Following wins against USC and North Carolina in the Round of 16 and quarterfinals, the seventh-seeded Georgia men’s tennis team will now play No. 11 seed Oklahoma on Monday at 4 p.m. CT/5 p.m. ET in the NCAA semifinals.
The Sooners advanced after defeating No. 3 seed UCLA in a tight 4-3 match late Sunday afternoon following the Georgia vs. North Carolina contest. Oklahoma improved to 19-10 overall this season with Sunday’s victory and returns to the semifinals after finishing as runner-up in last season’s NCAA Championship.
Georgia is 3-1 all-time, including a 2-1 mark in the NCAA Tournament, against Oklahoma. The Sooners are coached by former Bulldog letterman John Roddick, who played for the Bulldogs from 1995-98 and was an assistant coach in Athens from 2000-02.
The Bulldogs are in search of their 14th appearance in the finals of the NCAA Championship. Georgia holds a 6-7 record in the finals round, claiming six NCAA titles (1985, 1987, 1999, 2001, 2007 and 2008). The six national championships by Georgia ranks fourth-most among collegiate tennis programs.
Georgia Defeats North Carolina to Advance
The seventh-ranked Georgia Bulldogs are now one of four remaining teams in the 2016 NCAA Men’s Tennis Championship thanks to an impressive 4-0 victory against No. 2 seed North Carolina on Sunday in the quarterfinal round at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center.
“This team has overcome so much adversity to put themselves in this position,” head coach Manuel Diaz said. “I’m excited for the fact that these guys have really worked hard to become one of the top four teams in the country. To me, the most rewarding thing has been to be able to see our team come together. We have three seniors who have won four-straight SEC titles and have stepped up to lead this group of guys. We are excited about tomorrow’s match. We do not get as much rest, but we are thrilled to be in the NCAA semifinals.”
The Bulldogs had to claw back to claim the doubles point as the two teams split at the second and third positions. North Carolina was the first to strike as UGA’s Wayne Montgomery and Emil Reinberg fell 6-2. The Bulldog tandem of Paul Oosterbaan and Jan Zielinski quickly answered back with a dominating 6-3 victory over UNC’s Anu Kodali and Ronnie Schneider at the second position.
With each team winning a doubles court, things looked grim for the Bulldogs, whose doubles team of Austin Smith and Ben Wagland fell behind 4-2. The Georgia duo fought back, breaking the Tarheels’ serve in the next game, before claiming a 7-5 victory.
Up 1-0 after doubles, Georgia made quick work of the Tar Heels in singles. The bulk of the Bulldogs’ strong play came at the bottom three courts, where Walker Duncan, Jan Zielinski, and Nick Wood all won in straight sets to clinch the match and send the team to the next round.