May 22, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. --- Both Georgia singles players advanced on the first day of the NCAA singles tournament in Urbana, Ill. Sixth-ranked Lauren Herring and 19th-ranked Maho Kowase each won their respective matches in three sets.
Herring, who is making her first career appearance in the NCAA singles tournament, topped Northwestern's No. 57 Kate Turvy, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3. The Greenville, N.C. native overcame being broken early in the third set to advance to the second round. She will take on No. 27 Zoe Scandalis of Southern California tomorrow. Earlier today, Scandalis beat No. 48 Brittany Sanders of Notre Dame 6-2, 6-1.
"I came out the first set and played pretty solid," Herring said. "In the second set, I think [Turvy] settled in and I got away from being aggressive. I was happy with the way I was able to step up in third set and hopefully tomorrow is new day and I'm able to be more consistent."
Kowase also advanced to the second round, outlasting UC-Irvine's No. 85 Kristina Smith 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-3. Smith had a match point in the second set, and led the second set tiebreak 5-2, but Kowase fought back to force a tiebreaker and eventually win it, 7-5. The Georgia junior will square off with No. 4 Christina Sanchez-Quintanar tomorrow. Sanchez-Quintanar beat No. 55 Courtney Collins of Memphis, 6-1, 6-3.
"I'm happy with the way that I played," said Kowase. "It was a good match and I'm looking forward to playing tomorrow in the second round."
"[Smith] had a match point in the second set and then led in the tiebreak so I'm so glad that I came back to win," Kowase said. "I'm just working on getting ready for the next round."
In addition to the second round of singles play, junior Kate Fuller and freshman Silvia Garcia will begin play in the NCAA doubles tournament Thursday. Times for both will be released tomorrow morning, but the doubles matches will not begin before 2:30 p.m. ET.
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.
As a team, Georgia (24-4) advanced to the quarterfinals before falling to No. 12 Stanford on Sunday afternoon, 4-1.