May 12, 2012
ATHENS-----The sixth-ranked Georgia women's tennis team advanced to the round of 16 of the NCAA Championships with a 4-3 win over No. 24 Clemson here Saturday. The sixth-seeded Bulldogs will face the No. 11 seed Texas Thursday, May 17 at 4 p.m. at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
Maho Kowase clinched the win with a 0-6, 7-5, 6-1 win at No. 3 as the Bulldogs improved to 22-0 all-time in early round NCAA Tournament matches played in Athens.
Georgia (23-4) won the doubles point and eventually led 3-0 before Clemson (16-10) rallied to tie it at 3-3. After falling in the first set, Kowase trailed 5-2 in the second before mounting a furious comeback.
The match lasted five hours and 20 minutes and included a rain delay during the doubles point. The two teams moved indoors to finish doubles, then returned outdoors for the singles matches.
Senior Chelsey Gullickson also won a pair of matches to set the school record for the most singles and doubles wins. The Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., native is 123-33 in singles and 101-40 in doubles for a total of 224 career wins.
"This was an epic battle," said Georgia head coach Jeff Wallace. "Clemson played fantastic the entire match. After the long break before singles, every player came out here and gave everything they had. Maho wasn't playing bad, but her opponent was just outplaying her. For her to come back and win in three sets is amazing. She's such a hard worker and such a fighter. I couldn't be prouder or Maho and the entire team."
In doubles, Gullickson and Lauren Herring topped Beatrice Gumulya and Klara Vyskocilova, 8-6, then Lilly Kimbell and Kowase clinched the point with an 8-6 win over Monika Kochanova and Romy Kolzer at No. 3.
Seventh-ranked Gullickson cruised past Keri Won, 6-0, 6-2 at No. 1 to extend the Georgia lead to 2-0, then No. 96 Kate Fuller made it 3-0 with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Nelly Ciolkowski at No. 5.
Clemson's rally began at No. 6 where Kolzer topped Kimbell, 7-5, 7-5, then Josipa Bek came back to beat Nadja Gilchrist at No. 2, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. The Tigers tied it at 3-3 when Beatrice Gumulya defeated No. 70 Herring at No. 4, 7-6(1), 1-6, 6-1. That set the stage for Kowase, who cliched her fourth match of the season.
The NCAA Championships will begin in Athens Thursday with the women's round of 16. The men's round of 16 matches are slated for Friday, and the finals for both genders will be played Tuesday, May 22. The singles and doubles portion of the tournament will begin May 23.
#6 GEORGIA (23-4) def. #24 CLEMSON (16-10), 4-3
Doubles (Order of finish: 2,3)
1. #46 Kate Fuller/Nadja Gilchrist (GEORGIA) vs. #12 Josipa Bek/Keri Wong (CLEMSON), 6-5, unf.
2. Chelsey Gullickson/Lauren Herring (GEORGIA) def. Beatrice Gumulya/Klara Vyskocilova (CLEMSON), 8-6
3. Lilly Kimbell/Maho Kowase (GEORGIA) def. Monika Kochanova/Romy Kölzer (CLEMSON), 8-6
Singles (Order of finish: 1,5,6,2,4,3)
1. #7 Chelsey Gullickson (GEORGIA) def. #46 Keri Wong (CLEMSON), 6-0, 6-2
2. Josipa Bek (CLEMSON) def. Nadja Gilchrist (GEORGIA), 4-6, 6-2, 6-3
3. #58 Maho Kowase (GEORGIA) def. #77 Klara Vyskocilova (CLEMSON), 0-6, 7-5, 6-1*
4. Beatrice Gumulya (CLEMSON) def. #70 Lauren Herring (GEORGIA), 7-6(1), 1-6, 6-1
5. #96 Kate Fuller (GEORGIA) def. Nelly Ciolkowski (CLEMSON), 6-2, 6-2
6. Romi Kölzer (CLEMSON) def. Lilly Kimbell (GEORGIA), 7-5, 7-5