Bulldogs Return Home To Face ETSU (VIDEO)

Feb. 4, 2014

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ATHENS, Ga. --- The third-ranked Georgia men's tennis team (2-2) returns home for a mid-week meeting with East Tennessee State on Thurs., Feb. 6 at 3:30 p.m. at the Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Facility in Athens.

The Bulldogs are coming off their first two dual match losses of the season last weekend in California, falling to a pair of top-five opponents in No. 2 UCLA and No. 4 Southern California.

Live scoring and the Georgia Tennis Live Chat will be available on Georgiadogs.com beginning just before first serve. Admission to the match is free.

LOOKING AT THE BUCS: No. 68 ETSU enters Thursday's match with an overall record of 2-5, most recently picking up a 5-2 road win over No. 58 Yale on Sunday. The Bucs' other win of the season came against Brown.

The squad does not currently have any players ranked in singles or doubles, while they are lead by Ismael Merino's four singles wins. Two doubles teams each have three wins so far in 2014.

Georgia is 8-0 all-time vs. ETSU, including a 5-2 win last season in Athens.

LAST TIME OUT: Georgia had a tough weekend on the West Coast, dropping dual match decisions to No. 4 Southern California (4-0) and No. 2 UCLA (4-3) at the SEC/Pac-12 Showdown at Marks Tennis Stadium on the USC campus on Saturday and Sunday. The losses dropped Georgia to 2-2 on the season.

A bright spot for the Bulldogs was the No. 3 doubles team of Austin Smith and Eric Diaz, who won both their matches at the tournament to improve to 4-0 in dual matches in 2014 and 5-0 overall in 2013-14. Senior Garrett Brasseaux saw his team-leading nine-match singles winning streak come to an end on Sunday with just his second loss of the year and first since October.

IN THE RANKINGS: The Georgia men's tennis team came in at No. 3 in the 2014 ITA preseason rankings released on Jan. 2, and has remained there in the two subsequent editions. Another edition is expected out sometime on Feb. 4.

The Bulldogs return the top five singles players from last year's squad that reached the NCAA semifinals. It marked the third straight year Georgia has been ranked in the preseason top-five. UGA finished the 2013 season ranked third after the trip to the "Final Four."

In the singles rankings, Austin Smith is No. 12, followed by Nathan Pasha at No. 21, Garrett Brasseaux at No. 47, Ben Wagland at No. 48 and Nick Wood at No. 102.

Smith - unranked in the fall - led the Bulldogs with 15 wins, including seven against ranked opponents. He reached the quarterfinals of the All-American Championships in Tulsa, Okla., and also made the final of the SEC Fall Classic in Nashville. Pasha notched 13 wins, including titles at the ITA Southeast Regional Championships at Georgia Tech and the Southern Intercollegiate Championships in Athens.

In doubles, Hernus Pieters and Ben Wagland are ranked 12th, while the tandem of Pasha and Pieters is No. 59.

ON DECK: The Bulldogs will next head to Houston to take part in the 2014 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Team Indoor Championships Feb. 14-17, hosted by Texas A&M.

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