UGA Starts Strong at Southern Intercollegiates
Hernus Pieters


Hernus Pieters
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Southern Intercollegiate Championships Central

ATHENS, Ga. - The Georgia men's tennis team saw seven players advance in singles play on day one of the 45th annual Southern Intercollegiate Championships Friday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.

"Overall, I was very pleased with how everyone played," said head coach Manuel Diaz. "We had some good wins. We had some new guys that really got their first match under their belt. Four freshman got victories and that's a great feat. This is a great field and every match is going to challenge us. We've got to prepare to come out tomorrow and play a little better."

In Division I singles, three Bulldogs won their first round matches to punch their tickets to the second round. Freshman Ben Wagland started the off with a 7-5, 6-2 win over Michael Retta of Vanderbilt. Wagland will play Georgi Rumenov of Armstrong Atlantic State at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday.

Later, sophomore Nathan Pasha beat Kentucky's Grant Roberts 6-3, 6-1. He'll face Zach White of Mississippi State Saturday at 11 a.m.

Junior Hernus Pieters beat Gerardo Meza of Clemson, 7-6(4), 6-4 and advances to play Juan Melian of Georgia Tech at 10 a.m. Saturday.

Freshman Austin Smith topped Maniel Barroetavena of UT-Chattanooga, 6-3, 7-6(2) and will square off with Georgia Tech's Juan Spir Saturday at 10 a.m.

Fellow freshman Marco Nunez beat Austin Ansari of Clemson, 6-4, 6-3 and will play Florida's Michael Alford at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

Junior Garrett Brasseaux and redshirt sophomore Eric Diaz both lost their opening round matches, but will continue play tomorrow in the consolation bracket Saturday. Brasseaux will face North Florida's Daniel Sotomarino at 8:30 a.m. and Diaz will play Lucas Oliveira of Virginia Tech 11:00 a.m.

In Division II singles, redshirt freshman Casey Kay downed UT-Chattanooga's Pavels Grigorjevs, 7-5, 6-1. Kay will face Albert Codina Sala of Georgia Southern at 8:00 a.m. Saturday. Aaron Gomez of Virginia Tech outlasted Georgia senior Will Oliver, 5-7, 6-3, 7-6(1). Oliver will continue in the consolation round tomorrow against Georgia Southern's Oliver Webb at noon.

In Division I doubles, all four Georgia pairs won to advance to the round of 16 tomorrow.

Diaz and Brasseaux beat Furman's Matt Browne and Andrew Mellow, 8-4 and will square off with Clemson's duo of Dominique Maden and Yannick Maden.

Georgia's freshman tandem of Marco Nunez and Austin Smith beat Kennesaw State's Tobi Menhofer and Louis Theodor, 8-4 to advance to play James Chaudry and Malte Stropp of Mississippi State.

Pieters and KU Singh topped Georgia Southern's Andrew Dromsky and Oliver Webb, 8-6. They will face off against Vanderbilt's Rhys Johnson and Jeff Offerdahl.

Pasha and Wagland defeated Armstrong Atlantic State's Daniel Regan and Georgi Rumenov, 8-6 to advance and match-up against Luke Johnson and Gordon Watson of Florida .

In Division II singles, Kay and Oliver outlasted Mercer's Elbert Beekman and Vincent DeLise, 9-7. On Saturday, the Bulldog duo will play Mauricio Antun and Amerigo Contini of Virginia Tech.

All doubles matches will start no earlier than 4 p.m.

Play resumes Saturday at 8:00 a.m. The tournament continues through Monday with a champion to be named from each of the four divisions.

Originating in 1968, the Southern Intercollegiate Championships is the oldest fall tournament in the nation.

The draw will be updated throughout the weekend and posted to Georgiadogs.com.

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