“We survived a really tough Arkansas team today,” said Georgia head coach Manuel Diaz. “Once again we did a really good job to win the doubles and then had some outstanding play from the guys that won singles matches. We really had win some close first sets and in some cases we lost some close first ones as well. It was a very competitive match, Arkansas is always a very well-coached team.”
For the 11th straight time Georgia won the crucial doubles point to take a 1-0 lead. The 24th-ranked duo of sophomore Luis Flores and junior Matic Omerzel were first off the court, winning their sixth consecutive match, an 8-4 decision over Austin King and Colin Mascall at the third doubles position. The Bulldog tandem of junior John Isner and senior captain Antonio Ruiz, ranked No. 32, then clinched the point for the Bulldogs with a 9-8 (4) victory over Matt Roberts and Rohan Gajjar at the No. 1 spot. Purcell and fellow senior captain Strahinja Bobusic, the 7th-ranked team in the country, fell at the No. 2 doubles spot, 9-7, to Adrians Zguns and Blake Strode.
In singles play, the bottom of the lineup quickly took care of business to assure the victory for Georgia. 72nd-ranked Omerzel made it a 2-0 Bulldog edge with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Mascall at the fifth spot. 37th-ranked Bobusic, playing from the fourth position, put up a 6-2, 6-3 defeat of Strode, setting Purcell up for the clinch.
With Georgia already having won the match, Arkansas picked up two straight points as Roberts downed Ruiz 6-2, 6-4 at the third singles position, while Zguns overcame a first-set tiebreak loss to 21st-ranked Flores, eventually winning 6-7 (6), 7-5, 1-0 (1). No. 1-ranked Isner closed out the match for Georgia on a winning note, coming from behind to take down Gajjar in three sets, 6-7 (8), 6-4, 1-0 (4).
“Stracky, Matic and Colin played very well today,” said Diaz. “And John pulled out a very gutsy win at the end for us as well.”
Georgia continues its SEC opening weekend road trip with a visit to Baton Rouge on Sunday for a 1 p.m. EST tilt with the Tigers of LSU.