The fourth-ranked Georgia men’s tennis team will face the Iowa Hawkeyes on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. at the Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Courts as part of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend.
The Bulldogs welcome Arkansas, Memphis, and Iowa on Sunday and Monday for the 10th consecutive Kick-Off Weekend held in Athens. The Georgia-Iowa matchup will follow the first contest between Memphis and Arkansas at 9:00 a.m. The winner of each semifinal match will advance to the championship at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, while the consolation match will take place at 10:00 a.m. on Monday morning.
Admission is free. CLICK HERE for live scoring/video, which will be available throughout the tournament.
For a look at the field, including information on other host sites, visit: http://www.itatennis.com/Events/Kick-OffWeekend.htm .
Men’s ITA Kick-Off Weekend Schedule
Sun, Jan. 28
9:00 a.m. | Memphis vs. Arkansas
1:00 p.m. | Georgia vs. Iowa
Mon, Jan. 29
10:00 a.m. | Men’s Consolation
2:00 p.m. | Men’s Championship
ABOUT THE ITA KICK-OFF
The spring season of collegiate tennis shifts into full gear January 26-29 during the 10th annual ITA Kick-Off Weekend. Sixty men’s and sixty women’s teams will be competing across the country for the right to qualify for the ITA National Team Indoor Championships to be hosted in February by the University of Washington on the men’s side and the University of Wisconsin on the women’s side. Host sites for the ITA Kick-Off Weekend were determined using the final 2016-17 Oracle/ITA Collegiate Tennis Rankings, and a draft was held to fill the No.’s 2-4 seeds at all locations. The ITA Kick-Off Weekend events were created in 2009 as qualifiers for the ITA Division I National Team Indoor Championships. Sixty schools compete for the remaining 15 spots in the ITA Team Indoor Championships, with a reserved spot for the host institution.
ITA KICK-OFF REWIND
The Bulldogs have hosted one of the sites of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend every year since its first in 2009. Each time, they have advanced to the ITA National Team Indoor Championship. Georgia has made seven appearances in the finals of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships, with two titles in 2006 and 2007. Last season, ranked fifth, Georgia took down Purdue in the first-ever meeting between the two schools, followed by a shutout against Washington in the championship match. At the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in February, the Bulldogs fell to North Carolina, despite a resounding win for the Jan Zielinski and Robert Loeb duo against the then-ranked No. 21 William Blumberg and Robert Kelly tandem.
2017 FALL HIGHLIGHTS
Walker Duncan led the Bulldogs in the fall with 15 singles wins, followed by Wayne Montgomery and Jan Zielinski, who had 14 and 12, respectively. Duncan posted a team-best seven wins over ranked opponents, while Zielinski had six. At the ITA Southeast Regional, the four semifinal spots featured three Bulldogs for the second year in a row: Duncan, Montgomery, and Zielinski. Duncan was the ultimate victor in the final with a 6-2, 6-3 win against Montgomery.
In doubles, a Bulldog pair won the Southern Intercollegiates, hosted in Athens, for the third season in a row. Zielinski has been on winning teams two out of the three years, including last year with Duncan and this year with Loeb. Zielinski and Loeb defeated Montgomery and Duncan 6-4, 4-6, 11-9.
SAME RETURNERS SEEKING SIXTH-STRAIGHT
Georgia returns each letter winner from a team that went 22-8 en route to aN SEC regular season and tournament championship as well as a berth in the NCAA semifinals for the second-straight season. In 2018, the Bulldogs seek their sixth-straight SEC title. Among the returners are five All-SEC players, including 2017 SEC Freshman of the Year Nathan Ponwith, three-time All-SEC member Wayne Montgomery and 2017 ITA All-Americans Robert Loeb and Jan Zielinski. Redshirt senior Paul Oosterbaan also returns to the Georgia roster after missing most of last season due to injury.
DIAZ ENTERS 30TH SEASON
Georgia head coach Manuel Diaz enters his 30th season at the helm of the program. In addition to four National Championships, two National Indoor Titles and 41 total SEC crowns, Diaz’s teams have finished ranked in the top-10 in 26 of 29 seasons, including the last seven years. He added first-year associate head coach Jamie Hunt to his staff, who returned to his alma mater this past summer. Hunt spent seven seasons at Vanderbilt, including the last three as the associate head coach.