The No. 17-ranked Georgia men’s tennis team — forced to shuffle its lineup due to an injury to usual No. 1 singles and doubles player Jan Zielinski — defeated the 30th-ranked Vanderbilt Commodores on Sunday at the Currey Tennis Center.
With Zielinski out due to an injury he sustained in Friday’s match against Kentucky, Walker Duncan and Emil Reinberg moved to No. 1 doubles and three freshmen — Trent Bryde, Philip Henning and Blake Croyder — all saw action in singles. Redshirt-sophomore Alex Diaz moved to the No. 2 doubles court with Robert Loeb.
The Bulldogs looked strong from the start and ran past the Commodores to finish the regular season with a 12-9 overall record and 7-5 mark in the Southeastern Conference. The SEC will announce seeding for the league tournament later this evening.
“Our team bounced back with good play all around,” head coach Manuel Diaz said. “I am so proud of how we overcame another hurdle with Jan not able to go for us. Alex Diaz and Blake Croyder stepped up for us and our seniors Emil Reinberg and Walker Duncan came through with big wins. It is so great to have Philip back healthy again and to see Robert Loeb play the way he did. We had to battle some very strong winds, and I just feel like our team overcome so much today to get this win.”
In doubles, Bryde and Henning went down a break 2-0 in the early going and never recovered in a 6-2 loss.
Diaz and Loeb played together for the first time since Feb. 26 and improved their record to 5-1 with a 6-4 victory. Finally, Duncan and Reinberg delivered the clincher in doubles with a 6-4 win at court one.
In singles, the Commodores picked up their first point of the day with George Harwell’s 6-2, 6-2 victory against Bryde at court five. Georgia quickly answered back as Reinberg ousted No. 74-ranked Cameron Klinger, 6-3, 6-1.
With the Bulldogs hanging on to a 2-1 lead, all three of the lower courts went into three sets. Georgia was clutch down the stretch with wins from Duncan at four and Henning at five to clinch the match. Duncan’s win came after a first-set loss, while Henning’s clincher came after he bounced back from a 6-2 defeat in the second frame with a 6-2 triumph in the third set.
Next up, the Bulldogs will travel to the SEC tournament in Gainesville, Florida. Georgia’s match time for Thursday will be announced later Sunday evening.
Tennis Match Results
#17 Georgia vs. #30 Vanderbilt
April 14, 2019 | Nashville
1. #30 Emil Reinberg (UGA) def. #74 Cameron Klinger (Vanderbilt), 6-3, 6-1
2. Robert Loeb (UGA vs. Billy Rowe (Vanderbilt), 7-6, 5-1
3. George Harwell (Vanderbilt) def. Trent Bryde (UGA), 6-2, 6-2
4. Walker Duncan (UGA) def. Macsen Sisam (Vanderbilt), 3-6, 6-0, 6-2
5. #122 Philip Henning (UGA) def. Max Freeman (Vanderbilt), 6-2, 2-6, 6-2
6. Blake Croyder (UGA) vs. Panu Virtanen (Vanderbilt), 5-7, 6-1, 4-1
Order of finish (3,1,4,5)
1. Walker Duncan/Emil Reinberg (UGA) def. #33 Cameron Klinger/Billy Rowe (Vanderbilt), 6-4
2. Alex Diaz/Robert Loeb (UGA) def. Panu Virtanen/Macsen Sisam (Vanderbilt), 6-4
3. George Harwell/Max Freeman (Vanderbilt) def. Trent Bryde/Philip Henning (UGA), 6-2
Order of finish (3,2,1)