UGA blanks Aggies, advances to SEC tourney championship
AUBURN, Ala. - The top-seeded University of Georgia men's tennis team blanked No. 5-seed Texas A&M, 4-0, in the semifinals of the Southeastern Conference Tournament on Saturday afternoon at the Yarbrough Tennis Center.
The Bulldogs (20-5, 12-0 SEC) earned their second-consecutive sweep by earning the doubles point and straight set wins in singles on courts one, four and five over the Aggies (18-11, 7-5 SEC). Redshirt freshman Ethan Quinn picked up the clinch for the team for the second-straight match.
Georgia advances to the finals and will seek its 11th conference tournament title in program history against No. 3 Kentucky tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. ET. The Bulldogs previously defeated the Wildcats by a 5-2 result at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex on March 31.
"Texas A&M is a well-coached team, so we knew that our work was cut out for us, but we did a great job today overall," said head coach Manny Diaz. "We played well when we needed it, and this team is just continuing to get better in those difficult moments. We had strong play from Miguel, Trent, who was in pretty good shape in his match, and Ethan clinching it for us at number one. He just keeps getting better and he's done an outstanding job for us this year."
The Bulldogs earned their third consecutive doubles point with wins on courts one and three. The seventh-ranked Bryde and Quinn earned their 10th win of the year against a ranked opponent with a 6-2 result over No. 71 Pierce Rollins and Matthis Ross, improving to 14-9 on the top court this season. Croyder and Johnston secured their seventh point-clinching victory of the season with their 6-4 win against Raphael Perot and Kenner Taylor, their 13th win on court three together.
In singles, Georgia took first sets on all six courts, with three coming by a tiebreaker. Before all matches were into the second set, though, No. 101 Croyder managed to beat No. 110 Trey Hilderbrand by a 6-3, 6-4 score, notching his team-best 14th straight set win. The redshirt senior has now won seven singles matches in a row and is 11-4 from court four.
On court five, Miguel Perez Peña continued his impressive play with a 6-4, 6-1 win against Ross, marking the sophomore's 10th win in his previous 11 match results. Since moving to court five, the Castellon de la Plana, Spain native is 6-1. The fourth-ranked Quinn clinched the match for the sixth time in his career with a 7-6(2), 6-3 win over No. 64 Perot. Quinn has now won eight-straight matches, improving his record on court one to 15-8 and has a team-high 17 ranked wins this year.
This marks the first time Georgia has made the finals of the SEC Tournament since winning the event in 2017. The program's 10 titles are the most in the SEC since the tournament began in 1990 and accounts for 31 percent of all champions. Georgia has won the event in 1991, 1993, 1995, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2012, 2013 and 2017.
#4 Georgia 4, #21 Texas A&M 0
1. #4 Ethan Quinn (UGA) def. #64 Raphael Perot (TAMU) 7-6(2), 6-3
2. #15 Philip Henning (UGA) vs. #125 Pierce Rollins (TAMU) 7-6(1), 4-4, unfinished
3. #119 Trent Bryde (UGA) vs. Guido Marson (TAMU) 7-6(7), 4-1, unfinished
4. #101 Blake Croyder (UGA) def. #110 Trey Hilderbrand (TAMU) 6-3, 6-4
5. Miguel Perez Peña (UGA) def. Matthis Ross (TAMU) 6-4, 6-1
6. Teodor Giusca (UGA) vs. JC Roddick (TAMU) 6-4, 2-6, 1-1, unfinished
Order of finish: 4, 5, 1*
1. #7 Trent Bryde/Ethan Quinn (UGA) def. #71 Pierce Rollins/Matthis Ross (TAMU) 6-2
2. Teodor Giusca/Philip Henning (UGA) vs. JC Roddick/Trey Hilderbrand (TAMU) 4-3, unfinished
3. Blake Croyder/Britton Johnston (UGA) def. Raphael Perot/Kenner Taylor (TAMU) 6-4
Order of finish: 1, 3*