May 16, 2014
ATHENS-----The eighth-ranked Georgia men's tennis team fell to No. 7 North Carolina, 4-2, in the NCAA Championships round of 16 Friday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
The SEC champion Bulldogs end the season with an overall record of 18-8, while North Carolina improves to 27-5. The Tar Heels will face the No. 2 seed Oklahoma in the quarterfinals Sunday at 4 p.m.
"We fought a very good battle today," said Georgia head coach Manuel Diaz. "I think that North Carolina just outplayed us. They played a little bit better than we did, and they deserved to win. They did a much better job than we did taking care of their serves. It was not easy out there. It was windy, and I think it was difficult for both teams. They were just a little bit better, especially in the way that they took care of their serves. We broke, but we just couldn't seem to get enough traction. When we broke, we were usually breaking back. We weren't breaking and going ahead. They just outplayed us."
North Carolina won doubles matches at Nos. 1 and 3 to take a 1-0 lead. At No. 3, Jack Murray and Ronnie Schneider outlasted Garrett Bresseaux and Nick Wood in a tiebreaker, 8-7(1), then Brett Clark and Brayden Schnur won 8-6 over Hernus Pieters and Ben Wagland at No. 1 to clinch the point for the Tar Heels. The match at No. 2 featuring the Bulldog tandem of Eric Diaz and Austin Smith was tied at 6-6 when the doubles point was clinched.
Georgia - the No. 10 seed - retaliated in singles with wins at Nos. 6 and 4 to take a 2-1 lead. Pieters gave the Bulldogs their first point at No. 6 with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Nelson Vick, then seconds later, Wagland registered a 7-5, 6-3 win over Oystein Steiro at No. 4.
The Tar Heels closed the match with three consecutive wins at Nos. 2, 1 and 3 to seal the win. At No. 2, UNC's 33rd-ranked Ronnie Schneider rallied from a 5-1 deficit in the first set tiebreaker and defeated Nathan Pasha, 7-6(7), 6-3. At No. 1, 15th-ranked Schnur defeated No. 23 Austin Smith in three sets, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 to reclaim the lead for North Carolina. The match clincher came at No. 3 as Clark edged Brasseaux, 6-4, 7-6(3), snapping Georgia's 27-match home winning streak.
Four Bulldogs will compete in the singles and doubles portion of the NCAA Championships beginning Wednesday, May 21. Pasha and Smith were selected for the singles draw, while Pieters and Wagland will play in the 32-team doubles bracket. Matchups for the individual portion of the tournament will be announced on Tuesday.
#7 NORTH CAROLINA (27-5) def. #10 GEORGIA (18-8), 4-2 - Henry Feild Stadium
Doubles (Order of finish: 3,1)
1. #25 Brett Clark/Brayden Schnur (NORTH CAROLINA) def. #8 Hernus Pieters/Ben Wagland (GEORGIA), 8-6
2. Oystein Steiro/Nelson Vick (NORTH CAROLINA) vs. Eric Diaz/Austin Smith (GEORGIA), 6-6, unf.
3. Jack Murray/Ronnie Schneider (NORTH CAROLINA) def. Garrett Brasseaux/Nick Wood (GEORGIA), 8-7(1)
Singles (Order of finish: 6,4,2,1,3)
1. #15 Brayden Schnur (NORTH CAROLINA) def. #23 Austin Smith (GEORGIA), 6-2, 3-6, 6-2
2. #33 Ronnie Schneider (NORTH CAROLINA) def. #30 Nathan Pasha (GEORGIA), 7-6(7), 6-3
3. #78 Brett Clark (NORTH CAROLINA) def. #70 Garrett Brasseaux (GEORGIA), 6-4, 7-6(3)
4. #82 Ben Wagland (GEORGIA) def. Oystein Sterio (NORTH CAROLINA), 7-5, 6-3
5. Jack Murray (NORTH CAROLINA) vs. Nick Wood (GEORGIA), 7-5, 6-5, unf.
6. Hernus Pieters (GEORGIA) def. Nelson Vick (NORTH CAROLINA), 6-3, 6-3