ATHENS, Ga. --- The Georgia men’s tennis doubles team of junior Hernus Pieters and freshman Ben Wagland won a pair of matches Thursday on the first day of the prestigious USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships, moving into the quarterfinals at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center in New York City.
The Bulldog tandem started the day strong, defeating host Columbia University’s pairing of Winston Lin and Bert Vancura, 8-3. They then turned right around to beat Virginia’s Alex Domijan and Harrison Richmond by an 8-5 score. Pieters and Wagland will meet the winner of this evening’s Virginia Tech-Ole Miss match in quarterfinal action tomorrow.
In other National Indoor action, senior All-American and 10th-ranked KU Singh fell narrowly in his first round singles match to Pepperdine’s Sebastian Fanselow, 7-6, 6-4, and will head for the consolation draw beginning tomorrow.
“It was a great start – our doubles team played two outstanding matches,” said head coach Manuel Diaz. “Both Hernus and Ben are playing well – serving and returning extremely well. They’re excited to be in the quarterfinals tomorrow, so we’ll wait and see who we play and they’ll be ready to go.”
“KU played a lot of good tennis, but was just more inconsistent than he usually is,” Diaz said. “A couple of points made the difference. He has to play the bigger points better. He had four set points in the first set and it wound up coming down to the last game of the match. He almost came back from 15-40 but it wasn’t meant to be.”
The rest of the Georgia squad will begin play tomorrow in the annual Bulldog Scramble at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. The round robin features players from Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi State, and East Tennessee State. Play kicks off Friday morning at 9:30 a.m. and continues through Sunday.
Results of both tournaments will be posted to Georgiadogs.com each day as the squad rounds out its 2012 fall season.