Erik Grevelius

Georgia men's tennis player Erik Grevelius during the first and second rounds of the 2021 NCAA men’s tennis championships at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Tony Walsh/ UGA Athletics)

The 11th-ranked Georgia men’s tennis team lost to Tennessee in a 4-1 defeat Thursday afternoon in Lake Nona, Florida.

The Bulldogs were eliminated from the NCAA Tournament with the loss and ended the season with a 17-7 overall record, while the Volunteers advanced to the semifinals and improved to 28-3 overall.

Four straight wins in singles at courts one, two, four and six earned the victory for Tennessee. Luca Wiedenmann defeated Blake Croyder 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 at court four to send the Volunteers into the next round.

“It is a tough loss,” said Georgia head coach Manuel Diaz. “All the credit to Tennessee. I think we felt good after doubles. [Tennessee] just made more balls and just played better in singles. It’s a disappointing loss, but I’m proud of our guys for the tenacity and for what they’ve done this year with so many challenges. This one in particular stings a little bit more, because I feel we put ourselves in a position to win, and we just didn’t get the job done.”

Georgia put up a good fight despite the score’s disparity. Bulldogs Philip Henning and Erik Grevelius defeated Mark Wallner and Giles Hussey 6-2 to clinch the doubles point and take a 1-0 lead in the match. 

Georgia’s Henning, Croyder and Billy Rowe then led in each of their singles matches through the first set. Three singles victories would’ve been enough to see the Bulldogs through, but the Volunteers switched the momentum and gained control of the match.

Tennessee’s 10th-ranked Adam Walton defeated 15th-ranked Trent Bryde at court one, and seventh-ranked Johannus Monday quickly followed with a 7-6 (7-3), 6-4 win over Tyler Zink to give the Volunteers a 2-1 lead. 

Grevelius couldn’t replicate his doubles performance, losing 6-3, 7-5 to Pat Harper at court six, which set up Wiedenmann’s clinching win against Croyder. Henning’s match against Prata at court three and Rowe’s match against Hussey at court five did not finish due to Tennessee’s achieved score.

The Volunteers evened the record at two wins apiece between these SEC rivals in their four NCAA Tournament meetings. They also marked their second win of the season against the Bulldogs.

Tennessee will face the winner of No. 7 TCU against No. 2 Baylor in the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament, with the date still to be determined.