ATHENS, Ga. --- The Georgia men’s tennis team came in at No. 6 in the first team ranking of 2013, according to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA)’s release earlier today.
The Bulldogs return three lineup regulars from last season’s NCAA quarterfinalist squad that ended the year ranked No. 5 by the ITA. Additionally, three Bulldogs have been ranked in the singles poll as well as two doubles teams.
Senior KU Singh leads the way at No. 8 in the nation following a 6-3 fall season. In 2012 – Singh’s first season with the Bulldogs – he went 25-5, including a 22-3 mark in dual matches and 8-3 in the SEC with nine ranked wins. He received his first career All-America honors by finishing in the top-10 of the final ITA poll as an individual.
Junior Hernus Pieters attained a career-best ranking of No. 16 after he went 9-3 in the fall. Pieters reached the finals of the Southern Intercollegiate Championships and the quarterfinals of the ITA Southeast Regional.
Sophomore Nathan Pasha came in at a career-best No. 19, giving Georgia three players in the top-20 to start. Pasha’s fall saw him amass a record of 15-3 with four wins over ranked opponents. His highlight came as he won three qualifying matches to reach the main draw of the All-American Championships in Tulsa, where he then won a main draw match over Ole Miss’ Jonas Lutjen. Pasha is the reigning ITA Southeast Freshman of the Year.
In doubles, Georgia’s team of Pieters and freshman Ben Wagland surged to No. 5 nationally from No. 35 in the fall preseason poll after their 11-2 fall campaign. The duo won the consolation draw of the All-American Championships to secure an automatic qualifying bid to the prestigious USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships in New York City, where they advanced to the finals. Wagland is also ranked No. 29 with Pasha.
Sixth-ranked Georgia opens the 2013 spring season Jan. 18-21 at the National Collegiate Tennis Classic in Palm Springs, Calif. Dual match play begins at home Jan. 25 vs. Vanderbilt as part of the ITA Kickoff.