Bulldogs To Kick Off NCAA Championships
May 8, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. --- The second-ranked Georgia men's tennis team will begin competition in the 2013 NCAA Championships as the No. 3 seed, hosting first and second round action Friday and and Saturday, May 10-11, at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. The Bulldogs will meet America East champion Binghamton (16-9) in Friday's first round at 1 p.m., while Wake Forest (20-8) and Northwestern (21-9) will square off in the day's first match at 10 a.m. The Demon Deacons are ranked No. 19 in the nation and are a 17-32 seed, while Northwestern is No. 36 nationally and a 33-48 seed in the field. Binghamton is unranked and a 49-64 seed.
The two winners will meet in second round action on Saturday at 3 p.m. with a berth in the round of 16 on the line. The round of 16 through the team final - as well as the individual singles and doubles tournaments - will be held May 16-27 at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Center on the campus of the University of Illinois. The Illini are hosting the event for the first time.
Georgia (22-4) is coming off the program's 35th and 36th Southeastern Conference titles as the Bulldogs swept the regular season and tournament crowns in 2013. Georgia enters on a 13-match winning streak and has won 17 of the last 18 dating back to Feb. 24.
Georgiadogs.com will offer the Georgia Tennis Live Chat, as well as live scoring and video streaming, throughout the duration of the weekend.
GEORGIA IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT: The Bulldogs will be making their 35th overall appearance in the tournament and 30th straight. Georgia reached the NCAA quarterfinals in 2012, and has reached the finals in three of the last seven seasons.
In all, the Bulldogs own six NCAA championships, most recently winning in back-to-back seasons in 2007-08.
Georgia is 90-29 all-time in the tournament, while the Bulldogs have moved out of the regional rounds nine years in a row and 12 out of 14 times since the NCAA adopted the current format in 1999.
FOUR BULLDOGS EARN NCAA INDIVIDUAL BIDS: Four members of the Georgia men's tennis team were awarded at-large bids to the individual singles & doubles tournaments to be held May 22-27 at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex/Atkins Tennis Center in Urbana, Illinois. The individual championships will follow the team tournament set for May 16-21, also at Illinois.
Georgia's four selections tied with Virginia for the most of any school.
Playing for Georgia in the singles tournament will be sophomore Nathan Pasha (30-13) and freshman Ben Wagland (23-7) - each making their first appearances. In doubles, the team of Wagland and Hernus Pieters were selected as a No. 5-8 seed, which locks up All-America honors for the duo, while Pasha and Garrett Brasseaux were also chosen to the doubles field. Pieters earned All-America honors after competing in the doubles tournament with Javier Garrapiz as a freshman in 2011.
IN THE RANKINGS: The Georgia men's tennis team jumped one spot to No. 2 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) team ranking released May 2 and will hold there throughout the duration of the NCAA Championships kicking off May 10. Georgia (22-4) was awarded the No. 3 national seed for the NCAA Championships.
In the singles poll, freshman Ben Wagland reached a new career high at No. 33. Sophomore Nathan Pasha came in at No. 47 with junior Hernus Pieters at No. 115. In doubles, the team of Wagland and Pieters held steady at No. 5 this week, while Pasha and Garrett Brasseaux are No. 15 and Pasha and Wagland are No. 76.
WAGLAND ENTERS ON A ROLL: Georgia freshman Ben Wagland enters the NCAA Championships hot, with a record of 23-7 in singles including a four-match winning streak. He is 25-9 in doubles with Hernus Pieters, also on a four-match tear there. Wagland was named the MVP of the SEC Tournament and to the SEC All-Freshman and SEC first teams as a rookie. His teammate Nathan Pasha was also named first team All-SEC this season.
GEORGIA SWEEPS 2013 SEC CHAMPIONSHIPS: Georgia used a road win over Arkansas on April 7 to clinch the 2013 Southeastern Conference regular-season championship. The Bulldogs defeated the No. 53 Razorbacks 4-1 at the Billingsley Tennis Center in Fayetteville, securing a 35th overall conference title and the program's 27th regular-season crown - the most of any SEC school.
The Bulldogs then defended it by winning the SEC Tournament title as well, sweeping both for just the seventh time, to take the program's 36th conference title overall. The tournament win gave Georgia the automatic bid into the NCAA field of 64.
700 & 20: The Bulldogs' first match in last month's SEC Tournament served as a milestone for the program, marking head coach Manuel Diaz's 700th match coached. In 25 seasons, Diaz has compiled an overall record of 581-121 (.828). That victory over Kentucky in the SEC quarterfinals on April 19 also gave Georgia a 20-win season for the 10th straight year and 21st in Diaz's 25 seasons.
ON DECK: Should the Bulldogs advance out of the first & second rounds, the round of 16 through the team final, as well as the individual singles and doubles tournaments, are set for May 16-27 on the campus of the University of Illinois in Champaign, Ill.
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