May 22, 2014
ATHENS, Ga. --- The Georgia men's tennis team saw three players continue their runs in the NCAA individual tournaments on Thursday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex, with junior Nathan Pasha moving into the singles round of 16 and the doubles team of Ben Wagland and Hernus Pieters punching their ticket to the round of 16 as well.
Pasha defeated Notre Dame's Greg Andrews by a score of 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-3 this afternoon to reach the round of 16 with his second win in the tournament. In doing so, he secured the first All-America honor of his career, and will look to keep it going when he takes on UCLA's No. 2-seeded Marco Giron at 11 a.m. tomorrow.
"To be honest, when it's this hot out and you have conditions like this, I just have to remember why I play tennis in the first place, which is to compete," Pasha said. "I love to compete a lot and that is what keeps me out here. That is what keeps me wanting to work every day and get better. I had no idea until (Coach) Manny (Diaz) told me I was an All-American. Everyone has said it's probably best I didn't know before. I definitely would have been thinking about it. It feels good to be an All-American, and I always wanted to be one of those."
The tandem of Wagland and Pieters bounced back from a 5-2 deficit in the second set and ultimately used two tiebreaker victories to down the Fighting Irish's Andrews and Alex Lawson, 7-6(5), 7-6(0). They will take on Oklahoma State's Arjun Kadhe and Jakob Sude at 1 p.m. tomorrow.
"We played a really good match today. We had a couple of losses recently in the (team) tournament, so coming out here, we just both wanted to serve really well," Wagland said. "Hernus really served well, and when we were down in the second set, we just believed that we could come back out of it. We played bigger and bigger and got through."
"I thought we played very well at the net today, which helped us," Pieters said. "They were a very good team. We knew coming into the match that they would be tough. I remember watching them at National Indoors, and they were a very good team. We just played well tonight."
Georgia's pair has already secured their All-America honors by entering as a top-eight seed.