No. 7 Buldoges Travel To Ole Miss, Mississippi State
ATHENS-----The No. 7 Georgia men's tennis team (9-3, 1-0 SEC) will play its first SEC road matches of the season when it travels to Ole Miss (8-2, 2-0 SEC) and Mississippi State (12-2, 2-0 SEC) this weekend. The Bulldogs will take on the 11th-ranked Rebels in Oxford Friday at 3 p.m. ET before they face Mississippi State Sunday at 2 p.m. in Starkville.
Georgia enters the weekend on a four-match winning streak, including a 4-1 victory in the SEC opener last weekend at home against Tennessee.
LOOKING AT OLE MISS & MISSISSIPPI STATE: Ole Miss traveled to Tuscaloosa last Friday and Auburn last Sunday and came away with 4-3 victories in both matches. The Rebels currently boast four ranked singles players with No. 5 Jonas Lutjen, No. 12 Nik Scholtz, No. 55 William Kallberg, and No. 106 Stefan Lindmark, who was named SEC Freshman of the Week on Wednesday. In doubles, No. 5 Lutjen and Scholtz are the highest ranked duo followed by No. 49 Kallberg and Adrian Skogeng. Friday will mark the second meeting between Georgia and Ole Miss as the Bulldogs defeated the Rebels 4-0 at the ITA National Indoor Tournament on Feb. 15 in Seattle.
Mississippi State earned road wins over Auburn and Alabama last weekend to start its conference slate. The Bulldogs defeated the 37th-ranked Tigers 4-3 last Friday and the Crimson Tide 4-2 Sunday. In singles, MSU is led by No. 23 Romain Bogaert, No. 59 Malte Stopp, and No. 93 James Chaundry. In doubles, Stopp and Jordan Angus are currently ranked No. 24. This will be Georgia's first trip to Starkville since it won the SEC Tournament there in 2012.
LAST TIME OUT: The ninth-ranked Bulldogs won all three doubles matches and all six singles matches in straight sets en route to a 7-0 win over William & Mary Monday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
Freshman Ben Wagland clinched the match at No. 1 with a 6-0, 6-4 win over the Tribe's Anton Andersson. It was the third straight match clincher for Wagland and the fourth overall, and it was also the first time Wagland has played No. 1 for the Bulldogs, who claimed their first 7-0 win of the season.
DIAZ'S RECORD WATCH: Also on Monday, Bulldog head coach Manuel Diaz - now in his 25th season as head coach - tied retired Kentucky coach Dennis Emery for second place on the SEC's all-time wins list with 568.
In first place all-time is Bulldog legend Dan Magill, who collected an SEC record 706 victories in his 34 seasons from 1955-88.
YOUNG PUPS: Georgia has gotten strong play at the outset of the season from the team's freshmen. Rookie Ben Wagland has compiled a 16-5 mark overall and an 8-2 record in dual matches, including a clinch vs. VCU to send Georgia back to National Indoors. Austin Smith is 14-5 overall and also 7-2 in duals, while Nick Wood was out to a 4-1 start before suffering an ankle injury.
Marco Nunez won the first three dual matches he played in, snagging one victory each at No. 5 and No. 6 vs. ETSU and Furman, respectively, and adding straight-set wins in the 4-1 SEC opening win vs. Tennessee and the 7-0 win over William & Mary.
IN THE RANKINGS: Georgia came in at No. 7 in the March 5 edition of the ITA team rankings, moving up two spots from the previous week. With that, the Bulldogs have now been ranked in the top-10 every week since March 29, 2011.
Individually, Georgia boasts four players in the singles rankings, including KU Singh (No. 11), Nathan Pasha (No. 42), Hernus Pieters (No. 72), and Ben Wagland (No. 95).
In doubles, the team of Wagland and Pieters is No. 6 this week, followed by Pasha and Singh at No. 23 and Pasha and Brasseaux at No. 32. The latter duo is 9-1 on the season and 6-0 in dual matches, recently named to the All-Tournament Team of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships at No. 2 doubles.