ATHENS-----The third-ranked Georgia men's tennis team ran its winning streak to six matches with a 4-1 victory over No. 12 Texas A&M Sunday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
The Bulldogs (15-4, 7-1 SEC) will enter the final two weeks of the regular season alone in first place in the overall SEC standings as no other team has fewer than three conference losses.
With the win, Georgia also remained perfect at home this season with a 10-0 record. Sunday's match began outdoors, but was moved to the Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Facility during singles due to rain.
"We had a few curveballs thrown our way, but we competed well," said UGA coach Manuel Diaz. "We seemed to gain confidence as we went along. Where this team is really impressing me is they aren't getting flustered. They are acting like a veteran team. We're playing well under pressure right now and we're growing up as a team. It seemed to be a dogfight out there. It was tough on every court, but I'm really impressed with our team."
Texas A&M (13-10, 4-4 SEC) edged the Bulldogs in doubles to take the 1-0 lead. Georgia won the first competed match at No. 2 where the No. 41 team of Garrett Brasseaux and Nathan Pasha beat 25th-ranked Harrison Adams and Shane Vinsant, 8-3. The Aggies answered at No. 3 where Jeremy Efferding and Jordan Szabo beat KU Singh and Austin Smith, 8-2, then A&M clinched the point at No. 1 as 11th-ranked Junior Ore and Jackson Withrow defeated sixth-ranked Hernus Pieters and Ben Wagland, 8-6.
Soon after singles began, play was halted for 28 minutes due to rain and the match was moved indoors. No. 41 Pasha gave Georgia its first point with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Adams at No. 3, then Pieters defeated No. 93 Vinsant, 6-4, 7-5 at No. 4. Pieters rallied from a 5-3 deficit in the second set to give the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead.
At No. 1, 11th-ranked Singh extended the lead to 3-1 with a 7-6(5), 7-5 win over No. 40 Efferding, then No. 64 Wagland clinched his team-leading sixth match of the season with a 7-6(3), 7-6(6) win over Ore at No. 2.
"I think everyone is playing better as the season goes along," Wagland said. "Even after we lost the doubles point, everyone was fighting hard. (Ore) was playing great tennis and serving well. It came down to a couple of points and I played well in both tiebreakers."
Smith led No. 118 Withrow, 7-5, 5-2 at No. 5 when the match was suspended, while Marco Nunez led Szabo, 3-1, at No. 6.
The Bulldogs will return to action next weekend when they travel to LSU and Arkansas. Georgia will then close out the regular season at home against Auburn and Alabama April 12 and 14.
#3 Georgia 4, #12 Texas A&M 1
1. #11 KU Singh (UGA) d. #40 Jeremy Efferding (TAMU), 7-6(5), 7-5
2. #64 Ben Wagland (UGA) d. Junior Ore (TAMU), 7-6(3), 7-6(6)
3. #53 Nathan Pasha (UGA) d. Harrison Adams (TAMU), 6-1, 6-2
4. Hernus Pieters (UGA) d. #93 Shane Vinsant (TAMU), 6-4, 7-5
5. Austin Smith (UGA) vs. #118 Jackson Withrow (TAMU), 7-5, 5-2, unfinished
6. Marco Nunez (UGA) vs. Jordan Szabo (TAMU), 3-1, unfinished
Order of finish: 3,4,1,2
1. #11 Junior Ore/Jackson Withrow (TAMU) d. #6 Hernus Pieters/Ben Wagland (UGA), 8-6
2. #41 Nathan Pasha/Garrett Brasseaux (UGA) d. #25 Harrison Adams/Shane Vinsant (TAMU), 8-3
3. Jeremy Efferding/Jordan Szabo (TAMU) d. KU Singh/Austin Smith (UGA), 8-2
Order of finish: 2,3,1