duo of Austin Smith and Ben Wagland then took down the Yellow Jackets’ No. 36-ranked team of Michael Kay and Casey Kay, 6-4.
All eyes then turned to the third doubles court, where the 45th-ranked tandem of Wayne Montgomery and Emil Reinberg were in a 5-3 hole. Montgomery and Reinberg managed to hold serve but couldn’t break the GT duo of Nathan Rakitt and Andrew Li as the Yellow Jackets clinched the doubles point with a 6-4 triumph.
Down 1-0 after doubles, the Bulldogs came out firing in singles. Playing at the No. 1 spot, Smith downed Georgia Tech’s Benito, 7-5, 6-4 to even the score at 1-1. Zielinski, a freshman from Warsaw, Poland, won his second match of the year — this time a 7-6 (6), 6-1 victory over GT’s Li at the No. 3 spot to swing the score to 3-1 in favor of the Bulldogs.
With a 3-1 lead, Georgia turned to Montgomery at the No. 1 spot where he was locked in a tight match against the No. 6 ranked player in the country in Georgia Tech’s Eubanks. Montgomery fell behind early, losing the first set 6-3. Following a tight second set, he then clinched the match with a 6-3 win in the third to improve his record to 3-1 in dual match play.
Also welcome news for the Bulldogs on Saturday was the return of Nick Wood, who has yet to play this spring due to an injury. Wood was impressive in his debut, taking down Georgia Tech’s Daniel Yun, 6-2, 6-0. Reinberg ended the day with a 6-3, 6-3 triumph at the fifth singles spot.
The Bulldogs now turn their attention to the ITA Indoor Championships, which will run from Feb. 12-15 in Charlottesville, Va.
TENNIS MATCH RESULTS:
Georgia Tech 3-3; National ranking #44
Georgia 3-1; National ranking #11
Feb. 6, 2016 at Athens, Ga.
(Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Tennis Courts)
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (2,3,4,1,5,6)
Results: Georgia 6 -1 over Georgia Tech
1. #20 Wayne Montgomery (UGA) def. #6 Christopher Eubanks (GT) 3-6, 7-5, 6-3
2. #28 Austin Smith (UGA) def. Carlos Benito (GT) 7-5, 6-4
3. Jan Zielinski (UGA) def. Andrew Li (GT) 7-6 (8-6), 6-1
4. #40 Paul Oosterbaan (UGA) def. Cole Fiegel (GT) 6-3, 4-6, 6-3
5. Emil Reinberg (UGA) def. Casey Kay (GT) 6-3, 6-3
6. #88 Nick Wood (UGA) def. Daniel Yun (GT) 6-2, 6-0
1. #10 Austin Smith/Ben Wagland (UGA) def. #36 Michael Kay/Casey Kay (GT) 6-4
2. Christopher Eubanks/Carlos Benito (GT) def. Paul Oosterbaan/Jan Zielinski (UGA) 6-3
3. Nathan Rakitt/Andrew Li (GT) def. #45 Wayne Montgomery/Emil Reinberg (UGA) 6-4
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