Tennis Downs Colorado To Advance At ITA Team

SEATTLE – The No. 2 University of Georgia men's tennis team (5-0) defeated 15th-seeded Colorado Friday afternoon at the Nordstrom Tennis Complex in Seattle, Wash., to advance to the quarterfinals of the USTA-ITA National Team Indoor Championships. Georgia will now make its second straight appearance in the quarterfinals and 21st in the history of the tournament. The Dogs will face the winner of the LSU vs. UCLA match, still in progress at the time of this release.

"This was a great win today," said Georgia head coach Manuel Diaz. "Our guys played a gritty match against a gritty team and responded well under pressure. This match will make us a better team and will help us prepare for another tough contest tomorrow."

Georgia began the match by picking up the doubles point to take a 1-0 lead. Senior captains Strahinja Bobusic and Colin Purcell, ranked No. 12 in the nation, got the Bulldogs on the board with an 8-3 victory at the No. 2 doubles spot, downing Jan Zelezney and Marek Dvorak. Junior John Isner and senior captain Antonio Ruiz, the defending NCAA Doubles Champions, teamed up at the No. 1 doubles spot to put a cap on the doubles point in Georgia's favor. They took down Eric Molnar and Marko Bundalo, 8-5. The No. 3 doubles match between Georgia's duo of junior Matic Omerzel and sophomore Luis Flores and Chad Tsuda and Peter Bjork, was suspended at 7-7 once the point was clinched.

"All of our doubles teams played well," said Diaz. "Our No. 2 guys won in solid fashion and did a great job of setting the tempo for the rest of the match. At No. 1, John and Antonio battled like the champions they are. They were down a break at the beginning and through most of the match, but eventually broke back and then finished off the win. At No. 3, Luis and Matic mounted a commendable comeback. They were down two breaks at 7-3 and really buckled down and fought back to 7-7 before it was suspended."

In singles play, Flores made it a 2-0 Georgia advantage as he cruised past 60th-ranked Molnar from the No. 1 spot, 6-2, 6-1. Extending the Bulldog lead to 3-0 was Omerzel, with his 6-4, 6-2 win over Tsuda at the fifth doubles position. Another straight-set Bulldog victory, this time off the racquet of Ruiz at the third singles spot, gave the Dogs the match-clincher.

"Our No. 1, 3 and 5 guys really controlled play in their matches," said Diaz. "Luis, Matic and Antonio, who had the match clincher, did a fantastic job of concentrating on every point and making every point count. In all three of the other matches, John, Stracky and Ricardo all won their first sets and were fighting hard in the second, when Antonio got the clinch for us. It was really a great match overall."

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