Pasha, Pieters Reach ITA Regional Quarterfinals
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.-----Georgia’s Third-seeded Hernus Pieters and eighth-seeded Nathan Pasha each won two matches Saturday to advance to the quarterfinals of the ITA Southeast Regional Championships at Florida State.
Pieters notched a pair of straight set wins, including a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Florida A&M’s Chidi Gabriel and a 6-2, 6-4 win over Miami’s Wilfredo Gonzales. Pasha rolled past Georgia Tech’s Vikram Hundal, 6-1, 6-0, in his first match, then held off Florida State’s Dominic Cotrone, 3-6, 6-2, 7-6(5). With two wins apiece, Pieters and Pasha improved their fall records to 10-2 and 13-2, respectively.
“Overall it was a very good day for us,” said head coach Manuel Diaz. “We are looking forward to seeing Nathan and Hernus play in the quarterfinals tomorrow. They will face some very good players, but they are playing well themselves.”
Bulldog freshmen Austin Smith and Ben Wagland also reached the round of 16 with wins to start the day on Saturday. Both players won the first sets of their next matches, but seventh-seeded Jordan Kelly-Houston rallied to beat Smith, while second seeded Juan Spir edged Wagland in the third set.
“We were probably a couple of points away from having two more in the quarters,” Diaz said. “You have to give those guys credit for hanging tough against our freshmen. Kelly-Houston and Spir are experienced players and will probably be the No. 1 players at their respective schools. It was a tremendous experience for our guys. They are disappointed with the loss, but these are the types of matches that will make them tougher and better in the long run.”
In doubles, second-seeded Pasha and Garrett Brasseaux downed Georgia State’s Victor Valente and Lucas Santa Ana,8-4 to reach the semifinals. They will face North Florida’s Moritz Buerchner and Norbert Nemcsek Sunday for a spot in the final.
In the consolation draw, Casey Kay advanced to the quarterfinals with a 7-5, 6-3 win over Matthija Verdam of Georgia Southern and a 3-6, 6-3, 1-0(10-8) win over Miami’s Omar Aly. Will Oliver won his opening round match against UCF’s Jorge Blasco, then fell to Florida Atlantic’s Jose Fantova.
Play resumes Sunday with two rounds of singles followed by the doubles semifinals. The finals for singles and doubles will be played on Monday. The winners will earn automatic bids to the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships in New York.
Saturday’s ITA Regional Results
Main Draw Singles
Round of 32
[9-16] Moritz Buerchner (UNF) d. Marco Nunez (UGA), 4-6, 6-4, 6-1
[9-16] Austin Smith (UGA) d. Lucas Santa Ana (GSU), 4-6, 7-5, 6-1
 Hernus Pieters (UGA) d. Chidi Gabriel (FAMU), 6-3, 6-2
Victor Valente (GSU) d. Garrett Brasseaux (UGA), 6-3, 6-2
Juan Melian (GT) d. Eric Diaz (UGA), 7-5, 6-3
 Nathan Pasha (UGA) d. Vikram Hundal (GT), 6-1, 6-0
[9-16] Ben Wagland (UGA) d. Admire Mushonga (FAMU), 6-1, 6-3
Round of 16
 Jordan Kelly-Houston (FSU) d. [9-16] Austin Smith (UGA), 2-6, 6-1, 7-5
 Hernus Pieters (UGA) d. [9-16] Wilfredo Gonzales (UM), 6-2, 6-4
 Nathan Pasha (UGA) d. [9-16] Dominic Cotrone (FSU), 3-6, 6-2, 7-6(5)
 Juan Spir (GT) d. [9-16] Ben Wagland (UGA), 6-7(1), 7-6(4), 6-4
Round of 32
Will Oliver (UGA) d. Jorge Blasco (UCF), 6-3, 2-6, 1-0(10-5)
Casey Kay (UGA) d. Matthija Verdam (GSU), 7-5, 6-3
Round of 16
Jose Fantova (FAU) d. Will Oliver (UGA), 5-7, 6-0, 1-0(10-6)
Casey Kay (UGA) d. Omar Aly (UM), 3-6, 6-3, 1-0(10-8)
 Garrett Brasseaux/Nathan Pasha (UGA) d. Victor Valente/Lucas Santa Ana (GSU), 8-4