Ten Reasons not to miss the NCAA Championships
by Travis Ragsdale
photo by georgiadogs.com
1. World class tennis
When it comes down to the best 16 teams in the country in both the men’s and women’s college
tennis, these players are top-notch. They come from all parts of the world to be a part of
the US college tennis circuit. And when they start battling against each other on the court, the
sparks will fly.
2. Great atmosphere
If you haven’t ever been to a tennis match in Athens, you don’t know what you’re missing. It
might surprise you but matches can get pretty wild in a real short period of time. Fans, players
and coaches all get into the matches and the result is a great atmosphere with a palpable
amount of intensity. Now, multiply that by ten and you have the atmosphere when all these
teams are competing for a national title.
3. Cheer on the Dawgs!!!
It’s a great fortune that both the Georgia men’s and women’s teams have advanced to the round
of 16 and will be competing for the NCAA title over the next several weeks. Without question,
the men and women teams will have a massive home court advantage.
4. National Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame
If you want to jump into a time capsule and learn a little bit about the history of college tennis,
head into the College Tennis Hall of Fame right next to the courts and soak it in. It’s a
great resource which includes over 1,800 rare photos as well as racquets used by past champions
and other memorabilia.
5. Dan Magill
One thing that you can just about guarantee about this tournament is that Dan Magill will be
there showing his support. The 91 year-old hall of famer and legend in the college tennis
ranks still makes it over to the tennis center as often as he can. He’s a great ambassador for the
game and is sure to be there greeting fans as they come through the gates.
6. Unnatural rivalries
Every Georgia fan is used to the football rivalries with the likes of Florida and Auburn. But
with tennis, different rivalries have risen and provide a bit of a change-up for fans. For example,
Georgia and Kentucky absolutely hate each other on the tennis court. With both teams on
the same side of the bracket, a showdown may be in the works.
7. Last chance to see the tandem of Gilchrist and Gullickson
The women’s doubles duo of Nadja Gilchrist and Chelsey Gullickson has been one of the best
in the country over the past two years and it will be the last time these two will be playing together.
How great would it be to send them out with a good run in the doubles tournament?
8. Say goodbye to Wil and Sadio
On the men’s side, this will be the last chance for fans to see seniors Wil Spencer and Sadio
Doumbia. Both have been nothing but great since landing in Athens and deserve a great send
9. See one of the greats in action
Men’s coach Manny Diaz is undoubtedly the most successful college tennis coach in history.
You won’t find a better opportunity to see this man in his element than while coaching in the
NCAAs. He’s one of the best and you don’t want to miss this chance to see him at his finest.
10. Watch the Dawgs compete for a national title
How many of you can say you have seen a UGA sports team win a National Championship in
person? I imagine it’s not very many of you. It’s not an opportunity that comes very often and
now it comes twice with both the men’s and women’s teams. You’ll never forget being at a national
title match, especially if the team winning is wearing the red and black.