Georgia Tennis Sweeps SIC and Crowds National Rankings


Count on death, taxes and Georgia tennis. Three championships and three national top 25 rankings, including a number one rank, start the fall tennis season.

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The Georgia Tennis team roared into the fall season this week, first sweeping the Southern Intercollegiate Singles and Doubles Championships, then placing two in the top 25 national singles rankings and claiming the top doubles national rank.

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At last weekend’s SIC in Athens, Sophomore Wayne Montgomery won the singles championship for the second consecutive year. Montgomery is in rare company after beating Georgia Gwinnett’s Kevin Konfederak 6-4, 6-3 to become the first repeat outright champion since John Isner in 2005 and 2006.

Montgomery joins a list of back to back winners that also includes John Roddick, the Bulldog’s own Mikael Pernfors, and current Georgia Head Coach and former letterman Manny Diaz.

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Seniors Austin Smith and Ben Wagland took the SIC doubles crown, defeating Memphis’ Louis Asser and Kevin Lemke 6-3, 6-2 in the final. “Ben and Austin had a superb tournament,” head coach Manuel Diaz said. “They got better each match, and that’s one thing I value a lot. I think they are prepared for a big tournament next week, and same thing for Wayne. He got better each match and played some tremendous competition. I think our players benefited from all these matches, and I was pleased with the way our freshmen made it through Sunday’s matches.

On Tuesday came news that the ITA ranked Wayne Montgomery 16th nationally and Austin Smith 17th nationally while the doubles pair of Smith and Ben Wagland is the top ranked doubles team in the nation.

Montgomery was the 2015 SEC Freshman of the Year and had a final national singles ranking of 26 last season, which was highest on the Georgia team. He also earned first team All-SEC and SEC All-Freshman honors. He led the team with 32 singles wins and was second with a combined 51 singles and doubles victories.

Wood lead the Dawgs with six match clinchers in 2015 and 17 dual match wins. The Knoxville native won 29 singles matches and was 6-2 in SEC contests. Wagland racked up 20 singles wins and entered the NCAA Tournament on a nine-match winning streak.

Smith and Wagland finished last season with an 18-4 doubles record, including a 16-3 mark against ranked opponents. The pair recorded eight wins against doubles teams ranked in the top-20 and three in the top-five. They ended the season ranked No. 2 and reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA Doubles Championship as the No. 1 overall seed.

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