AUBURN, Ala. | The No. 9 Georgia men’s tennis team claimed the 2014 Southeastern Conference regular season championship outright with a 4-0 shutout of No. 29 Auburn on Sunday afternoon.
Georgia (16-6, 11-1 SEC) has now won a league-leading 37 SEC championships, 28 of which are regular season crowns. It is the 24th SEC title for head coach Manuel Diaz in his 26 seasons. Diaz won his 600th career match on Friday night against the Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa, and secured No. 601 today. The Bulldogs have won four straight matches by 4-0 scores.
The Bulldogs won the doubles point for the 17th time in 21 opportunities, snagging 8-5 wins at court Nos. 1 and 2. First off was the No. 2 team of Nathan Pasha and Garrett Brasseaux, who defeated Dennis Lengsfeld and Lucas Ollert. They were followed by 12th-ranked Hernus Pieters and Ben Wagland, as they defeated No. 60 Daniel Cochrane and Oliver Plaskett to give Georgia the 1-0 lead and in need of just three singles win.
After winning all six first sets in singles, Georgia took a 2-0 lead over Auburn as No. 18 Austin Smith posted a 6-4, 6-1 win over 71st-ranked Ollert at No. 1. It became a 3-0 lead for the visitors as 32nd-ranked Pasha beat No. 61 Cochrane, 6-2, 6-3, at No. 2, and Nick Wood furnished the clinch at No. 5 as he beat Dante Saleh, 6-2, 6-2, to seal it. It was the third clinch of the season for the sophomore.
The Bulldogs have the top seed in the SEC tournament and a double bye. They will take on the winner of the No. 8 Vanderbilt-No. 9 Auburn second round match in the quarterfinals at 4 p.m. Friday.
Women’s tennis downs Auburn
The No. 8 Georgia women’s tennis team concluded the regular season with a win, beating No. 24 Auburn 4-0 on Sunday.
Georgia cruised in the doubles point, winning matches on courts two and three. The No. 81 pairing of Lilly Kimbell and Caroline Brinson topped Paula de Man and Michala Kucharova 8-3. Shortly after, the No. 28 duo of Kate Fuller and Silvia Garcia beat Jackie Kasler and Jen Pfeifler, 8-2. Lauren Herring and Maho Kowase, the second-ranked pair in the country, led No. 14 Pleun Burgmans and Emily Flickinger 7-4 when the doubles point was clinched and their match was suspended.
In singles, Fuller raced to a 6-0, 6-1 win over Jackie Kasler to pick up her 20th win of the season. She finished the match in 48 minutes and lost just four points in her first set. Fellow senior Kowase, ranked No. 19 in the country, topped Paula de Man 6-2, 6-2. Kowase leads the team with a 33-5 record this season.
No. 14 Garcia clinched the match with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Paula de Man. Garcia has won five matches in a row.
The Bulldogs enter next week’s SEC Tournament as the third seed and receive a double-bye.
They will see their first action against either Mississippi State, LSU or Tennessee at 11 a.m. Friday.
Softball drops wild shootout at LSU
The No. 13 Georgia softball team dropped a 13-11 decision in a shootout against the LSU Tigers on Sunday at Tiger Park in Baton Rouge, La.
LSU scored seven runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to seal the win. A drop-dead time of 4 p.m. came into play, as Georgia was unable to come back to the plate and try to answer the Tigers in the seventh.
Geri Ann Glasco suffered the loss for Georgia to fall to 14-3 on the year. She allowed nine runs on eight hits and four walks in 2 1/3 innings in the circle.
Chelsea Wilkinson got the start for the Bulldogs, allowing four runs on five hits and five walks in 3 2/3 innings of work.