The Georgia men’s tennis team opened the NCAA tournament with a commanding 4-0 victory in the first round against Alabama State, but went on to lose in the second round against Florida State with a score of 4-3.
In their 4-0 victory on Friday against Alabama State, UGA came out fully energized.
“Overall, I’m pleased with the way the guys came prepared to play and they focused very well – our energy level was super. I couldn’t ask for more,” said Head Coach Manuel Diaz.
Georgia clinched the doubles with duos Britton Johnston and Erik Grevelius earning the victory on court three with a score of 6-1, while Philip Henning and Hamish Stewart sealed the point on court one with a 6-3 win.
The Bulldogs carried their momentum into singles play as Trent Bryde won in straight sets on court two with scores of 6-1, 6-2 giving Georgia a 2-0 lead.
50th ranked Henning also won in straight sets on court one with scores of 7-5, 6-2, while Blake Croyder secured the 4-0 win for UGA as he defeated his opponent with a score of 6-4, 6-4 on court three.
The win on Friday meant that the 11th-ranked Bulldogs would take on the 28th-ranked Florida State Seminoles.
The dynamic duo of Johnston and Grevelius gave the Bulldogs a strong start on court three as they defeated Alex Bulte and Youcef Rihane 6-2.
From here, Bryde and Croyder lost on court two 2-6, leaving the doubles point to be clinched on court one. The duo of Henning and Stewart came up just short as Maks Silagy and Joshua Dous Karpenschif led an impressive comeback scoring three straight points and sending the match to a tiebreaker where they would go on to win 7-6 (7-4).
With FSU having the early 1-0 lead, Croyder answered for UGA to defeat Rihane in straight sets 6-0, 6-1. 11th ranked Stewart followed Croyder up on court one with an impressive 6-2, 6-3 victory over Loris Pourroy, giving the Bulldogs a 2-1.
Henning would also go on to win in straight sets as he defeated Andreja Petrovic 6-3, 6-3. With the Bulldogs now up 3-1, with three matches left to be played, there was plenty of hope that UGA could clinch the win and advance.
FSU came storming back with victories on court five with Karpenschif defeating Paulsell 3-6, 4-6, and then a win on court six with Silagy defeating Miguel Perez Peña 7-6 (7-4), 2-6, 6-3 .
Bryde got off to a great start winning the first set 7-5 but lost the second set 4-6 leaving the match to the third and final set. Bryde was not able to come back in the third set and ultimately lost with a score of 4-6.
“We put ourselves in a position to win the match, it just wasn’t to be,” Georgia coach Manuel Diaz said. “We’ve seemed to have a lot of these matches this year and obviously, not having Tristan [McCormick] hurts. … Florida State played very well at 5 and 6 (singles) and came back from a set and a break down at 3. “
The loss concluded Georgia’s season and they will turn their attention to preparing for next year. The loss of graduate transfers Tristan McCormick and Stewart is something to keep an eye on as they will not be eligible to return.