May 21, 2014
ATHENS, Ga.--Two members of the Georgia women's tennis team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Singles Championship on Wednesday afternoon at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
Sophomore Silvia Garcia, who is the No. 9-16 seed, began the day with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Northwestern's Belinda Niu. Niu, who is ranked No. 35 in the country, was the Wildcats' No. 2 singles player this year. On Thursday, Garcia will face No. 50 Taylor Davidson of Stanford in the second round at 10 a.m.
"I think I played a really good match," Garcia said. "In this tournament there isn't as much pressure as the team tournament. I was just out there enjoying it. You never get to play in front of your home crowd for a national or international tournament so it was really fun and I played really well."
Junior Lauren Herring, the tournament's No. 6 seed, followed suit, beating No. 58 Klara Vyskocilova 6-1, 6-2. After winning the first set relatively quickly, Herring broke Vyskocilova's serve after a long game to go up 2-1 in the second set. She won six of the set's final seven games to hand Tulane's No. 1 singles player her first loss of the spring. She will square off with Stanford's No. 21 Carol Zaho at 11 a.m. in the second round.
"Hopefully I can build each and every match here," Herring said. "I'm fortunate to get through the first round. I just had a lot balls, some long points and some long games. Hopefully next time I can convert a little sooner than I did."
Senior Maho Kowase, ranked No. 20 in the country, fell 6-3, 6-4 to the No. 7 seed Hayley Carter.
The second-seeded doubles duo of Kowase and Herring will start the tournament versus Duke's Ester Goldfeld and Alyssa Smith on Thursday at 3 p.m. Thirty minutes later, Fuller and Garcia will begin action versus Miami's No. 5-8 seed Monique Albuquerque and Clementina Riobueno.
Georgia has had three NCAA individual singles champions: Lisa Spain in 1984, Angela Lettiere in 1994 and Chelsey Gullickson in 2010. Shannan McCarthy was the runner-up in 1992. No Georgia pairing has ever won the NCAA doubles championship, but Bulldog teams have reached the finals four times, including Gullickson and Nadja Gilchrist in 2012.
Scores from Wednesday
#15 [9-16] Silvia Garcia (GEORGIA) def. #35 Belinda Niu (NORTHWESTERN), 6-2, 6-2
#6  Lauren Herring (GEORGIA) def. #58 Klara Vyskocilova (TULANE), 6-1, 6-2
#5  Hayley Carter (NORTH CAROLINA) def. #20 Maho Kowase (GEORGIA), 6-4, 6-3