Men's Tennis Shuts Down No. 24 LSU

BATON ROUGE – The No. 1-ranked University of Georgia men's tennis team (12-0, 2-0 SEC) recorded its second Top-25 win of the weekend with a 6-1 defeat of No. 24 LSU Sunday afternoon in Baton Rouge. No. 21-ranked Luis Flores got the match-clinching victory, a 6-3, 6-4 win over No. 20 Ken Skupski at the first singles spot.

"We had a very good day today," said Georgia head coach Manuel Diaz. "Our top two doubles teams played very well and our singles was very consistent once again, especially at the bottom of the lineup."

Georgia began the match with a 1-0 lead by winning its 12th consecutive doubles point. At the first doubles position, the 32nd-ranked tandem of junior John Isner and senior captain Antonio Ruiz took down 18th-ranked Skupski and Mark Growcott, 8-3, marking the sixth time in as many tries that Georgia has been victorious in this exact matchup. LSU then forced a split with a win at the third position as James Clusky and Paul White snapped the six-game win streak of Georgia's 24th-ranked tandem of junior Matic Omerzel and sophomore Luis Flores. With the doubles point resting on the outcome of the second doubles match, the seventh-ranked senior captain duo of Strahinja Bobusic and Colin Purcell stepped up to record an 8-5 win over 28th-ranked Danny Bryan and Colt Gaston.

"I think this is best seen our No. 1 doubles team play in long time," said Diaz. "I think they are back in form and playing way they need to be. Our No. 2 team was tremendous as well. They played a little bit of see-saw battle, going up a break and then going down a break. It had looked like LSU had taken the momentum but Stracky and Colin played phenomenally to close out the match."

In singles play, Georgia made it a 2-0 edge on the back of No. 1-ranked Isner's 10th consecutive victory, a 6-2, 6-3 win over Gaston, pushing his season singles record to 26-2. Up next for the Dogs was Purcell, who dispatched easily Kevin Dessauer at the sixth singles spot, 6-2, 6-1, setting Flores up for the clinch.

The Bulldogs continued to dominate the match, extending the lead to 5-0 with 37th-ranked Bobusic's 6-2, 6-2 win over Bryan. Omerzel then defeated Clusky, 6-3, 6-4, to move the match score to 6-0 in favor of the Dogs. In the last match to finish, LSU picked up its lone point of the day as Growcott topped Ruiz at the No. 3 spot, 6-4, 7-5.

"From top to bottom we just played extremely well in singles," said Diaz. All of our wins were in straight sets. It was great to see Luis get back into his winning ways and once again Stracky and Colin played focused, high-caliber tennis, and then Matic got the job done as well. We are playing very strong tennis at bottom of lineup and that provides our team with a lot of confidence."

The Bulldogs return to Athens on Friday, March 10, for its first home conference match, a 2:30 p.m.tilt against South Carolina. Georgia will then host Florida on Sunday, March 12 at 2 p.m.

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