ATHENS, Ga. --- The 10th-seeded Georgia men's tennis team used a 4-1 second round win over 26th-ranked NC State Sunday afternoon at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex to advance to the NCAA Championships round of 16 for the 11th straight season and the 12th time in 14 tries under the current format. Today's win comes after yesterday's first round win over Jacksonville State, with Georgia now boasting an all-time NCAA Tournament record of 98-31.
The Bulldogs (18-7) won the doubles point, then found three singles wins to down the Wolfpack (18-10) and advance. UGA is hosting the round of 16 through the finals of the team tournament on both the men's and women's sides, as well as the singles and doubles individual tournaments May 15-26 - the 31st time the event has resided in Athens.
"This win today was great for our kids with the way they overcame adversity," said head coach Manuel Diaz. "We are missing Nathan Pasha from the lineup [due to injury] and it was tough to get the guys to focus there in the beginning, but everybody pulled together. I was amazed with how well we played in doubles. Our guys are going to fight, and we have a great group of kids. NC State has a great team, and it was a tremendous challenge, especially without one of our top players in the lineup. I'm really pleased with the outcome today."
Georgia claimed the doubles point and the early 1-0 edge for the 19th time this season, getting wins at Nos. 1 and 3. The brand new pairing of Garrett Brasseaux and Nick Wood - playing in Pasha's place - were first off with an 8-2 win over Simon Norenius and Austin Powell, and the clinch came when eighth-ranked Ben Wagland and Hernus Pieters defeated No. 29 Robbie Mudge and Ian Dempster, 8-5. The Bulldogs were also leading 7-5 at No. 2 when that match was suspended.
Georgia won four of six first sets in singles action, but the Wolfpack tied things up at 1-1 when Thomas Weigel defeated Eric Diaz, 7-5, 6-2 at No. 6. The Bulldogs went back on top at 2-1 when Wagland posted a 6-3, 6-3 decision over Nick Horton at No. 3, and it moved to 3-1 after a 6-3, 7-6(5) win for Brasseaux over Powell at No. 2. Georgia then got the clinch moments later from Austin Smith at No. 1 as he defeated Mudge, 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 to seal it and hand the Bulldogs the 4-1 win and the place in the round of 16.
The Bulldogs will take on the winner of today's second round match between North Carolina and South Carolina on Fri., May 16 at 4 p.m. Georgia is making its 36th overall appearance in the NCAA Tournament and 31st in a row. The Bulldogs reached the semifinals in 2013, and have six NCAA titles to their name.
NCAA Championships tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by calling the Georgia ticket office at 1-877-542-1231 or by visiting Georgiadogs.com.
#8 Georgia 4, #26 NC State 1
1. #23 Austin Smith (UGA) def. Robbie Mudge (NCSU) 6-4, 1-6, 6-3
2. #70 Garrett Brasseaux (UGA) def. #56 Austin Powell (NCSU) 6-3, 7-6 (7-5)
3. #82 Ben Wagland (UGA) def. Nick Horton (NCSU) 6-3, 6-3
4. Nick Wood (UGA) vs. Simon Norenius (NCSU) 3-6, 6-3, 3-2, unfinished
5. Hernus Pieters (UGA) vs. Sean Weber (NCSU) 6-3, 2-6, 3-3, unfinished
6. Thomas Weigel (NCSU) def. Eric Diaz (UGA) 7-5, 6-4
1. #8 Ben Wagland/Hernus Pieters (UGA) def. #29 Robbie Mudge/Ian Dempster (NCSU) 8-5
2. Austin Smith/Eric Diaz (UGA) vs. #57 Nick Horton/Sean Weber (NCSU) 7-5, unfinished
3. Garrett Brasseaux/Nick Wood (UGA) def. Simon Norenius/Austin Powell (NCSU) 8-2
NC State 18-10; National ranking #26
Georgia 18-7; National ranking #8
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (6,3,2,1)
NCAA Second Round
Official: Richard Rogers T-2:59 A-360