Georgia Tennis blanks Virginia

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – The No. 1-seeded University of Georgia men's tennis team (29-0) took down Virginia (24-9) in the quarterfinals of the 2006 NCAA Men's Tennis Tournament. Due to inclement weather in Palo Alto, the match was moved indoors and up the coast approximately 30 miles, to the San Francisco Tennis Club. The reigning ITA Indoor National Champions looked as comfortable as ever, posting their fourth straight 4-0 victory.

The match clincher came from No. 2-ranked junior John Isner as he defeated 14th-ranked Somdev Devvarman in the top singles spot, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (4), in a match that did not see a single service break outside of the tiebreak games.

"I could not be more proud of our guys right now," said Georgia head coach Manuel Diaz. "They played with the courage and determination of a championship team. They are exhausted right now and we don't know what tomorrow will bring but today was just a championship effort. I am very, very proud of our guys."

Georgia began the match with a 1-0 lead, winning the doubles point for the 26th time in 28 tries on the season. First off the courts was the Bulldog duo of senior captain Colin Purcell (Louisville, Ky.) and junior Ricardo Gonzalez (Aquadilla, Puerto Rico), who posted an 8-4 victory over Darin Cohen and Doug Stewart at the third doubles spot. The doubles point was clinched by the 50th-ranked Bulldog tandem of junior Matic Omerzel (Kranj, Slovenia) and sophomore Luis Flores (Xalapa, Mexico) as they defeated Treat Huey and Devvarman, 8-5, at the second position. Gonzalez's appearance marked his first action since April 2, as he was inserted into the lineup following a wrist injury to senior captain Strahinja Bobusic (Perth, Australia), which he suffered in Saturday's 4-0 win over Notre Dame.

In singles play, Omerzel made quick work of Huey at the fourth singles spot, posting a 6-1, 6-4 victory in just under an hour, putting the Dogs up 2-0. Georgia then took a 3-0 lead as Flores came back from a set down to shut out Rylan Rizza in the third set, winning 3-6, 6-4, 6-0, setting up Isner for the clincher.

Georgia has now advanced to the semifinals for the 16th time in its history. When reaching the semis, Georgia has advanced to the finals five straight times and won the championship twice.

Weather-permitting, Georgia will return to Taube Stadium on Stanford's campus in Palo Alto, Calif., to take on the fifth-seeded Baylor Bears at 5 p.m. PST on Monday in the semifinal match. Baylor fought back from a 3-1 deficit to defeat host-school and No. 13-seeded Stanford by a score of 4-3 in a match that last more than six hours.

Georgia holds an all-time record of 1-1 against Baylor. Georgia defeated BU by a 4-3 score in 1999 en route to its third NCAA Championship. Baylor then beat the Bulldogs in 2003, 4-0, in the first round of the ITA Indoor National Championship.

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