Bulldogs Move on to the NCAA Round of 16
May 14, 2017

After advancing in exciting fashion to the Round of 16, we talked to Elena Christofi and Coach Wallace.

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ATHENS, Ga. --- The fifth-ranked Georgia women's tennis team defeated NC State 4-0 Sunday afternoon at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex to advance to the Round of 16 of the 2017 NCAA Championships.

The doubles point lasted over an hour before Georgia captured the point with a tiebreaker on the deciding court. The Bulldogs (19-5) carried the momentum into singles as they won five first sets. Kennedy Shaffer and Ellen Perez picked up the first two singles wins, prior to Elena Christofi clinching the match on court two. The victory sends Georgia to the Round of 16 for the seventh year in a row.

"A big thanks to these great fans that came out and really gave us some inspiration at key times," Georgia head coach Jeff Wallace said. "That doubles was really close. We had some chances to finish and didn't and then they had some chances and didn't, but I felt that we really played well. Then singles we got off to a really good start, winning most of the first sets. Then NC State, like yesterday, started to battle back and we had to lift our games up again, which we were able to do. It is great to be in the Sweet 16 and we are looking forward to the rest of the tournament."

NC State (20-11) obtained the early lead in doubles by winning on court No. 1, 6-4, despite Caroline Brinson and Perez challenging late. Court No. 3 was notched at 5-all when Georgia's Marta Gonzalez and Mariana Gould broke the Wolfpack's serve and then held serve to win 7-5, evening up the score.

The split decisions left court No. 2 as the decider with 38th-ranked Christofi and Shaffer battling Bianca Moldovan and Claudia Wiktorin. Christofi and Shaffer trailed 4-5, but fought back on serve to tie and broke NC State's next serve to go up 6-5. After the Wolfpack forced a tiebreaker, Georgia raced out to a 4-0 lead, before eventually outlasting NC State with a 7-3 tiebreaker score.

In singles, 52nd-ranked Shaffer powered past Wiktorin 6-1, 6-2 on court No. 3. Nearly 20 minutes later, Perez, ranked 12th in ITA singles, finished off 86th-ranked Martina Frantova in a second set tiebreaker to win 6-0,7-6 (5) on court No. 1. Perez fell behind 1-4 to start the second set, before mounting her comeback that gave Georgia a commanding 3-0 lead.

The match clincher occurred on court No. 2 as Christofi, ranked 20th in ITA singles, defeated Anna Rogers 6-4, 7-5. Christofi was down 4-5 in the second set, before rallying off three straight games to secure the win.

"It was just awesome for me, both singles and doubles," Christofi said. "They were both tough matches but I managed to get both wins in front of our home crowd. They were cheering for us and it was amazing. It was like they could give us energy and I loved every moment."

Next, the Bulldogs will play 12th-ranked Pepperdine, a team Georgia defeated earlier this season 4-1 at the ITA National Team Indoors. The match is scheduled for Fri., May 19th at 4 p.m. at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.

FINAL: #5 GEORGIA (19-5) 4, #30 NORTH CAROLINA STATE (20-11) 0
Coaches: Simon Earnshaw (North Carolina State) and Jeff Wallace (Georgia)
NCAA Second Round // Dan Magill Tennis Complex // Athens, Ga.


1. Martina Frantova/Anna Rogers (NORTH CAROLINA STATE) def. #3 Ellen Perez/Caroline Brinson (GEORGIA), 6-4

2. #38 Elena Christofi/Kennedy Shaffer (GEORGIA) def. Bianca Moldovan/Claudia Wiktorin (NORTH CAROLINA STATE), 7-6 (3)

3. Mariana Gould/Marta Gonzalez (GEORGIA) def. Adriana Reami/Tayla Stenta (NORTH CAROLINA STATE), 7-5


1. #12 Ellen Perez (GEORGIA) def. #86 Martina Frantova (NORTH CAROLINA STATE), 6-0, 7-6 (5)

2. #20 Elena Christofi (GEORGIA) def. Anna Rogers (NORTH CAROLINA STATE), 6-4, 7-5

3. #52 Kennedy Shaffer (GEORGIA) def. Claudia Wiktorin (NORTH CAROLINA STATE), 6-1, 6-2

4. #66 Caroline Brinson (GEORGIA) vs. Adriana Reami (NORTH CAROLINA STATE), 6-4, 0-6, 3-2, uf

5. Marta Gonzalez (GEORGIA) vs. Bianca Moldovan (NORTH CAROLINA STATE), 4-6, 6-1, 2-1, uf

6. Mariana Gould (GEORGIA) vs. Amanda Rebol (NORTH CAROLINA STATE), 6-3, 2-6, 2-0, uf

Order of Finish: Doubles (1,3,2) Singles: (3,1,2)



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