April 16, 2014
Nathan Pasha is a junior from Atlanta on the men's tennis team. He will be writing a blog exclusively for Georgiadogs.com throughout the 2014 season.
This past weekend was full of special moments. We earned Coach Diaz’s 600th win and won our conference for the second year in a row! Winning the SEC regular season title was the first of our three major goals this season. Our second goal is to win the SEC tournament, and our third goal is to win NCAAs. I think the main key to us reaching our first goal was our positive response to losses. After each loss, Coach Diaz, Coach Glenn, and Coach Venables approached practice the next day with a sense of excitement and a sense of urgency to get better. Their attitudes motivated us to improve on any weaknesses that caused us to fall short in competition. Coach Diaz's ability to get us to bounce back after a loss is one of his best qualities as a coach, which is why he reached his 600th win this weekend and won another SEC championship.
Manny's 600th win came at the University of Alabama. Our doubles point against Alabama was extremely tight, with all three of our doubles matches going to tie breakers. We won the doubles point with wins at No. 1 and 3 in the breaker. Garrett and I at two doubles were tied at 2-all in the match breaker when the doubles point got clinched. Nick was off the court first in singles with a quick 6-2, 6-0 win. Ben was second off the court with a 6-3, 6-4 victory, and Hernus clinched the match for us, winning his match 6-2, 6-3. We all expected Hernus to celebrate after his clinching volley winner, but he did absolutely nothing. He didn’t give the slightest reaction of excitement. I guess someone forgot to tell him that he clinched Manny's 600th win, and Texas A&M had lost earlier in the night, meaning we recaptured the lead in the SEC. Garrett and Hernus congratulated Manny on his 600th win by dumping a five-gallon cooler of ice water on him while he was giving an interview, and mistakenly hit him in the back of the head with the cooler, but it’s the thought that counts, right? Manny is one of the most awesome coaches I've ever had and is extremely deserving of all the success he has received in his career. Our focus quickly shifted from Manny's 600th win, to securing our spot as outright SEC champions with a win at Auburn.
Auburn was probably our most dominant win of the year. Our whole team was extremely focused during the warm-up, carrying a no-nonsense, business-like mentality. We won the doubles point at 1 and 2 doubles, and we won three quick singles matches at 1, 2 and 5 to earn the SEC championship! We are now mentally locked in on capturing our next major goal of the season with an SEC tournament victory. As a team, we look forward to the challenges that await us in this week's tournament.