Manuel Diaz led Georgia to its 34th SEC title earlier this season.
May 5, 2012
It was a very successful trip to Starkville and the SEC tournament. We achieved what we set out to do, win our 34th title overall. This was our league leading 8th tournament title. And it did not come easy.
We started our run defeating #17th ranked Auburn 4-0 on Friday. Then we had to play our hosts, #9 ranked Mississippi State. It was a fantastic setting, with a full capacity crowd of about 1,500 fans and our Bulldogs played one of our finest matches all year. We began by playing the best doubles point all season. All three teams #1-Hernus and Sadio, #2-Nacho and Nathan and #3-KU and Wil played lights out. All our work and looking for the "right combinations" paid off.
The great play continued on both sides and Miss. St. made a huge turnaround and pushed us to our limits, but we showed great toughness and composure and clinched 4-3 with KU and Wil Spencer winning back to back just seconds apart after State had taken a 3-2 lead.
This gave our team a lot of confidence as we took on Kentucky, who had come back on us in Athens after we took a 3-2 lead on them. Our great doubles continued on the final, and we got quick wins from Hernus at #6, Pasha at #5 and that set up Nacho for the clinch at #4. It was a great win for Nacho who had tasted defeated in the previous encounter with his opponent. Nacho was not going to have any of that again and played one of his better matches under pressure was he was named SEC tournament Most Valuable Player.
Our players have been very busy preparing and taking exams as well as doing a lot of fitness and conditioning workout. They are committed to being the fittest team in the NCAA tournament.
Things seem to be coming together and the draw is out. We got the overall #2 seed and host a Regional. We play South Carolina State in Athens on May 18th at 12 noon and in the other match Boise State and FSU will battle to see who advances to the second round. It is going to be a great challenge.
The Final 16 site is again in Athens and we are busy sprucing up our place for everyone coming in. It will be the 30th time we host this event. The Women begin with the round of 16 on Thursday the 17th and the Men follow with a Friday start on the next day. We hope you can attend and support us in this great endeavor to be the best!