May 19, 2013
URBANA, Ill. --- The Georgia men’s tennis team was back at it on Sunday – one day after punching its ticket to the NCAA semifinals for the sixth time in the last eight seasons. The Bulldogs went through an hour-long practice at the University of Illinois’ Atkins Indoor Tennis Center before staying to watch the Bulldogs women’s tennis team take on Stanford in their quarterfinal match.
Georgia (26-4) reached Monday's “Final Four” with yesterday’s thrilling 4-2 win over the No. 11 seed Pepperdine, avenging last season’s loss to the Waves in the quarterfinals on the home courts in Athens. The Bulldogs were able to rebound after dropping the doubles point to win three first sets in singles, then went on claim the necessary four victories at Nos. 2, 3, 5, and 6. Junior Garrett Brasseaux has clinched both of the Bulldogs’ matches in Illinois.
“We had a little less than an hour of practice this morning – not really emphasizing anything in particular but making sure the guys got up, ate a good breakfast, and stepped out here to feel the ball,” said head coach Manuel Diaz. “We want them to keep their rhythm and most importantly just stay loose and take care of their bodies. We talked a little bit about yesterday and the great effort they put forth, and talked about what we need to do to be ready for tomorrow.”
“Practice today was to make sure we’re fresh for Virginia tomorrow,” said freshman Marco Nunez, whose third-set tiebreak win yesterday gave Georgia its third point. “We practiced indoors again like we did before Pepperdine, just to keep the superstition going. For me, it’s my first year at UGA and I know how big it is for us to be back in the Final Four. We’ve worked all year for this. We’re happy but we’re not going to settle – we want to get to the finals.”
Virginia moved into the semifinals with yesterday’s 4-0 shutout of Tennessee. The Cavaliers are undefeated at 28-0 on the season, and have now reached the “Final Four” four years in a row. UVA and Georgia have faced each other twice before in the semifinals, with the Bulldogs winning both matches on their way to the 2007 and 2008 national titles. In the all-time series, the Bulldogs lead the Cavaliers 14-2.
Tomorrow’s match is slated for 2 p.m. ET at Illinois’ Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex. Georgiadogs.com will offer live chat, video and scoring. The other men's semifinal features No. 1 UCLA and No. 5 Ohio State. The final is set for Tuesday, May 21 at 2 p.m. ET.