Jan. 26, 2014
ATHENS, Ga. --- The third-ranked Georgia men's tennis team weathered a late charge by No. 40 Stanford en route to a 4-1 victory and a place in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Team Indoor Championships on Sunday evening at the Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Facility.
The Bulldogs (2-0) used two wins this weekend over Columbia and the Cardinal to advance out of the ITA Kickoff's Athens region and snag a spot in the prestigious 16-team field next month in Houston.
"It wasn't easy this weekend - both matches were very tight," said head coach Manuel Diaz. "The Regional was very competitive, and our guys had to play their best to win. It's a sign of how deep things are going to be this year. Nothing is going to be easy, but the guys really were up to the challenge. I thought we played much better doubles today than we have been, and we were able to win some good matches late and clinch a good victory."
The Bulldogs started off strong in snagging the early doubles point with wins at Nos. 2 and 3. First off the court was the team of Garrett Brasseaux and Nathan Pasha at No. 2, defeating Yale Goldberg and Maciek Romanowicz, 6-3. They were shortly followed by the No. 3 team of Eric Diaz and Austin Smith, who posted a 6-4 victory over Trey Strobel and Jamin Ball to give Georgia the early 1-0 lead. The No. 1 match was unfinished with Georgia's 12th-ranked pairing of Ben Wagland and Hernus Pieters leading 4-3.
The squad took a 3-0 lead overall in the match with quick singles wins from Wagland and Pasha. Wagland defeated Strobel, 6-4, 6-1, at No. 3, and Pasha handed Daniel Ho a 6-0, 6-3 loss at No. 1 to leave Georgia just one win shy of the clinch and the berth.
But Stanford got on the board with a victory at No. 2, as Romanowicz beat Smith 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 to cut it to 3-1. Then, after dropping a close first-set tiebreaker earlier, it would be Brasseaux who would provide the decisive fourth point for UGA, as he posted a 5-6(5), 6-4, 6-4 win over Anthony Tsodikov at No. 4 to seal it. The Nos. 5 and 6 matches were unfinished with Pieters and Wood both up sets and breaks on their courts.
The Bulldogs advance to National Indoors for the 11th straight season, and have failed to do so just one time (2003) since the tournament began in 1973. Georgia has won two indoor championships, coming in back to back years in 2006 and 2007, while reaching the finals six times - most recently in 2009.
Georgia is back in action next weekend, traveling to participate in the SEC/Pac-12 Showdown in Los Angeles with dual matches slated against No. 2 UCLA and No. 4 Southern Cal.
#3 Georgia 4, #40 Stanford 1
1. #21 Nathan Pasha (UGA) def. Daniel Ho (STAN) 6-0, 6-3
2. Maciek Romanowicz (STAN) def. #12 Austin Smith (UGA) 6-4, 2-6, 6-2
3. #48 Ben Wagland (UGA) def. Trey Strobel (STAN) 6-4, 6-1
4. #47 Garrett Brasseaux (UGA) def. Anthony Tsodikov (STAN) 5-6 (5-7), 6-4, 6-4
5. Hernus Pieters (UGA) vs. Robert Stineman (STAN) 6-3, 4-2, unfinished
6. #102 Nick Wood (UGA) vs. Yale Goldberg (STAN) 6-5 (7-2), 3-0, unfinished
1. #12 Ben Wagland/Hernus Pieters (UGA) vs. Daniel Ho/Robert Stineman (STAN) 4-3, unfinished
2. Garrett Brasseaux/Nathan Pasha (UGA) def. Yale Goldberg/Maciek Romanowicz (STAN) 6-3
3. Eric Diaz/Austin Smith (UGA) def. Trey Strobel/Jamin Ball (STAN) 6-4
Stanford 2-1; National ranking #40
Georgia 2-0; National ranking #3
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3); Singles (3,1,2,4)
Doubles point clinched at 5:30 (30 min)
Singles point clinched at 7:54 (2 hrs 14 min)
Official: Clark Weaver