The sixth-ranked Georgia men’s tennis team finished with an unblemished SEC record for the first time since the 2007 NCAA National Championship squad accomplished the feat, as the Bulldogs downed 32nd-ranked Ole Miss, 4-0, Sunday at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center.
Georgia finishes the 2015-16 regular season with an 18-3 overall record and a 12-0 mark in league play — the 15th time in school history the Bulldogs have finished with a perfect SEC regular season record.
The Bulldogs will be the No. 1 overall seed and have a bye until Friday in this week’s SEC Tournament, which will take place Wednesday, April 20 though Sunday, April 24 at the Carolina Tennis Center in Columbia, S.C. Georgia won its 39th overall SEC title this season (includes regular season and tournament championships) and will go for its 40th crown this week in Columbia.
“As we have done all season, our guys just came out and played a really good match against a great opponent in Ole Miss,” head coach Manuel Diaz said. “I can’t say enough about what this team has accomplished all year long. To not only win this league, but to finish unbeaten, is a very difficult thing to do. Our guys persevered all season, and I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish in the SEC Tournament. I especially cannot say enough about Austin Smith and how valuable he has been to this team. I don’t know of anyone more impactful than Austin.”
The sophomore/freshman duo of Wayne Montgomery and Emil Reinberg scored the Bulldogs’ first victory of the day, taking down the Ole Miss team of Gustav Hansson and Stefan Lindmark, 6-3, to give Georgia the edge in doubles.
Another underclassmen duo of Paul Oosterbaan and Jan Zielinski then clinched the doubles point for the Bulldogs, by taking a 6-4 win over the Rebel duo of Fabian Fallert and Grey Hamilton at the No. 2 court.
Up 1-0 following doubles competition, the SEC Champion Bulldogs needed just three victories to keep their undefeated league record intact. As he has done most of the season, freshman Walker Duncan delivered for the Bulldogs, picking up a 6-2, 6-3 win at the fourth court to build Georgia’s advantage to 2-0.
Senior Austin Smith then pushed the UGA lead to 3-0 as he won his match at the No. 1 position, 7-5, 6-1 against Ole Miss’ 51st-ranked Gustav Hansson.
Montgomery then clinched the Bulldogs’ final SEC contest of the regular season with a 7-6, 6-2 triumph over the Rebels’ 66th-ranked Stefan Lindmark at the No. 2 court.
With the match clinched, all other contests were then suspended.
The 2016 SEC Tournament bracket will be released later Sunday evening.
TENNIS MATCH RESULTS
No.6 Georgia defeats No. 32 Ole Miss (4-0)
April 16, 2016 at Oxford, Mississippi
(Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center)
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (4,1,2)
1. #24 Austin Smith (UGA) def. #51 Gustav Hansson (OM) 7-5, 6-1
2. #34 Wayne Montgomery (UGA) def. #66 Stefan Lindmark (OM) 7-6 (7-2), 6-2
3. Filip Kraljevic (OM) vs. #91 Paul Oosterbaan (UGA) 7-6 (7-2), 4-5, unfinished
4. #116 Walker Duncan (UGA) def. Grey Hamilton (OM) 6-2, 6-3
5. Fabian Fallert (OM) vs. Jan Zielinski (UGA) 7-5, 3-6, 0-1, unfinished
6. Zvonimir Babic (OM) vs. Nick Wood (UGA) 6-4, 3-6, 2-3, unfinished
1. #24 Filip Kraljevic/Zvonimir Babic (OM) vs. #7 Austin Smith/Ben Wagland (UGA) 6-5, unfinished
2. Paul Oosterbaan/Jan Zielinski (UGA) def. Fabian Fallert/Grey Hamilton (OM) 6-4
3. Wayne Montgomery/Emil Reinberg (UGA) def. Gustav Hansson/Stefan Lindmark (OM) 6-3