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No. 2 seed Georgia advances to semifinals with 4-1 win

1895 days ago
Georgia Athletics
Photo: UT Athletics

Box Score

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Georgia's 13th-ranked men's tennis team advanced to the semifinals of the 2017 Southeastern Conference Tournament with a 4-1 win against 39th-ranked Arkansas on Friday at Barksdale Stadium.

The No. 2 seed Bulldogs (16-7) will now take on No. 3 seed Florida at 10 a.m. ET Saturday in the semifinals. Georgia defeated the Gators, 6-1, earlier this year in Athens.

"To be honest, I am not sure we played our best today," head coach Manuel Diaz said. "I thought Emil played a good match and it was good to see Paul back on the court, but as a team we need to play better going into tomorrow's match. We are happy to get the win and look forward to playing a good Florida team on Saturday."

Georgia's second-ranked duo of Robert Loeb and Jan Zielinski started the doubles point with their second win against a top-5 duo this season. The Bulldog tandem looked strong and rolled to a 6-2 victory over Arkansas' No. 3-ranked Mike Redlicki and Jose Salazar.

Courts No. 2 and 3 were each back and forth affairs with neither team able to establish much distance. Down 5-4, UGA's Walker Duncan and Wayne Montgomery broke back to make it 5-5, while Paul Oosterbaan and Emil Reinberg found themselves locked in a 5-5 battle at No. 3.

Duncan and Montgomery held to make it 6-5, while Oosterbaan and Reinberg broke Arkansas to also take a 6-5 advantage. The No. 3 Bulldog duo then served to win the match and gave Georgia an early 1-0 lead.

The two teams each took first set wins at three courts to begin singles play. Oosterbaan, who was playing in his first singles match since Feb. 12 due to an injury, recorded his first singles win of the season and gave his team a 2-0 lead with a dominating 6-4, 6-2 victory at the No. 6 court over Branch Terrell.

"It was great to back onto the court today and good to get things started for the team," Oosterbaan said. "I kind of got into a rhythm and got better as the match went along and it felt great."

Georgia's 2-0 lead quickly ballooned out to 3-0 thanks to Duncan's 6-2, 6-3 win at the fifth position. Zielinski then dropped his match, 6-2, 6-2, before Reinberg clinched with a 7-5, 6-0 win against Oscar Mesquida.

Tennessee, Texas A&M, Mississippi State and South Carolina are the three teams at the bottom of the bracket and will play later Saturday. The winner of that side of the bracket will take on either Georgia or Florida in the Championship match on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.