May 22, 2006
No. 1 seed Georgia moves to 30-0 this season ... Bulldogs going for fifth NCAA title this week ... Georgia looking to become just the fifth unbeaten NCAA champ since 1977 ... UGA to play in 11th final, first since 2001... UGA was playing in 16th NCAA SF (improves to 11-5 in SF) ... Bulldogs won titles in 1985, `87, `99 and `01 ... Georgia beat Furman in first round, Georgia Tech in second round, Notre Dame in round of 16; Virginia in QF and Baylor in SF ... Georgia leads all-time series against Baylor 2-1 (other win came in QF of `99 NCAAs) ... Georgia's John Inser is 3-0 this week in singles and has won 26 straight matches. He is 42-2 this season (tonight's match was rematch of Polo Ralph Lauren All-American final last October against Baylor's Lars Poerschke, which he also won) ... Luis Flores is 2-0 this week ... Matic Omerzel is 3-0 this week ... SF win over Baylor was only the fifth time in 30 matches for UGA this seasonthat score went to 4-3 ... Baylor falls short in bid to reach third straight NCAA final (won 2004 title). Last school to reach three straight finals was Stanford 1996-98 ... First NCAA SF loss for Bears in three appearances ... No. 5 seed Baylor finishes 24-7 this season ... Georgia beat Pepperdine on Feb. 20 in the final of the USTA-ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Seattle ... All-time series between Peppredine and Georgia is tied at 8-8.
Georgia Head Coach Manuel Diaz
On reaching the finals of the 2006 NCAA Championship: "I couldn't be prouder of our guys. I'm not going to say I feel fortunate to be here, but we have shown great resolve and played with great composure and conviction."
On Tuesday's 2006 NCAA Championship match opponent Pepperdine: "Pepperdine has been very consistent and very good all year."
On Matic Omerzel: "Omei did a phenomenal job of handling pressure in the game-clincher. He was a little more nervous in the second set tiebreaker than he was in the third set when he got a break relatively early. He was playing free and with a lot of confidence, and was able to hang on."
On Baylor: "I was very impressed with Baylor. They played this match on their own terms, never wavered and fought a good fight. It was a great match."
On Tuesday's Championship Match versus Pepperdine: "It's going to be exciting. Probably the best match we played all year was when we beat them in the indoor finals. But, tomorrow is going to be tougher. It's always tough at NCAA finals, and they are a very tough team. We have to concentrate on playing doubles better than we did today against Baylor."
On his match-clinching singles win against Baylor's Will Ward to preserve Georgia's unbeaten season: "It never crossed my mind that we had a perfect season. The pressure was just to win the match. I was a little nervous in second set but did a pretty good job in the third."
Baylor Head Coach Matt Knoll
On Monday's semifinal opponent Georgia: "There's a reason they're the No. 1 team; they're a great team and always going to be tough on any team they play."
On the effects of Baylor's First and Second round matches on Monday's play: "You have to believe that (playing late last night versus Stanford) was a factor today as the match wore on. That's what makes team tennis kind of neat though, because you look at some of the other guys that maybe had a chance to win their matches (versus Stanford) sooner and get us out of there an hour and a half earlier than we did. But, that's part of what makes team tennis and this tournament great, because Georgia didn't really have to break a sweat in the first two rounds. We had to work a lot harder and the reason for that is we're not as good as they are. We had to grind it out to get through the quarters and that has to be a factor."
On Tuesday's Championship Match: "It seems certainly the best two teams made the finals and for all of us as college tennis fans, we're in for a great match tomorrow."