May 15, 2011
ATHENS, Ga. --- The eighth-ranked Georgia women's tennis team used a score of 4-0 to down SEC rival Alabama and stake a place in the NCAA Championships Round of 16 Sunday afternoon at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
The Bulldogs were lights-out in doubles and followed that effort with wins on the first three courts in singles to secure the shutout. Georgia improves to 18-4 and ends the Crimson Tide's season at 16-7.
"This is the time to peak," said head coach Jeff Wallace. "I can't remember a time since maybe the 2000 NCAA championship where we've played this strong in doubles. It was just a great effort on their part. I'm so proud of our players and the way they came out totally on a mission. It's really exciting to get the win - I feel like we're peaking at the right time and our performance today was outstanding. We lost a couple matches at the end of the regular season, but we worked hard in practice and the girls bought into everything we were trying to do."
"It's great to be back in the Round of 16 and we'll go from there."
Georgia started the day strong with early breaks on each court in doubles. First off for the Bulldogs was the team of Chelsey Gullickson and Nadja Gilchrist going 8-3 over 11th-ranked Alexa Guarachi and Courtney McLane on court one. Not far behind was the No. 2 team of Kate Fuller and Lilly Kimbell, who posted an 8-1 decision over UA's Alex Clay and Taylor Lindsey.
The Bulldogs were equally dominant in singles, winning five of six first sets. Gullickson pushed the lead to 2-0 as she defeated Macfarlane 6-0, 7-5 at No. 1. She was followed by Kowase, who downed McLane 6-3, 6-2 at No. 3 and left Georgia just one point shy of advancing. The clincher came just moments later at No. 2, where Gilchrist posted a 7-5, 6-0 win over Guarachi to seal the 4-0 victory and send the Bulldogs out to Stanford.
Georgia is playing in its 25th straight NCAA Championships, and is now 60-22 all-time in the tournament. The Bulldogs are back in the Round of 16 after falling just short in 2010 with a second-round loss to Clemson. Georgia will have both its men's and women's teams in action in Palo Alto, Calif., beginning with the men on May 19 and the women on May 20.
The Georgia women will play the winner of today's California-Southern Cal match on Friday at 9 p.m. ET.
#8 Georgia 4, #26 Alabama 0
1. #25 Chelsey Gullickson (UGA) def. Mary Anne Macfarlane (ALA) 6-0, 7-5
2. #59 Nadja Gilchrist (UGA) def. Alexa Guarachi (ALA) 7-5, 6-0
3. #79 Maho Kowase (UGA) def. Courtney McLane (ALA) 6-3, 6-2
4. Lilly Kimbell (UGA) vs. Alex Clay (ALA) 6-2, 4-6, 1-2, unfinished
5. #86 Cameron Ellis (UGA) vs. Antonia Foehse (ALA) 0-6, 4-5, unfinished
6. Kate Fuller (UGA) vs. Merritt Emery (ALA) 6-2, 2-4, unfinished
1. Chelsey Gullickson/Nadja Gilchrist (UGA) def. #11 Alexa Guarachi/Courtney McLane (ALA) 8-3
2. Kate Fuller/Lilly Kimbell (UGA) def. Alex Clay/Taylor Lindsey (ALA) 8-1
3. Maho Kowase/Cameron Ellis (UGA) vs. Antonia Foehse/Mary Anne Macfarlane (ALA) 7-2, unfinished
Alabama 16-7; National ranking #26
Georgia 18-4; National ranking #8
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (1,3,2)
Official: Walt Williams T-2:20 A-332