Feb. 27, 2014
ATHENS-----The Georgia men's tennis team began the outdoor portion of its 2014 schedule with a 4-0 victory over Georgia Tech Thursday afternoon at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
The Bulldogs (4-5) beat Tech (6-3) for the 27th time in 28 matches dating back to 1989 and improved to 53-2 in the series since 1969.
"It was very competitive," said UGA head coach Manuel Diaz. "It was a typical first match of the outdoor season. The ball moves different and the wind moves things around, so our timing was off. But we were able to get our intensity up to where it needed to be and win the doubles point. In singles, I thought Nathan Pasha did a great job at No. 1, and Hernus Pieters came through and gave us a lot of momentum. I'm proud of Austin Smith for closing it out and sending us into the clubhouse."
Georgia won the doubles point to take a 1-0 lead. At No. 3, Eric Diaz and Smith topped Cole Fiegel and Will Showers, 8-5, then the Bulldogs clinched the point at No. 2 as Garrett Brasseaux and Pasha edged Casey Kay and Nathan Rakitt, 8-7(1).
The Bulldogs won the first set of all six singles matches, first at No. 1 where No. 30 Pasha defeated Rakitt, 6-1, 6-2. No. 76 Pieters then downed Kay, 6-2, 6-4 to make it 3-0. No. 16 Smith provided the match clincher at No. 2 with a 6-2, 4-6, 6-0 win over Carlos Benito.
The matches at Nos. 3, 5 and 6 were suspended following Smith's win at No. 2.
"We got up 3-0 pretty quickly, and then kind of struggled to close out the second sets, but we're happy with the way it finished," Smith said. "Being the first outdoor match, it was very different for us. We were only able to hit outside for a few days with the rain, so it was a good challenge for us."
Pasha notched his team-leading 23rd win of the season, while Smith won for the 22nd time. It was the first clincher of the year for the Cumming, Ga., native.
Georgia will be back in action Sunday afternoon when the Bulldogs open SEC play against Tennessee in Knoxville at 1 p.m.
#35 Georgia 4, #46 Georgia Tech 0
Singles competition (Order of finish: 1,4,2)
1. #30 Nathan Pasha (UGA) def. Nathan Rakitt (GT), 6-1, 6-2
2. #16 Austin Smith (UGA) def. Carlos Benito (GT), 6-2, 4-6, 6-0
3. #66 Ben Wagland (UGA) vs. Eduardo Segura (GT), 6-4, 3-6, 3-3, susp.
4. Hernus Pieters (UGA) def. Casey Kay (GT), 6-2, 6-4
5. #100 Nick Wood (UGA) vs. Cole Fiegel (GT), 7-6(6), 1-3, susp.
6. Eric Diaz (UGA) vs. Will Showers (GT), 7-5, 2-6, 3-1, susp.
Doubles competition (Order of finish: 3, 2)
1. #36 Carlos Benito/Eduardo Segura (GT) vs. #14 Hernus Pieters/Ben Wagland (UGA), 6-4, susp.
2. Garrett Brasseaux/Nathan Pasha (UGA) def. Casey Kay/Nathan Rakitt (GT), 8-7(1)
3. Eric Diaz/Austin Smith (UGA) def. Cole Fiegel/Will Showers (GT), 8-5