The Georgia men’s tennis team defeated No. 37 Ole Miss 6-1 on Friday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex, earning their fourth win in a row.
Bulldog freshman Nathan Ponwith, who played at the No. 2 singles court for the first time in his career on Friday, delivered the match clincher. With his team up 3-0, Ponwith split with his Ole Miss counterpart Tim Sandkaulen in the first two frames, setting up the decisive third set. The Scottsdale, Ariz., native seized control early and broke his opponent to clinch the match with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory.
Not only has Georgia (7-5, 3-0 SEC) now won four consecutive matches this season, but the Bulldogs have also been victorious in 26-straight home SEC contests and have won 15 regular season league matchups in a row. Ole Miss falls to 6-3 overall and 1-1 in conference play.
“I thought our guys did a tremendous job of overcoming a lot of challenges today,” head coach Manuel Diaz said. “With the wind, it was hard to get a rhythm going, but I was really impressed how our guys handled all the challenges in front of them. We seem to be making strides and I am happy with how we are improving every single match.”
Following a 6-3 win by Georgia’s 60th-ranked tandem of Ponwith and Emil Reinberg, the Bulldogs and Rebels were locked in a pair of tight battles at the No. 1 and 3 doubles courts.
With the contest tied 5-5 at the top position, Jan Zielinski served to put Georgia up 6-5. Then, with Ole Miss serving, the Bulldogs broke the Rebels at 40-0 to clinch the doubles point with a 7-5 victory against the 23rd-ranked duo of Fabian Fallert and Grey Hamilton.
The win by Zielinski and Loeb, which put the Bulldogs up 1-0, was their fifth victory in their last six doubles matches and improved the duo’s record to 25-7 overall dating back to the fall season.
Loeb and Zielinski’s impressive days did not stop at doubles as they recorded Georgia’s first two singles triumphs to give the Bulldogs a 3-0 lead. Loeb got it started with a 6-3, 6-1 win over the Rebels’ Zvonimir Babic at the No. 6 spot to give the Bulldogs a 2-0 advantage. The win was Loeb’s second SEC victory in three league contests this season.
Zielinski followed suit and tallied his fourth straight singles win this season, taking a 6-2, 6-4 victory against Filip Kraljevic.
That is when Ponwith battled back to clinch and give Georgia a 3-0 start in SEC play.
Georgia will be back in action Sunday, hosting Arkansas at 1 p.m.
Ole Miss 6-3; National ranking #37
Georgia 7-5; National ranking #11
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (6,4,2,3,5,1)
Official: Clark Weaver
TENNIS MATCH RESULTS
#11 Georgia defeated #37 Ole Miss 6-1
1. #26 Wayne Montgomery (UGA) def. #39 Gustav Hansson (OM) 3-6, 6-3, 6-2
2. #99 Nathan Ponwith (UGA) def. Tim Sandkaulen (OM) 3-6, 6-2, 6-3
3. #46 Emil Reinberg (UGA) def. Ricardo Jorge (OM) 6-2, 3-6, 6-2
4. Jan Zielinski (UGA) def. Filip Kraljevic (OM) 6-2, 6-4
5. Fabian Fallert (OM) def. Walker Duncan (UGA) 7-5, 3-6, 1-0 (10-6)
6. Robert Loeb (UGA) def. Zvonimir Babic (OM) 6-3, 6-1
1. #30 Jan Zielinski/Robert Loeb (UGA) def. #23 Fabian Fallert/Grey Hamilton (OM) 7-5
2. #60 Nathan Ponwith/Emil Reinberg (UGA) def. Tim Sandkaulen/Gustav Hansson (OM) 6-3
3. Wayne Montgomery/Walker Duncan (UGA) vs. Ricardo Jorge/Zvonimir Babic (OM) 4-5, unfinished