April 9, 2014
ATHENS, Ga. --- The No. 9 Georgia men's tennis team (14-6, 9-1) will hit the road for the final weekend of the regular season, set to take on No. 33 Alabama on Friday night at 6 p.m. ET in Tuscaloosa, before squaring off with No. 29 Auburn on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. ET in Auburn.
The Bulldogs are currently tied for first place in the SEC standings with Texas A&M, and are aiming to lock up at least a share of the regular-season conference championship. A title would be Georgia's league-leading 37th overall and 28th in the regular season.
Head coach Manuel Diaz needs just one more win to record the 600th of his career.
Live scoring will be available on Georgiadogs.com all weekend.
LAST TIME OUT: The Georgia men's tennis team concluded its regular season home schedule with a 4-0 victory over LSU last Sunday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex, to go along with a 4-0 win over Arkansas on Friday for the weekend sweep.
The Bulldogs (14-6, 9-1 SEC) finished the regular season undefeated at home for the second straight season, and enter the final weekend of conference play tied with Texas A&M atop the league standings. The win also gave head coach Manuel Diaz a total of 599 for his career.
LOOKING AT THE CRIMSON TIDE: Alabama enters the weekend at 11-12 overall and 4-6 in the conference. The Crimson Tide are coming off a 4-0 loss to Texas A&M last weekend in College Station.
Alabama is paced by No. 98 Becker O'Shaughnessey's 17 singles wins, while No. 25 Daniil Proskura has 16. In doubles, the 22nd-ranked team of O'Shaughnessey and Proskura leads the way with nine wins.
Georgia is 51-6 all-time vs. the Crimson Tide, including a 5-2 win last season in Athens.
LOOKING AT THE TIGERS: Auburn will host No. 21 Tennessee on Friday night before the Georgia match, but enters the weekend at 14-10 overall and 4-6 in the SEC.
Last time out, the Tigers suffered a 4-0 loss to the Aggies.
Auburn is led by No. 61 Daniel Cochrane's 24 singles wins and 6-1 mark in the SEC, while Dennis Lengsfeld and Lukas Ollert are 18-8 on the year in doubles. AU's other doubles team of Cochrane and Oliver Plaskett are ranked No. 60 this week. Ollert is ranked No. 71 in singles, joining Cochrane in this week's poll.
Georgia is 51-4 in the all-time series, including a 4-0 shutout at home last season.
IN THE RANKINGS: The Bulldogs fell from No. 8 to No. 9 this week despite a pair of wins over Arkansas and LSU.
In singles, Austin Smith continues to lead the way for the Bulldogs, coming in at No. 18 and with a team-leading 31 wins. He is followed by Nathan Pasha at No. 32, Garrett Brasseaux at No. 73, and Ben Wagland at No. 76.
In doubles, Georgia's team of Wagland and Hernus Pieters are No. 12.
BRASSEAUX NAMED SEC TRI-PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Senior Garrett Brasseaux collected the first Southeastern Conference weekly honor of his career on April 9, named SEC Tri-Player of the Week according to an announcement by the league office.
Brasseaux shares the award with Tennessee's Mikelis Libietis and Texas A&M's Jordan Szabo, marking the first time the SEC has ever announced tri-players of the week.
The Mandeville, La., native went 3-0 on his Senior Day weekend, posting two doubles wins and one singles in 4-0 wins over Arkansas and LSU. His singles victory over Arkansas' Hall Fess on Friday night came as he played at No. 3 for the first time in his career, and he was first off the court for Georgia en route to the shutout of the Razorbacks. Brasseaux and partner Nathan Pasha were also first off in doubles that day, as Georgia picked up the early point. On Sunday vs. the Tigers, he and Pasha used a tiebreaker victory to even the doubles score at one match apiece before the Bulldogs went on to win the early point.
DIAZ APPROACHING ANOTHER MILESTONE: Georgia head coach Manuel Diaz - now in his 26th season at the helm - is nearing yet another career milestone. Having entered the season with 585 victories to his name, he now stands with 599 and is just one shy of the 600-win plateau.
Diaz has the ninth-most wins in NCAA Division I men's tennis history, and is second all-time on that list among SEC coaches behind only Bulldog legend Dan Magill, who won 706 matches in 33 seasons from 1955-88.
Only eight NCAA Division I men's head coaches in history have won 600 matches in a career.
Diaz won his 500th match on March 15, 2010 against Vanderbilt, then snagged No. 550 in a 2012 dual match also against the Commodores.
ON DECK: The Bulldogs will travel to the 2014 SEC Men's Tennis Championships next week, set for April 18-21 in Nashville. Georgia will learn its seeding and first opponent on Sunday evening, after all regular season matches have concluded.