Georgia’s men and women will begin their quest for NCAA tennis championships in the friendly confines of the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
Dan Magill Tennis Complex is pictured during a Georgia women's tennis match against Arkansas on April 7.
Georgia’s men are the No. 3 national seed and will face Binghamton in the first round on May 10. The Georgia women are the No. 4 national seed and will play Winthrop in the first round on May 11, the NCAA announced on Tuesday.
“Starting off at home is always good,” Georgia sophomore Nathan Pasha said. “We’re fortunate enough to be one of the top seeds, so we can do that. We always have good support, so it will be nice to have a lot of support and a big crowd like we always have.”
The other half of the men’s regional has Wake Forest (20-8) and Northwestern (21-9). The other half of the women’s bracket has Oklahoma (13-9) and Arizona State (16-5).
“It’s always nice when you get to host the first two rounds,” Georgia sophomore Lauren Herring said. “We were a little surprised that we’re a four seed because we were hoping to get No. 3. But it doesn’t matter. In a tournament you’ve got to beat them all anyway.”
Winthrop (18-9) was the winner of the Big South Conference and is making its 13th NCAA appearance in the last 15 years. Georgia will play Winthrop at noon on May 11, just after the Oklahoma-Arizona State match at 9 a.m. The Georgia-Winthrop winner will play the Oklahoma-Arizona State winner at 2 p.m. on May 12.
The Georgia women (21-3) were No. 3 in the latest national rankings and were a bit disappointed to be seeded behind No. 3 Texas A&M whom they beat on the road during dual season.
“We’re kind of surprised because we thought we were getting the No. 3 seed,” Georgia junior Maho Kowase said. “But it’s good that we get to host to start off and as the No. 4 seed, we hopefully get to face Florida in the semifinals. We beat Texas A&M this season but it doesn’t matter. If you’re going to win this tournament, you’re going to have to beat everybody.”
The No. 1 overall national seed is Florida, which beat Georgia in the finals of the Southeastern Conference tournament. Georgia will play in its 27th consecutive women’s tournament and is 22-0 when it hosts first- or second-round matches.
“We’re really excited when you get to host,” Georgia women’s coach Jeff Wallace said. “We’re excited that we get to play one more and hopefully two more matches in the greatest tennis complex in the country in the Dan Magill Tennis Center.”
Georgia’s men (22-4) will play Binghamton (16-9) at 1 p.m. on May 10 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. Wake Forest and Northwestern will meet at 10 a.m. also on May 10. The winners will play 3 p.m. on May 11 for a spot in the NCAA national championships. Binghamton is the America East Conference champion and has won its league title nine of the last 11 years.
“It’s always exciting to host,” Georgia men’s coach Manuel Diaz said. “Our kids worked very hard to get an opportunity like that. It’s good to be home and we’ve got a big challenge in front of us.”
Georgia should feel like it’s riding some solid momentum after winning the Southeastern Conference tournament to earn the automatic bid to NCAA regionals. The Bulldogs will be in the NCAA regionals for the 30th consecutive season and come off of a national quarterfinals appearance last year.
“It’s going to be nice to have our first rounds home,” Georgia freshman Ben Wagland said. “Hopefully we can have another big crowd out there for us. It definitely helps to play at home. During SEC season, we had some tough matches and it was great to have so many fans out there supporting us. Ever since then, we’ve had even better crowds as the season has gone on.”
SCHEDULE OF PLAY
Friday, May 10
MATCH 1 (Men): 10 a.m. — Wake Forest vs. Northwestern
MATCH 2 (Men): 1 p.m. — Georgia vs. Binghamton
Saturday, May 11
MATCH 3 (Women): 9 a.m. — Arizona State vs. Oklahoma
MATCH 4 (Women): 12 p.m. — Georgia vs. Winthrop
MATCH 5 (Men): 3 p.m. — Winner Match 1 vs. 2
Sunday, May 12
MATCH 6 (Women): 2 p.m. — Winner Match 3 vs. 4