Jan. 25, 2014
ATHENS-----The No. 3-ranked Georgia men's tennis team began the 2014 dual match season with a 4-2 victory over Columbia in the ITA Kickoff Saturday at the Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Facility.
The Bulldogs (1-0) will take on Stanford - which defeated Washington earlier in the day - Sunday afternoon at 5 p.m. The winner will advance to the ITA National Indoor Tournament Feb. 14-17 in Houston, Texas.
All matches in the ITA Kickoff use the new experimental format, which includes tiebreakers at 5-all and no-ad scoring. Doubles are played to six games.
Georgia jumped out to a 3-0 lead on Saurday, but Columbia got to within 3-2 before senior Hernus Pietersclinched the match with a 6-0, 4-6, 6-5(3) win over Bert Vancura at No. 5.
"As a coach during the season you want to find out what you have, and I think today it was evident," said Georgia head coach Manuel Diaz. "At the end with Hernus and the match on the line, all of the momentum was with the other player, and it was not looking good for us. It was not because of bad play on our part; Columbia is just a great team and better than their ranking. They were being just as tough as us and just as determined and turned a 3-0 lead into anybody's match.
"We found out that we have a great group of guys that when the situation gets tough, they are going to respond and be tough to beat," Diaz said. "It's important for us to get some rest and come back tomorrow with that same energy."
Georgia won the doubles point to go ahead 1-0. At No. 3, Eric Diaz and Austin Smith defeated Eric Rubin and Vancura, 6-3, then at No. 2, Garrett Brasseaux and Nathan Pasha edged Mike Vermeer and Winston Lin, 6-5(3). The match at No. 1 featuring the Bulldogs' No. 12 team of Ben Waglandand Pieters was suspended when the point was clinched.
Sunday's schedule includes Washington vs. Columbia at 9 a.m., Georgia women vs. Arkansas at 1 p.m. and Georgia men vs. Stanford at 5 p.m.
#3 Georgia 4, #43 Columbia 2
Singles Competition (Order of finish: 4,2,3,1,5)
1. #8 Winston Lin (COL) def. #21 Nathan Pasha (UGA), 6-4, 3-6, 6-5(4)
2. #12 Austin Smith (UGA) def. Dragos Ignat (COL), 6-3, 6-3
3. #125 Ashok Narayana (COL) def. #48 Ben Wagland (UGA), 6-5(5), 6-3
4. #47 Garrett Brasseaux (UGA) def. Max Schnur (COL), 6-2, 6-1
5. Hernus Pieters (UGA) def. Bert Vancura (COL), 6-0, 4-6, 6-5(3)
6. #102 Nick Wood (UGA) vs. Mike Vermeer (COL), 4-6, 6-5(5), 3-2, susp.
Doubles Competition (Order of finish: 3,2)
1. #12 Ben Wagland/Hernus Pieters (UGA) vs. #14 Max Schnur/Ashok Narayana (COL), 3-5, susp.
2. Garrett Brasseaux/Nathan Pasha (UGA) def. Mike Vermeer/Winston Lin (COL), 6-5(3)
3. Eric Diaz/Austin Smith (UGA) def. Eric Rubin/Bert Vancura (COL), 6-3