Ben Wagland (L) and Hernus Pieters (R) secured a spot in the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships with their win on Sunday.
Oct. 7, 2012
TULSA, Okla.-----Georgia’s 35th-ranked doubles team of Hernus Pieters and Ben Wagland defeated Columbia University’s Ashok Narayana and Max Schnur, 4-6, 7-6(3), 6-1, to win the ITA All-American Championships consolation draw Sunday at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center. With the win the Bulldog duo earned an automatic berth to the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships in New York Nov. 3-6.
Pieters and Wagland will join senior KU Singh, who earlier this week reached the semifinals of the singles main draw and earned a bid to the National Indoor Championships.
“Our guys got off to a little bit of a slow start, but I was really proud to see them gain confidence and momentum,” said Georgia head coach Manuel Diaz. “They were willing to be aggressive, and that’s what turned the match around. They came together and played an incredible third set. Hernus and Ben finished the tournament for us on a very good note, and they have a lot to be proud of. Now they get to go to New York and measure themselves against some of the elite players. They proved this week that they belong there.”
Six other Georgia players wrapped up competition at the Bulldog Invitational Sunday in Athens. Austin Smith, Casey Kay and Garrett Brasseaux each earned singles wins, while Smith and Will Oliver added a doubles victory.
For Smith, it was his fourth straight singles win, and he finished the round-robin event with a combined 6-2 record. Brasseaux notched his third singles win of the weekend.
“Austin had a good finish for us, beating a player who had not lost this weekend,” said associate head coach Will Glenn. “He played some big ball when he needed to and that was impressive to see. He’s coming along in singles and in doubles and really played well this weekend. Marco competed well too. He lost a tough one to the tournament champion, but he kept battling back and showed that he’s on the right track. It was also good to see Casey finish with a win.”
Armstrong Atlantic’s Georgi Rumenov was named tournament champion with a 5-0 record.
Next up, the Bulldogs will travel to Mansfield, Texas, for the Futures of Mansfield Oct. 15-21.
Bulldog Invitational Sunday Results
Dan Regan/Georgi Rumenov (AA) d. Marco Nunez/Eric Diaz (UGA), 8-2
Will Oliver/Austin Smith (UGA) d. Alex Christ/Tyler Droll (FUR), 9-8(2)
Sven Lalic/Matus Mydla (AA) d. Casey Kay/Garrett Brasseaux (UGA), 8-6
Pablo Gor/Jaan Kononov (AA) d. Matt Browne/Ben Horst (FUR), 8-6
Austin Smith (UGA) d. Matus Mydla (AA), 6-3, 7-6(3)
Georgi Rumenov (AA) d. Marco Nunez (UGA), 6-3, 3-6, 6-4
Dan Regan (AA) d. Eric Diaz (UGA), 6-3, 6-2
Casey Kay (UGA) d. Tyler Droll (FUR), 6-3, 6-2
Sven Lalic (AA) d. Will Oliver (UGA), 6-2, 6-2
Garrett Brasseaux (UGA) d. Matt Browne (FUR), 6-3, 6-1
Jaan Kononov (AA) d. Ben Horst (FUR), 6-2, 6-1
Pablo Gor (AA) d. Alex Christ (FUR), 6-2, 6-0