The Georgia men’s tennis team took down No. 14 Florida, 6-1, on Friday in front of a home crowd of 2,481 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. The win was the Bulldogs’ 30th consecutive home victory over SEC opponents, and it also marked their sixth win in a row. The victory moves the Bulldogs to 10-0 in the SEC, sitting on top of the conference standings.
The Bulldogs can now clinch a share of the SEC title with a win on Sunday against No. 20 South Carolina. That match is slated to start at 1 p.m. ET and will serve as Georgia’s home regular season finale.
“This team just keeps getting better each time out,” head coach Manuel Diaz said. “It was a complete match, and I thought all three of our doubles teams played to their potential. It was then important for us to get off to a good start in singles, and we were again able to do that. Our guys continue to work hard and I am so proud of how far we have come.”
Georgia once again looked impressive in doubles, taking the point with wins at the second and third positions. Walker Duncan and Wayne Montgomery started the Bulldog surge and won their seventh-straight match of the season with a 6-3 win against Florida’s Joshua Wardell and Chase Perez Blanco.
The 53rd-ranked tandem of Nathan Ponwith and Emil Reinberg then clinched the point with a 6-3 victory over Florida’s Maxx Lipman and Elliott Orkin to send Georgia to singles play with a 1-0 lead.
Loeb was the first to strike in singles, coasting to a 6-1, 6-2 triumph over 124th-ranked McClain Kessler, giving the Georgia freshman his first win against a ranked opponent in dual-match play.
The Bulldogs won five of six first sets and looked in command early on. In fact, Georgia quickly went up 3-0 as Montgomery took down 73rd-ranked Orkin, 6-4, 6-4, giving his team another straight-set victory.
Duncan quickly followed and clinched the match for Georgia with a 6-3, 7-5 victory over Lipman at No. 5.
The two teams played out the rest of the matches and the Bulldogs continued to look strong. Zielinski put Georgia up 5-0 with a 6-4, 7-5 win, before Reinberg rolled to a 6-4, 7-5 win at the third court.
Ponwith battled back from a 5-2 deficit in the first set to force a heartbreaking tiebreaker, before dropping a close 7-6 (6), 7-5 match to 11th-ranked Perez.
Following a pivotal match against South Carolina on Sunday, the Bulldogs head to Texas A&M next Saturday to face an Aggie team that is currently in second place in the league standings.
TENNIS MATCH RESULTS
#13 Georgia defeated #14 Florida 6-1
1. #11 Alfredo Perez (UF) def. #64 Nathan Ponwith (UGA) 7-6 (6), 7-5
2. #25 Wayne Montgomery (UGA) def. #73 Elliott Orkin (UF) 6-4, 6-4
3. #68 Emil Reinberg (UGA) def. Chase Perez-Blanco (UF) 6-4, 7-5
4. Jan Zielinski (UGA) def. Johannes Ingildsen (UF) 6-4, 7-5
5. Walker Duncan (UGA) def. Maxx Lipman (UF) 6-3, 7-5
6. Robert Loeb (UGA) def. #124 McClain Kessler (UF) 6-1, 6-2
1. #3 Jan Zielinski/Robert Loeb (UGA) vs. #4 Alfredo Perez/Johannes Ingildsen (UF) 5-3, unfinished
2. #53 Nathan Ponwith/Emil Reinberg (UGA) def. Maxx Lipman/Elliott Orkin (UF) 6-3
3. Walker Duncan/Wayne Montgomery (UGA) def. Joshua Wardell/Chase Perez-Blanco (UF) 6-3
Florida 13-8, 6-3 SEC; National ranking #14
Georgia 14-6, 10-0 SEC; National ranking #13
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (6,2,5,4,3,1)
Official: Clark Weaver Attendance -2,481