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Men's tennis team is strong individually, continuing to improve as unit - The Red and Black : Sports

Men's tennis team is strong individually, continuing to improve as unit

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Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013 5:03 pm | Updated: 12:25 pm, Fri Mar 22, 2013.

A team is greater than the sum of its parts, but it doesn't hurt to have great parts.

The Georgia men's tennis team is one of only two teams with three players in the top-20 Intercollegiate Tennis Association's latest rankings. The University of Virginia is the other. Senior KU Singh, junior Hernus Pieters and sophomore Nathan Pasha are ranked 8th, 16th and 19th, respectively, after performing well in the fall.

However, the Bulldogs will not rest on their laurels.

"Anytime you are ranked high, that represents hard work. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be there," Pasha said. "But there are other players at other schools who weren’t ranked looking to make their mark, so we have to work to defend our spot."

Pieters is happy with being ranked but doesn't put too much stock into it.

"Preseason, [the rankings] don’t matter that much. It matters where you are at the end of the season," Pieters said, "We focus on improving."

Singh also believes improvement is vital to a successful spring.

"I’m sure we’ll find some things to work on," Singh said. "There is always something to work on."

Head coach Manuel Diaz said the rankings show the team has made "tremendous progress," but it still has room to improve.

"[Being represented in the rankings] helps everybody on the team. It shows that we will challenge even the top teams and that hard work pays off," Diaz said. "But there is always work to do; always need improvement."

The Bulldogs' strong fall increased the overall confidence of the team and has it excited for the spring.

“We did the right thing over the fall,” Singh said. “We are strong in certain positions, and hopefully that translates to wins during the season. I feel great — ready to start playing matches.”

Pieters called the fall "a good stepping stone" for the team.

"Fall was a good period to work on fundamentals," Diaz said. "Now we just need to come together for the team portion of the season."

The team is already creating a strong bond and coming together, Pasha said.

"Before the offseason, we had a meeting where we made promises to get better for ourselves and the team. We made a commitment to each other," he said. "We’re not in juniors anymore; we rely on each other and are working hard toward a common goal that we all want."

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