May 22, 2012
ATHENS, Ga. --- A record five members of the University of Georgia men's tennis team received bids into the NCAA singles field of 64, which begins Wednesday at 10 a.m. at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens.
Georgia's previous high was four entrants into the field in both 2007 and 2008 after the Bulldogs won the team championship both years. Five participants in singles ties for the most in the nation this year with Southern California.
Senior Wil Spencer - a No. 9-16 seed - will lead the Georgia charge into the individual portion of the tournament, joined by fellow seniors Sadio Doumbia and Ignacio Taboada, junior KU Singh, and sophomore Hernus Pieters. Spencer and Doumbia are playing in the second individual tournament of their careers, while 2012 marks the first appearance for Taboada, Singh, and Pieters.
Spencer - whose top-16 seeding earns him his second All-America nod in two years - enters the singles at 30-12 on the season and will take on Georgia Tech's Juan Spir in the first round. Spencer owns a team-best 19 ranked wins and has been ranked inside the top-10 or just outside of it all season.
Doumbia enters at 32-15 on the season with five clinched matches. The two-time All-SEC selection will take on Washington's Kyle McMorrow in first-round action. Taboada is just one win shy of 100 for his career and is set to face Baylor's Mate Zsiga with a current record of 34-10 for the season and 99 singles wins in his four seasons. The milestone win would make him the 15th Bulldog all-time to accomplish the feat and second this season, as Spencer won his 100th match April 14 vs. Tennessee.
Singh is 25-4 since joining the squad in January, and will also take on a Yellow Jacket, meeting Kevin King in the first round, while Pieters – who leads the team in wins with 35 – will square off with Oklahoma’s Costin Paval.
Georgia players have won the NCAA singles title four times: Mikael Pernfors in 1984 and 1985 and Matias Boeker in 2001 and 2002. Pernfors beat teammate George Bezecny for the crown in 1985. The Bulldogs have won three NCAA doubles titles including Ola Malmqvist and Allen Miller in 1983, Boeker and Travis Parrott in 2001, and John Isner and Antonio Ruiz in 2005.
Georgia is hosting the NCAA Championships for the 30th time in 2012. The Bulldogs reached the quarterfinals of the team championships, falling 4-3 to Pepperdine here on Sunday.
The men's singles draw is attached, with times included.