Freshman Lauren Herring picked up her 20th singles win of the year in the Bulldog win over Michigan.
Feb. 12, 2012
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. --- The No. 6 Georgia women's tennis team finished strong at the ITA National Indoor Championships with a 5-2 victory against No. 10 Michigan Sunday afternoon.
Georgia improves to 8-1 overall, and 3-1 against nationally ranked opponents.
The Bulldogs gave themselves an early 1-0 lead by winning the doubles point. Michigan got off to a quick start when it's No. 24 duo of Emina Bektas and Brooke Bolender knocked off Georgia's No. 2 pair of Nadja Gilchrist and Chelsey Gullickson, 8-2, but the two other Bulldog tandems picked up the slack. Sophomore's Lilly Kimbell and Maho Kowase tied it up with an overpowering 8-3 win against Michigan's Sam Critser and Michelle Sulahian. It's the pair's sixth doubles win in a row. Georgia clinched the doubles point when the No. 60 pair of Lauren Herring and Kate Fuller outlasted the Wolverine's Mimi Nguyen and Sarah Lee, 8-6. The win marks Herring and Fuller's 20th doubles win of the year.
"I thought we played good doubles today," said head coach Jeff Wallace. "It was important for us to bounce back from a disappointing loss. We got out of here with what I feel like are two top 10 wins."
Like in doubles, the Wolverines got off to a quick start in singles. Michigan knotted the score at one when Lee outdid Gilchrist, 6-1, 6-1. The loss marks Gilchrist's first loss of the spring. A short time later, No. 36 Bektas downed Georgia's No. 2 Gullickson, 6-2, 7-5. Georgia's Kimbell overpowered Michigan's Kristy Dodge, 6-4, 6-1, to tie the match at 2-2.
Georgia sophomore Kowase, ranked 22nd nationally, put the Bulldogs back on top for good with a 6-3, 6-4, win over Michigan's Nguyen. The win is Kowase's fourth in a row. The Bulldogs No. 56 Fuller pulled out a three-set 7-5, 5-7, 6-2 win over Michigan's Sulahian to clinch the match. Fuller trailed in the first set 5-3, and was down 40-15 in the 9th game, but came back to win the set. With the outcome of the match already decided, Georgia's No. 56 Herring came back to beat Michigan's No. 46 Bolender, 5-7, 6-0, 6-2
"Now we get to go play outside, where I feel like our team will be even better," said Wallace. "We just need to learn from this week and put into play what we learned heading into a tough SEC season."
Georgia improves to 2-0 in the series with Michigan. The two teams met in the fall at the Bulldog Invitational, but no team winner was crowned.
The Georgia women's tennis team will return to the courts February 24th against Memphis at 2:30 p.m. The match is held outdoors at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex and admission is free.