ATHENS, Ga. — No. 4 Georgia won its 2012 season opener with a 7-0 triumph against Clemson on Saturday afternoon at the Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Facility.
The Bulldogs (1-0) won eight of nine matches and improved to 48-9 in season openers.
“I was really happy with the way we played today, particularly in singles,” Georgia head coach Manuel Diaz said. “It was a little bumpy in doubles, but our No. 2 team, Sadio [Doumbia] and Ignacio [Taboada] played very well, and our No. 3 team had a good day. We can play a little better in doubles than we did today. It’s our first dual, and coming out of the box, they probably tried a little bit too hard. I was really pleased with the way we played in singles. Wil Spencer had a great match, especially after he didn’t play that well in doubles. That’s what we look for with our guys bouncing back, and we needed too.”
Georgia won the first two completed doubles matches at Nos. 2 and 3 to take a 1-0 lead. At No. 2, the ninth-ranked duo of Doumbia and Taboada cruised to an 8-1 win over Dominique Maden and Ayrton Wilbowo. UGA clinched the point at No. 3 where Hernus Pieters and KU Singh downed Gerardo Meza and Cedric Williams, 8-5.
Clemson (1-1) salvaged a win at No. 1 as Yannick Maden and Zachary Rigsby defeated the No. 8 team of Garrett Brasseaux and Wil Spencer.
In singles, third-ranked Spencer gave Georgia a 2-0 lead with a quick 6-1, 6-0 win over No. 59 Yannick Maden at No. 1. Tenth-ranked Doumbia followed at No. 2 with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Wilbowo, then No. 26 Taboada clinched the win at No. 4 with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Dominique Maden.
“It was a great way to start,” Taboada said. “Everyone played at a high level. It’s always good to see the seniors get the job done with three relatively quick points. Pasha played well, and KU bounced back. Hernus played well at the end, at overall it was a good start. Hopefully it’s a sign of good things to come.”
Singh rallied to beat Meza, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, at No. 3 for the first dual match win of his Georgia career, and No. 64 Pieters outlasted Hunter Harrington, 6-1, 7-5, at No. 5. Freshman Nathan Pasha closed out the match with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Williams at No. 6 as the Bulldogs won their ninth consecutive season opener.
“I don’t think I executed very well in the first set,” Singh said of his first career UGA dual match. “[Meza] played well in the first set, but once I started executing there was really only one conclusion.”