Freshman Austin Smith
Feb. 22, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. --- The eighth-ranked University of Georgia men’s tennis team (5-3) will play outdoors in Henry Feild Stadium at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex for the first time in 2013 when it hosts Furman and East Tennessee State on Sunday and Monday, respectively.
Georgia wrapped up the indoor portion of the 2012-13 campaign last weekend at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Seattle.
The Bulldogs will take on the Paladins on Sun., Feb. 24 at 1 p.m. before turning around to meet ETSU on Mon., Feb. 25 at 2:30 p.m. Both matches will be held outdoors, weather permitting, and will include live video and live stat coverage on Georgiadogs.com in addition to the Georgia Tennis Live Chat.
Admission is free and open to the public.
LOOKING AT FURMAN: The Paladins enter the weekend at 2-4 overall, and snapped a four-match losing streak last time out in collecting a 5-2 win over Presbyterian on Feb. 10. Furman will meet Alabama on Saturday before making the trip to Athens.
Furman does not currently have any players ranked in the ITA singles or doubles poll. Statistically, Furman has four players with two wins each in the dual match season to lead the way in singles, while in doubles the team of Joel Cook and Andrew Mellow, at 2-2, are Furman’s top duo.
Georgia boasts a perfect 35-0 all-time record vs. Furman, including last season’s 6-1 win in Athens.
LOOKING AT ETSU: East Tennessee State is 4-3 overall in 2013 following a 4-2 loss to Nebraska on Feb. 16. The Bucs were ranked No. 74 in the ITA team rankings on Feb. 5 before sliding out in the most recent poll. The team currently has no players ranked individually.
On the stat sheet, five ETSU players have collected double-digit wins, led by Rogerio Ribeiro with a singles record of 18-10. Roger Ordeig is next with 15. In doubles, the team of Juan Ramirez and Jorge Varon leads the way for the Bucs with their 12-4 record in 2012-13, including a 3-2 mark in dual matches playing at No. 2.
Georgia is 7-0 in the series vs. ETSU, most recently collecting a 6-1 win over the Bucs in 2012 in Athens at the Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Facility.
LAST TIME OUT: The Georgia men’s tennis team (5-3) went 1-2 on the weekend at the 2013 ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Seattle, earning a 4-0 win over Ole Miss in the round of 16 last Friday before suffering a 4-1 setback to No. 3 UCLA in the quarterfinals Saturday and a hard-fought 4-2 loss to Kentucky Sunday in the quarterfinal consolation round.
The Bulldogs were without senior KU Singh on the trip and without freshman Nick Wood for the UCLA match, but still managed to win the doubles point all three days while going a combined 6-1 in completed doubles matches in the tournament.
YOUNG PUPS: Georgia has gotten strong play at the outset of the season from the team’s freshmen. Rookie Ben Wagland has compiled a 12-5 mark overall and a 4-2 record in dual matches, including a clinch vs. VCU to send Georgia back to National Indoors. Austin Smith is 11-5 overall and 4-2 in duals, while Nick Wood - who joined the team in January - is 4-1.
IN THE RANKINGS: Georgia came in at No. 8 in the Feb. 19 edition of the ITA team ranking after being ranked No. 6 for each of the first four polls in 2013. With that, the Bulldogs have now been ranked in the top six every week since May 2, 2011 and in the top-10 since March 29, 2011.
Individually, Georgia boasts two players in the singles top 25 in KU Singh (No. 8) and Nathan Pasha (No. 21). In doubles, the team of Pieters and freshman Ben Wagland are No. 5 while Singh and Pasha are No. 27 and Wagland and Pasha No. 29.
ON DECK: The Bulldogs remain at home next week, kicking off SEC play vs. Tennessee on Fri., March 1 at 2:30 p.m. at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.