The Georgia men's tennis team received the No. 1 seed in the 2002 NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Championships and will host Charleston Southern in the first round in Athens May 11. Joining the Buccaneers at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex this weekend will be Southeastern Conference foe South Carolina and instate rival Georgia Tech.
The Yellow Jackets are making their second consecutive trip to Athens for NCAA regional play, as Tech and the host Bulldogs squared off in the second round a year ago. Georgia's first-round match this year against Charleston Southern will mark the first meeting between the two teams, but the Bulldogs are quite familiar with the two other participating teams. Georgia holds a 20-4 advantage in the series history against South Carolina, including two wins during the 2002 season, and are 45-17 against the Rambling Wreck all-time. The Gamecocks and Yellow Jackets will face off May 11 with the first round winners meeting Sunday, May 11.
The Buccaneers are 17-6 on the year and are coming off a 4-2 win against Winthrop to give the program its fifth consecutive Big South Conference title.
Individually, Georgia will have two singles players and one doubles team competing in the championships. Junior Matias Boeker, who is currently ranked No. 1 in the nation and has posted a 20-3 record this season, will headline the singles draw. Joining Boeker in the singles field is 25th-ranked Brandon Wagner, who leads the team with 35 wins (with only 10 losses) and won the Omni Hotels Regional Championship last fall. Bo Hodge will team with Boeker in the doubles draw. The pair have posted a 16-7 record at No. 1 doubles.
Bulldogs remain No. 1 In Omni Hotels Team Rankings
The Georgia men remain in the top spot for the sixth consecutive week in the Omni Hotels Collegiate Tennis Rankings for Division I, released and administered by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) May 1.
Following Georgia in the men's top 10 are (in order): UCLA, Illinois, Baylor, Tennessee, Stanford, Ole Miss, Pepperdine, Kentucky, California. Georgia has three singles players and one doubles team in the May 1 Omni Hotels Individual Rankings. Matias Boeker is the No. 1 player in the country for the second week in a row, while Brandon Wagner sits at No. 25. Lesley Joseph holds the No. 64 ranking. The doubles team of Boeker and Hodge jumps one spot to stand at No. 18 in the latest rankings.
The Omni Hotels Collegiate Tennis Rankings for Division I are released each Wednesday during the season (singles and doubles are bi-monthly). The complete top 75 teams, 120 players and 60 doubles teams can be found at www.itatennis.com.
Go West, young man!
After the first and second rounds at regional sites, the 16 advancing team will compete for this year's national crown at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. The 10-day event begins May 18 with the team portion of the championship. The singles and doubles competition will begin May 22 with the individual champions being crowned May 27. This is only the fourth time in the last 26 years that the annual tournament will not be held in Athens. The NCAA Championship will return to the Classic City in 2003.