March 16, 2014
ATHENS, Ga.--The No. 12 Georgia women's tennis team won its eighth straight match Sunday afternoon, beating SEC-rival No. 3 Florida 4-2 at the Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Courts. The win is Georgia's first over Florida since 2009.
Senior Kate Fuller clinched the marathon match with a 6-4, 6-3 win over No. 78 Belinda Woolcock.
"I have to start with the crowd," said head coach Jeff Wallace. "There was great energy all day in the building. Our players gave them a lot to be excited about. The doubles point was fantastic. Every court, start to finish was really working out there. In singles, I was proud that we won every first set and Maho and Lauren getting points two and three really was huge.
"To have Kate Fuller, a senior, get it done is awesome. I'm so happy for everyone on the team. They all fought like crazy today. It was a great match all the way around."
Georgia quickly won the doubles point. On court one, the No. 3 pair of Lauren Herring and Maho Kowase blanked Belinda Woolcock and Sofie Oyen, 8-0. Caroline Brinson and Lilly Kimbell clinched the doubles point, their seventh doubles point clincher of the season, with an 8-2 win over Alexandra Cercone and Brianna Morgan. The No. 36 duo of Kate Fuller and Silvia Garcia led Kourtney Keegan and Olivia Janowicz 7-3 when their match was suspended.
Georgia carried their momentum from doubles into singles play. Tenth-ranked Herring won her sixth straight match, beating No. 8 Janowicz 6-2, 6-4 to put Georgia up 2-0. Later, No. 21 Maho Kowase outdid No. 22 Cercone 6-2, 6-3 to put the Bulldogs up 3-0. Kowase now sports a team-best 28-4 record this year.
Florida cut into the lead when No. 38 Oyen just outlasted No. 45 Kimbell 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 and No. 15 Garcia fell short to No. 23 Morgan, 2-6, 6-4, 6-1. When Fuller clinched the match, Mia King led 6-2, 4-6, 1-0.
The Bulldogs are now just one of two SEC teams that remain unbeaten in conference play. The match lasted nearly five hours and was played in front of well over 500 fans.
Today's win caps a three-win week which included a win over No. 5 Virginia on Wednesday.
"We're excited," continued Wallace. "When we put this week together, we wanted to work on some things as a team. The team did a great job and I'm fired up about where we are at right now, but there's still a lot of season in front of us. We're going to be super excited today and get back to work tomorrow."
The Bulldogs will travel north to take on No. 15 Kentucky and No. 23 Vanderbilt on Friday and Sunday. Live scoring will be available on Georgiadogs.com.
#12 Georgia 4, #3 Florida 2
1. #10 Lauren Herring (UGA) def. #8 Olivia Janowicz (UF) 6-2, 6-4
2. #23 Brianna Morgan (UF) def. #15 Silvia Garcia (UGA) 2-6, 6-4, 6-1
3. #21 Maho Kowase (UGA) def. #22 Alexandra Cercone (UF) 6-2, 6-3
4. #38 Sofie Oyen (UF) def. #45 Lilly Kimbell (UGA) 3-6, 6-2, 6-3
5. Kate Fuller (UGA) def. #78 Belinda Woolcock (UF) 6-4, 6-3
6. Mia King (UGA) vs. #44 Kourtney Keegan (UF) 6-2, 4-6, 1-0, unfinished
1. #3 Lauren Herring/Maho Kowase (UGA) def. #24 Belinda Woolcock/Sofie Oyen (UF) 8-0
2. #36 Kate Fuller/Silvia Garcia (UGA) vs. #35 Kourtney Keegan/Olivia Janowicz (UF) 7-3, unfinished
3. Lilly Kimbell/Caroline Brinson (UGA) def. Alexandra Cercone/Brianna Morgan (UF) 8-2
Florida 12-3 (4-1); National ranking #3
Georgia 12-2 (5-0); National ranking #12
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (1,3,4,2,5)
Match played indoors due to rain