March 11, 2011
ATHENS, GA --- The No. 11 Georgia women's tennis team won its SEC home opener against No. 8 Vanderbilt 6-1 Friday night.
The win moves the Bulldogs to 7-1 this season, and 3-0 in the SEC. The Bulldogs are riding a five-match winning streak, its first since March 2009. The 2009 streak lasted 16 matches, ending in late May.
In doubles, Georgia's 25th-ranked pair of Chelsey Gullickson and Kate Fuller started things off for the Bulldogs with a 8-4 win over Vanderbilt's 52nd-ranked team of Rachael Dillon and Alex Leatu at No. 1. With the victory, Gullickson and Fuller extended their win streak to five. Later, Georgia's Alex Anghelescu and Cameron Ellis clinched the doubles point with a 8-5 win over Vanderbilt's Chelsea Preeg and Jackie Wu at No. 2. The Georgia duo is now 12-3 on the year. With the doubles point already decided, Vanderbilt's Lauren Mira and Keilly Ulery defeated Georgia's Maho Kowase and Lilly Kimbell, 8-4, at No. 3. The loss drops Kimbell and Kowase's record to 11-5 this year.
"This was a big SEC win against a top-10 team in the country," head coach Jeff Wallace said. "I'm really pleased with the way we played, especially the way we came out and started in doubles. Our number one doubles team has been so important for us, and they're playing great right now."
In singles, Ellis added to the Bulldog lead with a 6-1, 6-1, win over Vanderbilt's Dillon at No. 5. The win is Ellis' fourth in a row, and 20th of the year. At No. 1, 48th-ranked Gullickson put the Dogs up 3-0 with a 6-4, 6-1 win over 80th-ranked Leatu. Vanderbilt closed the gap to 3-1 at No. 3 when Georgia's 59th-ranked Nadja Gilchrist fell to Vanderbilt's Preeg, 6-2, 7-6 (3). However, at No. 4, the Bulldog's Kimbell ended any suspense when she clinched the match with a 6-2, 7-6 (4) win over Vanderbilt's 115th-ranked Mira. It's Kimbell's fifth consecutive win and third match clincher of the season.
"That was a big clincher for Lilly [Kimbell]," Wallace said. "It's so important to be on those situations and know that you can win."
At No. 6, Fuller notched her 9th singles win of the year with a 7-5, 6-4, defeat of the Commodores' Ulery. To finish the match, Georgia's Kowase defeated Vanderbilt's Wu 5-7, 6-4, 1-0 (12-10). The win is Kowase's fifth consecutive, and 23rd of the season, a team-high.
Georgia improves to 27-7 in the series and notches its fifth consecutive win against the Commodores. The Georgia women's tennis team will return to the courts Sunday and play host to Kentucky. The match is at 1 p.m. and admission is free.