Diaz, Smith Garner ITA Regional Awards
Manuel Diaz earned the 2014 ITA Southeast Region Coach of the Year award.

May 13, 2014

ATHENS, Ga. --- The Georgia tennis team pulled in two Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Southeast Regional awards when the lists were revealed by the organization on Tuesday morning, with head coach Manuel Diaz earning Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year honors and sophomore Austin Smith named the region's Player to Watch.

For Diaz, it is the seventh such honor and second in the last three seasons, while Smith earned the first ITA regional award of his career after being named first team All-SEC in April and the SEC Player of the Week once in March.

Diaz guided the Bulldogs to the program's 37th overall and 28th regular season Southeastern Conference title in 2014, his 24th SEC championship in 26 seasons at the helm. He also won the 600th match of his storied career on the road at Alabama on April 11, and led the team the NCAA round of 16 for the 11th consecutive season with first and second round victories last weekend.

Smith - who has been ranked inside the singles top-20 for most of the season - leads eighth-ranked Georgia in wins heading into the NCAA Championships final site, with a singles record of 35-10 and a team-best six-match winning streak along with 14 wins over ranked opponents. In doubles, he is 16-2 at No. 3 with partner Eric Diaz and will play in the NCAA singles championships following the team tournament next week.

No. 10 seed Georgia will take on 7th-seeded North Carolina on Fri., May 16 at 4 p.m. in the round of 16 in Athens.



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