NCAA Tennis Tourney: MTEN Dawgs and WTEN Dawgs Advance to Rounds of 16

University of Georgia Sports Information

UGA’s men’s and women’s tennis teams each earned first and second round wins in the NCAA tennis tournament this weekend in Athens. The men (seeded #10) downed Jacksonville State (a 49-64 seed) 4-0 on Saturday and North Carolina State (a 17-32 seed) 4-1 on Sunday. The women (seeded #1) defeated Elon (a 49-64 seed) 4-0 on Friday and Florida State University (a 33-48 seed) 4-0 on Saturday.

For the official "blow by blow," see the above links (including a couple of ABH pieces from my friend Chris Starrs). Otherwise, a few "fan’s notes" follow:

  1. First and foremost, mission accomplished (at least with respect to the weekend). As I have heard Manny say (quoting Magill, I believe), "You don’t want to throw a party – and then find yourself excluded from the invitation list." Or something along those lines. MTEN and WTEN Dawgs will both be in attendance when the Big Party commences in Athens on Thursday.

  2. Three of the weekend’s matches were a bit lopsided. The fourth (today’s contest between the MTEN Dawgs and N.C. State) was a battle. Stacey and I yelled ourselves a little hoarse in that one. The Wolfpack put up a fight on every court, but some strong play up top (at lines 1-3) by Austin Smith, Garrett Brasseaux, and Ben Wagland secured the victory for the Dawgs.

  3. One major negative: Junior Nathan Pasha (who has played at the 2 spot for the Dawgs most of the year – and who is one of my all-time favorite tennis Dawgs) suffered a knee-related injury in practice on Friday. Nate hobbled through the doubles against Jax State, but then sat out the singles Saturday and the entire match Sunday. Stacey and I talked to Nathan before the match on Sunday, and he told us that he will see a specialist on Monday. We hate this situation for Nathan – such a great kid – especially at this time. We would love to see him healthy enough to retake his spot in the lineup next week. But if he’s not, I’d just as soon he take a seat and not risk further injury.

  4. With Nate out today, everyone below him moved up a spot in singles (Brass to 2, Ben to 3, etc.), and our only reserve Eric Diaz stepped into the 6 position. Also Manny juggled the doubles teams (teaming Brass with Nick Wood (who has played little doubles for us this year) – and then flipping the 2 and 3 teams in the lineup). Much like last year (when KU abruptly left the team), our boys were forced to step up (literally and figuratively). We did a nice job of that today. Here’s hoping that continues next week, if necessary.

  5. My MVP of the weekend has to be Brass. He was 4 for 4 on the weekend (2 wins each at doubles and singles). He stepped up into Nathan’s singles spot both days and picked up key wins. He took on a new doubles partner today, and he and Nick got the win there. Great effort by the senior.

  6. Stacey and I will be headed to Athens for the week of the championship, and I hope to post a little more on the entire tourney later this week. For the moment, though, here’s the current state of the men's bracket and the women's bracket. For the most part, the seeds have held (as they often do in the early rounds). Only 3 of the top 32 teams have been knocked out at this time.

  7. We were able to avoid the rain for the most part this weekend – a good thing. Rain can be problematic, however, when 32 teams gather to determine two champions over the course of six days. Rain is in the forecast for Thursday (when eight women’s matches are scheduled). We shall see.

  8. Finally, on a couple of personal notes, we had the good fortune to run into Lauren Herring and her family at Chipotle on Sunday afternoon. Lauren is the SEC Player of the Year – an outstanding student – and another great kid. Nice folks. And we also had a chance to speak with Brass’s parents on the way out of the Dan both days. They made the trip from Louisiana (8 hours) for this weekend – and will do so again in a few days. We commented on how pleased we are that Brass is having this success here in his senior year.

Looking forward to taking a few days off work next week and heading to God’s Country for a lot of tennis, sunshine, friends, food, drink, etc. Come out to the Dan, if you get a chance. It’s great stuff. GO DAWGS!

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