STARKVILLE, MS — The No. 19 UGA men’s tennis team downed SEC foe Mississippi State 4-1 on Saturday afternoon in the opening matchup of the 2020 ITA Kick-Off Weekend.
Against the host team in Starkville, Georgia earned the doubles point and victories on courts one, three and six to earn the victory. With the win, Georgia advances to the championship match to face No. 15 South Carolina at 2:00 p.m. ET. on Sunday afternoon.
“I’m proud of our boys,” head coach Manuel Diaz said. “They played confidently and were tough in a great environment. The crowd was big and partisan, but our team handled it well. Our guys have prepared very well and our team culture is back where it needs to be. We’ve got a big challenge tomorrow against a good South Carolina team, so we’ve got to close this chapter and set our sights on playing even better tomorrow. Our guys are fired up.”
Georgia’s 17th-ranked duo of Blake Croyder and Philip Henning picked up a big break in the first game to take an early 2-0 advantage at the second doubles court. State’s duo battled back, but it was not enough as Georgia held on for the 6-4 win.
Up 1-0 after doubles, Georgia claimed five of six first-set wins to open up singles. Zink earned the first singles point by defeating Gregor Ramskogler 6-3, 6-2 on court three. The freshman improves to 6-1 in his young Bulldog career, and has won five straight.
Croyder, ranked No. 88 nationally, edged out Nicolas Ocana on court six 6-3, 6-1. Croyder now sports a 10-7 singles record on the season.
On court one, Bryde took down the 15th-ranked Giovanni Oradini 6-3, 6-2 for a commanding victory and clinched the 4-1 final. Bryde improves to 6-4 overall and has won his last four matches.
ITA Kick-Off – Day One | Georgia vs. Mississippi State | Jan. 25, 2020
1. Trent Bryde/Tyler Zink (UGA) def. Florian Broska/Nicolas Ocana (MSU), 6-1
2. #17 Blake Croyder/Philip Henning (UGA) def. Giovanni Oradini/Stedman Strickland (MSU), 6-4
3. Erik Grevelius/Robert Loeb (UGA) vs. Alberto Colas/Gregor Ramskogler (MSU), 4-5
Order of finish (1,2)
1. #57 Trent Bryde (UGA) def. #15 Giovanni Oradini (MSU) 6-3, 6-2
2. Florian Broska (MSU) def. #12 Phillip Henning (UGA) 6-4, 6-2
3. Tyler Zink (UGA) def. Gregor Ramskogler (MSU) 6-3, 6-2
4. Erik Grevelius (UGA) vs. #101 Davide Tortora (MSU) 6-4, 4-4 (susp.)
5. Alberto Colas (MSU) vs. Robert Loeb (UGA) 3-6, 6-3, 1-0 (susp.)
6. #88 Blake Croyder (UGA) def. Nicolas Ocana (MSU) 6-3, 6-1
Order of finish: 3,6,2,1