The seventh-ranked UGA men’s tennis team is set to host the NCAA First and Second rounds this weekend at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
No. 22 Florida State and No. 35 Baylor will kick off action Saturday morning at 10 a.m. ET, before No. 7 Georgia and South Carolina State square off later in the day at 1 p.m. ET. The winner of each match will play on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET with a trip to the 2016 NCAA Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma on the line.
GEORGIA’S NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY:
Georgia is 101-33 all-time in the NCAA Tournament with six titles, most recently in 2008. This is the 13th consecutive year that the Bulldogs have played host to the first and second rounds, and UGA has advanced to the NCAA Championships each time. In addition to winning six NCAA championships, Georgia has reached the NCAA final seven other times. This is the Bulldogs’ 38th appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
AUSTIN SMITH INVITED TO PLAY IN BB&T ATLANTA OPEN:
Senior Austin Smith received a wild card bid to participate in the main singles draw of the 2016 BB&T Atlanta Open. The tournament, which runs from July 30-August 7, is the third event in the nine-tournament series leading up to the US Open. The event, which features 28 singles players and a 16-team doubles draw, will take place at Atlantic Station in Atlanta and will be the last ATP tournament prior to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Smith will play his first match at the BB&T Atlanta Open College Night on Tuesday, Aug. 2.
Four Bulldogs earned All-SEC honors following the 2016 SEC Tournament. Senior Austin Smith and sophomore Wayne Montgomery led the way with first-team honors, while redshirt-sophomore Paul Oosterbaan garnered second-team honors. Walker Duncan was named to the SEC All-Freshman team.
THREE BULLDOGS EARN NCAA INDIVIDUAL BIDS:
Austin Smith, Wayne Montgomery and Ben Wagland earned bids to the singles and doubles portion of the NCAA Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma on May 25-30. Smith and Montgomery earned at-large bids in singles, with Smith earning a spot among the top 16 seeds. The senior will pair up with Wagland in doubles competition.
With their victories against No. 12 Arkansas and No. 32 Ole Miss in April, the Bulldogs finished the 2016 SEC slate with a perfect 12-0 regular season record, Georgia’s first since its 2007 NCAA National Championship squad. With its win against the Razorbacks, Georgia clinched its 39th SEC title overall.
SENIORS MAKE HISTORY:
Austin Smith, Ben Wagland and Nick Wood have engraved their mark in UGA history with home wins against No. 13 Florida and No. 59 Auburn. The senior class went a perfect 24-0 at home in SEC regular season matches and became the first senior class since 1972 to win four-straight SEC regular season crowns, a feat that has only been done three times in Georgia’s storied men’s tennis history.
UNDERCLASSMEN SHINE FOR GEORGIA:
The Bulldogs’ current lineup features a strong group of underclassmen. Four of Georgia’s six singles players are either freshmen or sophomores, while the Bulldogs’ current doubles lineup features pairs of freshman/sophomore duos in Paul Oosterbaan and Jan Zielinski as well as the Wayne Montgomery/Emil Reinberg pair. The Bulldog freshman trio of Walker Duncan, Zielinski and Reinberg are 21-4 in singles play in SEC matches
Senior Austin Smith highlighted Georgia’s rankings in the latest ITA polls moving up to No. 17 in singles and No. 7 in doubles with fellow senior Ben Wagland. Sophomore Wayne Montgomery remained at No. 32, while redshirt-sophomore Paul Oosterbaan moved up to No. 64. The Bulldogs remained at No. 7 following the SEC Tournament.
BULLDOGS EARN RECOGNITION:
Wayne Montgomery, Paul Oosterbaan and Austin Smith all earned SEC Athlete of the Week honors earlier this season. Montgomery was honored as SEC player of the Week on March 23 after leading the Bulldogs to a pair of ranked wins, including a victory over No. 4 Ohio State. Oosterbaan picked up the recognition on March 9 after leading Georgia to a 2-0 start in SEC play. Smith earned his honor on April 6, after clinching both of Georgia’s wins against No. 10 Texas A&M and No. 44 LSU.
SMITH LEADS THE SEC:
Austin Smith proved to be the class of the SEC this season, leading the conference in dual match singles wins with 19. The Cumming, Georgia native is also the SEC’s active career leader in singles wins with 127. Smith leads Georgia with 18 ranked singles wins and 26 doubles victories – which leads the conference.
Georgia is a combined 24-7 against Baylor, Florida State and South Carolina State – the three other teams represented in the Athens regional. UGA is most familiar with the Seminoles, owning a 19-6 record against FSU, including a 4-0 victory last season in the NCAA second round. The Bulldogs are 3-1 vs. the Bears and a perfect 2-0 against South Carolina State.
FOLLOW THE BULLDOGS:
For more information on the Georgia men’s tennis team, follow the team on Twitter (@UGATennis), Instagram (@ugatennis) and Facebook (UGA Men’s Tennis).