Georgia Tennis Claims Four individual NCAA Bids


Once again, the Georgia tennis team will be well represented at the NCAA Tennis Tournament.

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Four members of the Georgia men’s tennis team earned bids to the singles and doubles part of the NCAA Championships. Juniors Austin Smith and Ben Wagland are the No. 1 seed in doubles, while Smith, freshman Wayne Montgomery and senior Nathan Pasha earned at-large bids to the singles championship.

Smith and Wagland secured All-America honors by being seeded No. 1, and they are the first Bulldog tandem to earn the top seed since John Isner and Luis Flores in 2007. Smith and Wagland are 15-2 this season, including a 12-1 mark against ranked opponents. They have wins against teams ranked Nos. 1, 2, 4, 6, 11 (twice) and 12.

Smith was first team All-SEC and is tied for the team lead with 14 dual match singles wins. The Cumming, Ga., native is a two-time SEC Player of the Week honoree, and he is second on the team with five match clinchers, including a win that gave the Bulldogs the SEC regular season title.

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Montgomery was voted SEC Freshman of the Year after posting a 31-6 record entering the NCAA Tournament. A native of Somerset West, South Africa, Montgomery has 13 dual match wins, with 11 of those coming against ranked opponents.

Pasha was also a first team All-SEC choice with 24 singles wins, including 12 against ranked players. He has played matches at Nos. 1, 2 and 3 for Georgia this season, and the Atlanta native has 217 combined singles and doubles wins in his career, which is 11th most in UGA history since 1986.

Smith, Montgomery and Pasha have all been ranked in the top-20 nationally this season.

Matchups for the individual tournaments will be announced during the team part of the NCAA tournament. Sixty-four singles players and 32 doubles teams will take part.

Georgia players have won the NCAA singles title four times: Mikael Pernfors in 1984 and 1985, and Matias Boeker in 2001 and 2002. Pernfors beat teammate George Bezecny for the crown in 1985. The Bulldogs have won three NCAA doubles titles including Ola Malmqvist and Allen Miller in 1983, Boeker and Travis Parrott in 2001, and John Isner and Antonio Ruiz in 2005.

The individual championships will be held at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, May 20-25. The team part of the championship is slated for May 14-19.The Bulldogs (21-4) will begin NCAA Championships play May 8-9, hosting first and second round action at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. Georgia will open against Big South Conference champion Winthrop May 8 at 2 p.m. Florida State and Troy will play at 11 a.m.