Fourth-ranked Georgia gets clincher from Ben Wagland, sweeps No. 67 ETSU
ATHENS, Ga. -- Fourth-ranked Georgia won the doubles point and never looked back en route to a 7-0 sweep of No. 67 East Tennessee State on Thursday afternoon at the Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Facility.
The Bulldogs (3-2) responded from their first two losses of the dual match season last weekend to earn the shutout effort with the clinch coming from sophomore Ben Wagland at No. 3 singles. Senior Hernus Pieters bounced back from a loss in the first set to win at No. 5 and seal the sweep versus the Bucs (2-6).
“Our guys played hard,” Georgia head coach Manuel Diaz said. “They came out well-focused. ETSU is a very good team. They competed hard at every spot. This was a great match for us as we try to prepare for Houston [ITA National Team Indoor Championships] next week, and this was just what we needed. Hernus found himself down a set against a very good player, and that was an important win for him. He did a great job coming back for the victory. I am very pleased with our effort today.”
The Bulldogs claimed the early 1-0 lead with doubles wins at Nos. 1 and 3. The team of Nick Wood and Nathan Pasha -- playing together for the first time this year -- were first off as they won 6-3 at No. 3. They were shortly followed by 12th-ranked Hernus Pieters and Ben Wagland at No. 1, who also won 6-3 to clinch the doubles point.
In singles, Georgia won each of the first sets on the first four courts on, and were helped to a 2-0 lead in the match when No. 12 Austin Smith bested David Biosca by a score of 6-1, 6-1 at No. 1. It moved to 3-0 when 21st-ranked Pasha defeated Diego Nunez, 6-3, 6-4, at No. 2, and No. 48 Wagland provided the fourth point and the clinch with his 6-3, 6-5(4) win versus Sebastian Yllera at No. 3. No. 102 Wood moved the Bulldog lead to 5-0 with his 6-1, 6-3 win at No. 4, and Eric Diaz made it 6-0 as he defeated Ricardo Pabon, 6-3, 6-3, at No. 6.
That left just Pieters on court at No. 5, and after falling 6-1 in the first, he had come back to split sets with a 6-5(4) tiebreaker victory in the second. He then cruised to a 6-1 win in the third to seal Georgia’s 7-0 sweep versus Roger Ordeig.