Gullickson Leads Georgia Over Cal
May 21, 2011
STANFORD, Calif. --- With the team match even at 3-3, defending NCAA singles champion Chelsey Gullickson rallied from a 4-1 deficit in the third set to defeat top-ranked Jana Juricova, leading the No. 8 Georgia women's tennis team to a 4-3 win over California for a place in the NCAA quarterfinals.
Gullickson defeated No. 1 Juricova 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 on the strength of five straight games to improve the Bulldogs to 19-4 on the season while finishing Cal's season at 18-7. The duel was a rematch of the 2010 NCAA singles final.
"Once Kate [Fuller] won, I knew it was up to me," Gullickson said. "I'd played Juricova a bunch of times before and we always have competitive matches. I was upset about having been up 5-3 in the second set and I think I let that carry into the third set, but once Kate won I knew I had to get it done and a light switched on."
"It's very exciting - we came all the way out here, and last year we didn't even make it to the round of 16. We could've been knocked out today, so to be able to get this win for my team is a lot of fun."
Georgia continued its winning ways in doubles with commanding victories at both the No. 2 and 3 spots. First off the court was the No. 3 team of Ellis and Maho Kowase, who defeated Tayler Davis and Alice Duranteau by an 8-2 score to give Ellis the school record and set the tone for the evening. The No. 2 pair of Fuller and Lilly Kimbell followed with an 8-1 romp of 30th-ranked Annie Goransson and Anett Schutting to lock up the doubles point, which would come back to be crucial.
Georgia took a 2-0 lead after Kowase rolled at No. 3 singles with a 6-1, 6-2 win over No. 104 Schutting. But Cal came back to win the next three singles matches on courts five, two, and four to take a 3-2 lead with just Fuller and Gullickson still on for the Bulldogs.
Fuller would even the score with a 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 win over 55th-ranked Davis on court six, leaving it up to Gullickson on court one. The junior had taken the first set over Juricova before surrendering the 5-3 second-set lead. She then found herself down 4-1 in the third, but would go on to break twice in a row to take a 5-4 lead. Gullickson wrapped things up on her final service game, earning the 6-4 win in the third set to down No. 1 Juricova - just her second loss of the dual match season - and give the Bulldogs the dramatic 4-3 win.
Georgia is playing in its 25th straight NCAA Championships and is now 61-22 all-time in the tournament. The Bulldogs improve to 17-0 when winning doubles in 2011.
The Bulldogs will advance to meet the winner of the Stanford-Northwestern match in Sunday's quarterfinals at 7 p.m. ET.
"This is amazing," said head coach Jeff Wallace. "It was a battle and I'm so impressed. Credit to Cal - they are a great team, well-coached, and they came out in singles with some momentum. They got up 4-1 in the third set in the last match and it takes someone like Chelsey Gullickson to get through that. She did what she's done so many times and raised her game to the next level. I am so proud of the whole team."
#8 Georgia 4, #9 California 3