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TENNIS ON CAMPUS

Georgia, Tennis On Campus Celebrate 2013 National Championship

April 13, 2013 10:53 PM
The University of Georgia Bulldogs, 2013 Tennis On Campus national champions.
The Bulldogs bring their very first Tennis On Campus title back to Athens, Ga.
Despite a finals loss, the Florida Gators were proud to rebound after a disappointing 2012 performance at Nationals.
By Nicholas J. Walz, USTA.com
 
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- For the first time in school history, the University of Georgia is the Tennis On Campus top dog.
 
The crew from Athens, Ga., held off archrival University of Florida, 26-24, in the final of the 2013 Tennis On Campus National Championship, held at the Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex in Surprise, Ariz. The Bulldogs clinched the victory in a mixed doubles fifth set, narrowly avoiding an ultimate super tie-break to crown the tournament winner.
 
"Georgia-Florida might be one of the biggest rivalries in all of college sports," said senior Matthew Holland. "It’s sweet to win but that much sweeter to beat them in the finals. They were an awesome team."
 
Georgia turned heads by knocking out defending national champion UC Berkeley in the quarterfinals, 21-20, followed by a 26-20 win over 2011 champ UCLA. On the tournament’s first day, the team earned a spot into the championship-eligible gold bracket with a Pool E victory over Brigham Young, Purdue and the University of Texas at San Antonio.
 
"I feel like this is the first club national title that any sport at Georgia has won," said Margaret Inscoe, a graduate-eligible student. "It’s a huge deal for us. We honestly didn’t think we would get this far and it’s just amazing that we did."
 
A sun-soaked Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex in Surprise, Ariz., showcased the top 64 club tennis teams in the nation, with three days of heated competition. Nationals will return to Surprise in 2014 for the tournament’s 15-year anniversary, April 10-12.
 
"The Tennis On Campus National Championship is the most exciting and successful recreational college tennis event in the country," said Glenn Arrington, National Manager, USTA Tennis On Campus. "The Championship offers students a well-rounded experience of competition and fun in a social co-ed atmosphere, setting it apart from varsity programs. 
 
"Having the opportunity to compete at Nationals is a memorable milestone in our players’ college experience, so congratulations to Georgia, Florida and all the teams who made this year’s field because they sure created some memories for all involved."
 
The Gators missed out on their first national title since 2003, yet achieved a measure of redemption for the upperclassmen: after losing the 2011 final to UCLA, last year Florida fell in a round of 16 upset to the California Polytechnic Institute.
 
"It’s still hard to describe the way we felt that day – with such high expectations that year, the loss hurt," said Adam Decker, Florida team captain. "After playing the first few tournaments this year, that loss was what pulled us all together and gave us the incentive to play our best in order to get a second chance here." 
 

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