Highlights of Georgia women's tennis against Florida from the NCAA Championships.
May 17, 2014
ATHENS, Ga.--The top-seeded Georgia women's tennis team fell short against the No. 8 seed Florida in the NCAA Quarterfinals, losing to the Gators 4-1 on Saturday evening at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
Georgia lost the doubles point and couldn't find four singles wins to stop Florida's momentum.
"We've got three seniors here that have had amazing careers with Kate, Lilly and Maho," said head coach Jeff Wallace. "What they've done for this program over the past four years has just been remarkable, and I'm super proud of them. This isn't the way they wanted to go out, but we certainly have to mention how amazing their careers have been.
"I think our team has had an unbelievable season, being the No. 1 seed, having the best regular season, winning the SEC Tournament. We wanted to do more than the quarterfinals, and that was our goal, but it wasn't meant today. You have to take your hat off to Florida, they just really played well against us. I think that was the best I've seen them play in doubles this year, and unfortunately we didn't get that doubles point. But we had some good starts in singles and flipped the momentum there for a little while, and then their players really stepped it up and played well to close out some sets and matches."
In doubles, Brianna Morgan and Olivia Janowicz raced to an 8-2 win over Lilly Kimbell and Caroline Brinson. After a late surge fell short, the No. 27 ranked pair of Sofie Oyen and Belinda Woolcock outdid the No. 19 duo of Kate Fuller and Silvia Garcia. Lauren Herring and Maho Kowase, ranked No. 2 in the country, led 7-6 when their match was suspended.
In singles, the Bulldogs got off to a quick start by winning four first sets, but couldn't maintain the momentum. After No. 15 Silvia Garcia evened the score with a 6-1, 6-2 win over No. 14 Janowicz, Florida's Cercone, ranked No. 28 in the country, beat Georgia's Kimbell 6-4, 6-2 to put the Gators back up 2-1.
After falling 6-4 in the first set, Florida's No. 16 Brianna Morgan used a late second set break to beat No. 6 Herring, 6-4, 7-5 and put Florida to within one match of advancing. With the three remaining matches in third sets, No. 20 Kowase, who was handicapped by cramping, lost to No. 70 Sofie Oyen, 3-6, 6-4, 6-0.
"You could see through that whole third set that she was severely hampered and cramping," continued Wallace. "Maho's unbelievable, she's won more singles and doubles matches in a career than any other player to play here. She's just a phenomenal athlete, a great player, a warrior out there, and it's tough to see her in her last match not be at 100% like she was. She's such a fighter, and she usually finds ways to get it done, but she was going to stay out there, there was no quit in her, and she was going to give it everything she had, and it was just unfortunate that she was hampered the way that she was. I think Oyen played really smart too, while she was having those issues. I think she kept the ball in play well, and moved her a lot and played a smart third set."
Georgia ends the season with a 24-5 record. The Bulldogs, who have now had 24 wins in three consecutive seasons, put together their 23rd 20-win and won their seventh SEC Tournament and first since 2009.
Though the Bulldogs are done in the team portion of the 2014 NCAA Championships, Lauren Herring, Maho Kowase, Silvia Garcia and Kate Fuller will all be active in the singles and doubles championships which begin on Wed., May 21.
Doubles (Order of finish: 3,2)
1. #2 Lauren Herring/Maho Kowase (GEORGIA) vs. Alexandra Cercone/Kourtney Keegan (FLORIDA), 7-6, unf.
2. #27 Sofie Oyen/Belinda Woolcock (FLORIDA) def. #19 Kate Fuller/Silvia Garcia (GEORGIA), 8-5
3. Brianna Morgan/Olivia Janowicz (FLORIDA) def. Lilly Kimbell/Caroline Brinson (GEORGIA), 8-2
Singles (Order of finish: 2,4,1,3)
1. #16 Brianna Morgan (FLORIDA) def. #6 Lauren Herring (GEORGIA), 6-4,7-5
2. #15 Silvia Garcia (GEORGIA) def. #14 Olivia Janowicz (FLORIDA), 6-1, 6-2
3. #70 Sofie Oyen (FLORIDA) def. #20 Maho Kowase (GEORGIA), 3-6, 6-4, 6-0
4. #28 Alexandra Cercone (FLORIDA) def. #102 Lilly Kimbell (GEORGIA), 6-4, 6-2
5. Kate Fuller (GEORGIA) vs.#99 Belinda Woolcock (FLORIDA) , 6-2, 5-7, 1-2, unf.
6. Mia King (GEORGIA) vs. #67 Kourtney Keegan (FLORIDA), 6-3, 4-6, 3-5, unf.