March 7, 2014
ATHENS-----The 16th-ranked Georgia men's tennis team beat No. 17 Mississippi State, 4-1, Friday in UGA's SEC home opener at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
Georgia (6-5, 2-0 SEC) lost a tightly-contested doubles point, but the Bulldogs responded with four straight wins in singles to run their home winning streak to 19 matches.
"Mississippi State played great doubles, and honestly we were not that sharp," said UGA head coach Manuel Diaz. "But our guys did a tremendous job of coming back in singles and generated a lot of momentum for ourselves. We won all six first sets, and that was impressive.
"Our main focus after doubles was to get the guys to put it behind them. They were angry and upset because they know they can play better. They showed some resolve and mental toughness and did a great job in singles."
In doubles, Mississippi State (12-5, 2-1 SEC) won matches at Nos. 1 and 2 to go ahead 1-0. At No. 1, Jordan Angus and Malte Stropp defeated 14th-ranked Hernus Pieters and Ben Wagland, 8-3, then Georgia retaliated at No. 3 as Eric Diaz and Austin Smith beat Rushab Agarwal and Zach White, 8-6. In a back-and-forth match at No. 2, MSU's Florian Lakat and Tassilo Schmid edged Garrett Brasseaux and Nathan Pasha, 8-7(4).
Georgia quickly won the first set on all six singes courts, and No. 76 Brasseaux knotted the match at 1-1 with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Angus at No. 4. No. 16 Smith gave UGA its first lead of the day with a 6-3, 7-5 victory over 63rd-ranked Lakat at No. 2, then Pieters made it 3-1 Georgia with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Robin Haden at No. 6.
The match clincher came at No. 3 where 66th-ranked Wagland downed White, 7-5, 7-6(4). The sophomore from Sydney, Australia has now clinched two matches this season for Georgia, and it was the first time the Bulldogs have won a match this season after losing the doubles point.
Smith won his team-leading 24th match of the season, while Pieters notched his 20th victory, including his sixth in a row.
Georgia will be back in action against Ole Miss Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. Admission is free at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
#16 Georgia 4, #17 Mississippi State 1
1. #30 Nathan Pasha (UGA) vs. #71 Malte Stropp (MSTATE) 6-3, 3-6, 5-4, unfinished
2. #16 Austin Smith (UGA) def. #63 Florian Lakat (MSTATE) 6-3, 7-5
3. #66 Ben Wagland (UGA) def. Zach White (MSTATE) 7-5, 7-6 (7-4)
4. #76 Garrett Brasseaux (UGA) def. Jordan Angus (MSTATE) 6-4, 6-4
5. #100 Nick Wood (UGA) vs. Rishab Agarwal (MSTATE) 6-1, 5-7, 2-3, unfinished
6. Hernus Pieters (UGA) def. Robin Haden (MSTATE) 6-3, 6-4
1. Jordan Angus/Malte Stropp (MSTATE) def. #14 Hernus Pieters/Ben Wagland (UGA) 8-3
2. Florian Lakat/Tassilo Schmid (MSTATE) def. Garrett Brasseaux/Nathan Pasha (UGA) 8-7 (7-4)
3. Eric Diaz/Austin Smith (UGA) def. Rishab Agarwal/Zach White (MSTATE) 8-6
Mississippi State 12-5 (2-1); National ranking #17
Georgia 6-5 (2-0); National ranking #16
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (4,2,6,3)
Official: Clark Weaver