The Georgia men‚Äôs tennis team began the outdoor portion of its 2014 schedule with a 4-0 victory over Georgia Tech Thursday afternoon at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
‚ÄúIt was very competitive,‚Äù Georgia coach Manuel Diaz said in a release. ‚ÄúIt was a typical first match of the outdoor season. The ball moves different and the wind moves things around, so our timing was off. But we were able to get our intensity up to where it needed to be and win the doubles point. In singles, I thought Nathan Pasha did a great job at No. 1, and Hernus Pieters came through and gave us a lot of momentum. I‚Äôm proud of Austin Smith for closing it out and sending us into the clubhouse.‚Äù
Georgia won the doubles point to take a 1-0 lead. At No. 3, Eric Diaz and Smith topped Cole Fiegel and Will Showers 8-5, then the Bulldogs clinched the point at No. 2 as Garrett Brasseaux and Pasha edged Casey Kay and Nathan Rakitt, 8-7(1).
The Bulldogs won the first set of all six singles matches, first at No. 1 where No. 30 Pasha defeated Rakitt, 6-1, 6-2. No. 76 Pieters then downed Kay 6-2, 6-4 to make it 3-0. No. 16 Smith provided the match clincher at No. 2 with a 6-2, 4-6, 6-0 win over Carlos Benito.
The matches at Nos. 3, 5 and 6 were suspended following Smith‚Äôs win at No. 2.
‚ÄúWe got up 3-0 pretty quickly, and then kind of struggled to close out the second sets, but we‚Äôre happy with the way it finished,‚Äù Smith said. ‚ÄúBeing the first outdoor match, it was very different for us. We were only able to hit outside for a few days with the rain, so it was a good challenge for us.‚Äù
Pasha notched his team-leading 23rd win of the season, while Smith won for the 22nd time.
It was the 27th time in 28 matching ‚Äî dating back to 1989 ‚Äî that the Bulldogs (4-5) beat the Yellow Jackets (6-3). Georgia improved to 53-2 in the series since 1969.
Georgia travels to Knoxville to face Tennessee at 1 p.m. Sunday.