NCAA Tennis: Bulldogs Ranked In Top Five In Final Polls

The Georgia men’s tennis team – which advanced to the NCAA semifinals last week in Urbana, Illinois – comes in at No. 3 in the final team ranking of 2013 released Tuesday afternoon by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA).

National champion Virginia took the top spot at No. 1, followed by runner-up UCLA, Georgia, Ohio State, and Southern California to round out the top-five.

The Bulldogs (26-5) conclude the season having been ranked inside the top-five in the poll for eight out of 16 editions, and inside the top-three for the final five weeks of the season. In head coach Manuel Diaz’s 25 years at the helm, Georgia has finished as a top-five team 19 times, including six of the last eight seasons.

Photo courtesy of University of Georgia

Georgia lost to Virginia in the “Final Four” on May 20, snapping the Bulldogs’ 17-match winning streak. The Bulldogs won the SEC regular season and tournament titles and recorded a 20-win season for the 10th year in a row, while the team saw two players – doubles partners Ben Wagland and Hernus Pieters – garner All-America honors by entering the individual tournament as No. 5-8 seeds and reaching the quarterfinals. Georgia has now seen 45 different players earn 88 All-America awards dating back to 1971. In the Diaz era, 32 players have pulled in 68 such honors.

The Georgia women’s tennis team finished the 2013 season ranked No. 5, national champion Stanford claimed the top spot followed by Florida, Texas A&M, North Carolina and the Lady Bulldogs rounded out the top five teams.

The Lady Bulldogs (24-4) advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships last week falling to the Cardinals. In head coach Jeff Wallace’s 28 years at the helm, Georgia has finished as a top-five team 13 times. Georgia won a share of the 2013 SEC regular season title as the Bulldogs, Gators and Aggies all went 12-1 in league play. It marked the ninth SEC title in school history including the eighth under Wallace.

Photo by John Kelley, courtesy of University of Georgia

Three Lady Bulldogs earned All-America honors by virtue of their seeding and performance at the NCAA Championships last week. Sophomore Lauren Herring, the sixth seed, earned it for her stellar singles play, reaching the quarterfinals and posting a final record of 38-7. Also, the top-seeded doubles team of junior Kate Fuller and freshman Silvia Garcia advanced to the quarterfinals, ending the year with a 26-4 mark.

Final singles and doubles national rankings will be released on June 5.

The NCAA Tennis Championships return to Athens in 2014.

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