SEATTLE – No. 6 Georgia posted a 4-0 win against conference rival and No. 12 Ole Miss on Friday to move into the quarterfinals at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships at the Seattle Tennis Club. Once again the Bulldogs got a big lift from their freshmen, including the clinching point from Nick Wood.
The Bulldogs won the doubles point before snagging first-set wins on all six singles courts en route to the shutout. With the win, Georgia improves to 5-1 on the season and dropped the Rebels to 2-2.
“I was elated to see our guys compete the way they did,” head coach Manuel Diaz said. “Our guys are really taking their games to the next level. Our freshmen are maturing and getting some quality challenges, and rising to meet them. At the same time our veteran players are playing well. Nathan Pasha is playing tremendous tennis right now, and Hernus Pieters is always such a great competitor. Those guys have taken the young players and led them so well. This Ole Miss team we beat [Friday] is a great team and now we know we’re capable of winning these matches.”
Georgia got the doubles point with wins on courts No. 2 and 3. After suffering an 8-1 loss at No. 1, the Bulldogs responded with an 8-5 win for Nathan Pasha and Garrett Brasseaux against 25th-ranked Adrian Forberg Skogeng and William Kallberg at No. 2, while the clinch came at No. 3 as Austin Smith and Wood posted an 8-6 win against Johan Backstrom and Stefan Lindmark to give Georgia the early 1-0 lead.
Georgia then went on to win the first set on all courts, and Brasseaux was first to record a victory as he used a 6-4, 6-2 decision against Skogeng at No. 6 to make the team score 2-0. Smith then pushed the UGA lead to 3-0 with his 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 win against Lindmark at line five, and the clinch came from the rookie Wood at No. 4 as he downed Backstrom 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 to complete the 4-0 shutout.
The Bulldogs’ trio of unfinished matches on the first three courts had each seen Georgia player win their first set via tiebreaker, and Pasha was headed to another breaker in the second against No. 24 Scholtz when it was suspended at No. 1. No. 92 Wagland was up 2-1 in the third on the nation’s sixth-ranked player Jonas Lutjen at No. 2, while Pieters was up 1-0 in the third versus 40th-ranked Kallberg at No. 3.
Georgia has twice won the National Team Indoor, doing so most recently in 2007, in addition to reaching the finals six times. The Bulldogs improved to 36-9 all-time versus Ole Miss.