ATHENS, Ga. -- The sixth-ranked Georgia men's tennis team punched its ticket to next month's ITA National Team Indoor Championships with Saturday's 5-1 win over VCU at the Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Facility, completing a perfect 2-0 weekend for the Bulldogs at the ITA Kickoff.
Winners of each of the 15 regional sites advance to the Team Indoor held Feb. 15-18 in Seattle, hosted by Washington University.
Today's win pushed Georgia to 2-0 on the early season, while VCU falls to 5-1.
"We were pushed, we were challenged today," said head coach Manuel Diaz. "We played a very good match against a quality opponent - VCU is a very deep team. Our guys at No. 2 and 4 were in positions to win in the second set and didn't get it, but we pulled it out. Our guys are young, and we're going to get better as the season goes along. I think everybody played well this weekend. We are excited to be going back to National Indoors and to be playing in that very competitive field for a national championship."
The Bulldogs won the doubles point for the second day in a row to take the early 1-0 lead on VCU. First off was the team of Ben Wagland and Hernus Pieters - the nation's fifth-ranked doubles team - who posted an 8-3 win over the Rams' Alexis Huegas and Dylan McCloskey at the No. 1 spot. VCU evened it with an 8-6 win for 36th-ranked Alejandro Argente and Jaime Vasquez over Georgia's Eric Diaz and Garrett Brasseaux at No. 3. The deciding win came for UGA's No. 2 duo of Nathan Pasha and KU Singh, who collected an 8-6 win over Max Wennakoski and Michael Voscek to clinch the point.
In singles, Georgia took a 2-0 lead when 16th-ranked Pieters cruised to a 6-1, 6-1 win over Claes Goransson at No. 3, while No. 8 Singh rallied from a first-set loss to claim a 5-7, 6-2, 6-1 win over No. 67 Huegas at No. 1.
It was the freshman Wagland who would provide the clincher, as he responded from a loss in the second set to defeat Argente, 6-3, 6-7(3), 6-1 at No. 4 singles to seal the win for Georgia. VCU then got its lone win at No. 2, as 45th-ranked Wennakoski took down No. 19 Pasha 3-6, 7-5, 7-5 to make it 4-1. The Bulldogs picked up their final win of the day with a win at No. 5 for Brasseaux, going 6-4, 7-5 over Voscek. The final match at No. 6 between freshman Nick Wood and VCU's Vasquez was suspended with Wood leading 6-2, 2-1.
Georgia reached today's regional final match with yesterday's 4-3 win over Vanderbilt. This morning, the Commodores posted a 7-0 sweep of Minnesota in the weekend's consolation match.
Georgia has reached the National Indoor every year since its inception in 1973 except for 2003, and has won the event twice (2006, '07). Last season the Bulldogs made the semifinals, where they fell to the eventual national champion Southern Cal.
The Bulldogs are next in action this Thursday, Jan. 31, hosting Clemson at 4 p.m. Live scoring and the Georgia Tennis Live Chat will be available on Georgiadogs.com.
#6 Georgia 5, #32 VCU 1
1. #8 KU Singh (UG) def. #67 Alexis Heugas (VCU) 5-7, 6-2, 6-1
2. #45 Max Wennakoski (VCU) def. #19 Nathan Pasha (UG) 3-6, 7-5, 7-5
3. #16 Hernus Pieters (UG) def. Claes Goransson (VCU) 6-1, 6-1
4. Ben Wagland (UG) def. Alejandro Argente (VCU) 6-3, 6-7 (3-7), 6-1
5. Garrett Brasseaux (UG) def. Michael Voscek (VCU) 6-4, 7-5
6. Nick Wood (UG) vs. #113 Jaime Vasquez (VCU) 6-2, 2-1, unfinished
1. #5 Hernus Pieters/Ben Wagland (UG) def. Alexis Heugas/Dylan McCloskey (VCU) 8-3
2. Nathan Pasha/KU Singh (UG) def. Max Wennakoski/Michael Voscek (VCU) 8-6
3. #36 Alejandro Argente/Jaime Vasquez (VCU) def. Eric Diaz/Garrett Brasseaux (UG) 8-6
VCU 5-1; National ranking #32
Georgia 2-0; National ranking #6
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (3,1,4,2,5)
Official: Walt Williams T-4:00 A-300
University of Georgia