The UGA men’s tennis team, currently ranked sixth in the latest Oracle/ITA rankings, is set for its final regular season road stint of the year with a trip to Fayetteville, Arkansas on Friday at 5:30 p.m. ET to face the No. 12 Arkansas Razorbacks, before rounding out the weekend with No. 32 Ole Miss on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET in Oxford, Mississippi.
ROAD TO 39:
With its 4-0 shutout of Auburn this past Sunday, the Georgia men’s tennis team clinched at least a share of the 2016 Southeastern Conference regular season crown, marking the 39th time in school history that Georgia has won either a SEC regular season or tournament title. With a win against either Arkansas or Ole Miss, or a Florida loss, the Bulldogs would claim the title outright.
Georgia, which is currently 10-0 in league play, is trying to finish the 2016 regular season with an undefeated league record for the first time since 2007. The Bulldogs won the first of back-to-back NCAA National Championships that season on their way to a perfect 32-0 season.
SENIORS MAKE HISTORY:
Austin Smith, Ben Wagland and Nick Wood 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.
12-STRAIGHT WINS FOR GEORGIA:
Georgia defeated No. 13 Florida and No. 63 Auburn last weekend to extend it current win streak to 12 matches. The Bulldogs have downed 10 ranked teams in the stretch, highlighted by a 4-2 victory against No. 4 Ohio State on March 20, a 4-1 win against No. 10 Texas A&M on the road on April 1 and a 5-2 comeback win against Florida at home on April 8.
DAWGS ON TOP OF SEC STANDINGS:
The Bulldogs sit atop the SEC standings following their perfect 10-0 start to conference play. Georgia remains the only team in the SEC that has yet to lose a conference match. UGA is 6-0 at home in SEC contests and 4-0 on the road. The Bulldogs have earned a share of their 39th Southeastern Conference title and can claim the outright title with a win in either match this weekend.
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 a pair 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 20-2 in singles play vs. SEC opponents.
Senior Austin Smith highlighted Georgia’s rankings in the latest ITA polls moving up to No. 24 in singles and No. 4 in doubles with fellow senior Ben Wagland. Sophomore Wayne Montgomery remained at No. 34, while freshman Walker Duncan came in at No. 116. Redshirt-sophomore Paul Oosterbaan moved back into the rankings at No. 91. The Bulldogs jumped one spot to No. 6 after their wins against No. 13 Florida and No. 63 Auburn.
BULLDOGS EARN RECOGNITION:
Sophomore Wayne Montgomery, redshirt-sophomore Paul Oosterbaan and senior 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 #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
The Bulldogs will head to Columbia, South Carolina for the 2016 SEC Men’s Tennis Tournament. Georgia’s opponent will be announced at the conclusion of the weekend.
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).