ATHENS-----The Georgia men's tennis team came in at No. 3 in the 2014 ITA preseason rankings released Thursday night. Virginia is ranked No. 1 followed by UCLA, Georgia, USC, Ohio State, Tennessee, Duke, Baylor, Kentucky and Oklahoma to round out the top-10.
The Bulldogs return the top five singles players from last year's squad that reached the NCAA semifinals. This marks the third straight year Georgia has been ranked in the preseason top-five. UGA finished the 2013 season ranked third.
In the singles rankings, Austin Smith is No. 12, followed by Nathan Pasha at No. 21, Garrett Brasseaux at No. 47, Ben Wagland at No. 48 and Nick Wood at No. 102.
Smith - unranked in the fall - led the Bulldogs with 15 wins, including seven against ranked opponents. He reached the quarterfinals of the All-American Championships in Tulsa, Okla., and also made the final of the SEC Fall Classic in Nashville. Pasha notched 13 wins, including titles at the ITA Southeast Regional Championships at Georgia Tech and the Southern Intercollegiate Championships in Athens.
In doubles, Hernus Pieters and Ben Wagland are ranked 12th, while the tandem of Pasha and Pieters is No. 59.
The Bulldogs will play in the Georgia Tech Fall Invitational Jan. 17-20 in Atlanta before the dual season starts with the ITA Kickoff Jan. 25-26 in Athens.
Georgia will play host to the NCAA Championships May 15-26 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.