The Georgia men’s tennis team lifted head coach Manuel Diaz to his Southeastern Conference-leading 707th career win and doused him with a water cooler afterward.
The Bulldogs took down No. 3 Ohio State 4-0 on Sunday afternoon as Diaz’s all-time win total surpassed that of his mentor, Dan Magill, at the tennis complex which bears his name. After the victory, Diaz was quick to recognize his players and Georgia tennis fans which made the wins possible.
“It was the energy that we needed to come out with, especially in doubles,” Georgia head coach Manuel Diaz said. “We knew it was going to be tough on each and every court. Philip [Henning] was down 5-1 at one point, but I just told him to find his game and rhythm. What an incredible effort by him and all our guys. We knew both matches this weekend would be tough, but we didn’t see ourselves as underdogs in any way. We expected to win. We knew it would be tough, but we were tough enough to make it through both matches. Hats off to our guys for a great team effort. The atmosphere we had out here was unique. This is why kids want to come play at Georgia. Yes, there’s great tradition but, more than anything, [Georgia has] the best fans in the nation.”
In doubles, the No. 36-ranked tandem of sophomore Trent Bryde and freshman Tyler Zink took down Ohio State’s No. 3 pair of John McNally and Robert Cash decisively, winning 6-1 to earn the first doubles win. The Georgia pair earned its highest-ranked doubles win to date and moved to 7-1 in duals play.
Shortly afterward, the No. 22-ranked duo of sophomores Philip Henning and Blake Croyder earned the clinching point for the third time in four matches this week by downing OSU’s James Trotter/Justin Boulais 6-3.
In singles, the Bulldogs extended five of the six matches to third sets. Croyder, ranked No. 95 nationally, notched the first singles win of the afternoon over No. 70 James Trotter by a 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 final. Croyder extended his streak to 15 wins in dual matches dating back to last season.
Fellow sophomore Trent Bryde, ranked No. 22 in the country, followed up with a 6-0, 3-6, 6-3 victory over No. 12 Cannon Kingsley and earned his fifth-straight win, which includes ranked victories over the No. 2 (Ito/Texas), No. 12 (Kingsley/OSU) and No. 23 (Walton/Tenn) individuals.
It was Henning who stole the show as the Bulldogs faced the brink of defeat. Down 5-1 in the first set, the South African native won 7-6 (6) in the first set and served out the winning point for a 7-6, 6-4 victory over No. 7 John McNally.