June 5, 2014
ATHENS, Ga. --- The University of Georgia men’s tennis team did not have the start to the 2014 spring season that it may have hoped for, but the Bulldogs wound up with a finish it is used to: a Southeastern Conference title.
After a disappointing three losses at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in February, resulting in a rare below-.500 record for Georgia, the Bulldogs came home, regrouped, and went on to win the SEC regular season crown for the 28th time, giving the program 37 overall championships. Georgia’s only conference loss of the 2014 season was to Texas A&M on the road, as the team finished with an overall record of 18-8 (11-1), reaching the NCAA Round of 16 for the 11th consecutive season, and ending ranked No. 9 in the ITA poll.
• Head coach Manuel Diaz recorded his 600th career victory on April 11 at Alabama, becoming just the 10th Division I men’s tennis coach to reach that plateau; after the 2014 season, Diaz stands with a career record of 603-130.
• The team moved out of the NCAA first and second round “regionals” for the 11th straight time with home wins over Jacksonville State and NC State to reach the final site on the home courts. The NCAA Championships round of 16 and beyond as well as the individual singles & doubles tournaments were held in Athens May 15-26.
• Georgia’s doubles team of freshman Ben Wagland and junior Hernus Pieters advanced to the round of 16 of the NCAA Doubles Championships; by entering as a No. 5-8 seed, the duo secured All-America honors for the second straight season; they earned the award two-fold by ending the season ranked in the ITA top-10
• Junior Nathan Pasha reached the singles round of 16 to lock up his own All-America honors - the first of his career - making Georgia one of only seven men’s programs with three or more All-Americans in 2013-14; Manuel Diaz has now coached 33 players to 73 All-America honors in his 26 seasons
• Austin Smith - who led the team in singles wins with 35 - led Georgia in the final singles ranking, coming in at No. 22. Nathan Pasha finished No. 30, followed by Garrett Brasseaux at No. 63 and Ben Wagland at No. 79. In doubles, Hernus Pieters and Ben Wagland were No. 9 to conclude the season.
• Georgia bids farewell to seniors Garrett Brasseaux and Hernus Pieters. Pieters concludes his career with 118 singles wins, good for eighth all-time at UGA, and with 106 doubles wins, good for sixth all-time. His combined mark of 224 combined wins is also sixth.
Georgia returns four of six starters from the singles lineup, while welcoming in the No. 2-ranked recruiting class in the nation for 2014-15, including South Africa junior standout Wayne Montgomery, redshirt freshman Paul Oosterbaan, and Georgia natives Peter Bertran and Andy Martinez.