May 26, 2014
ATHENS, Ga.--The second-seeded doubles tandem of Lauren Herring and Maho Kowase fell in the NCAA Doubles National Championship Monday afternoon at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
Alabama's Maya Jansen and Erin Routliffe, the tournament's No. 4 seed, blitzed Georgia out of the gate, taking the first set from the Bulldogs, 6-1. In the second set, the Bulldogs struggled to capture any momentum and ultimately fell 6-0.
"I guess in sports terms, we'd probably just have to say [Alabama] pitched a no hitter," head coach Jeff Wallace said. "Obviously, they played really well. We got broke at love. We actually won two points in the first 18. That wasn't a good start, and they closed out that set. I thought we had some chances early in the second set. But we didn't look like we've looked the last few days, that's for sure.
"But [Lauren and Maho] have had a heck of a year and a heck of a season. Maho has had such an amazing career. Tough to see her last match go down like that. But what an amazing person and what an amazing career. A great run here at this tournament."
Georgia doubles pairs have now reached the finals five times, but are still searching for its first national championship. Herring and Kowase went 50-9 over the last two years, including 36-7 this season. Kowase, who graduated this month, ends her career as an All-American and a four-time All-SEC First Team selection. This season, Kowase became the winningest player in Georgia history with a combined 245 career singles and doubles wins.
"I was so happy that I could play in front of fans and with Lauren [Herring]," Kowase said. "I am upset, but I feel very happy that I could play my last match [in Athens]. [Alabama] just played really well.
"It was the best four years of my life. I don't know what to say. It was the best four years of my life."
As a team, the Bulldogs ended the year with a 24-5 record, capturing the program's seventh SEC Tournament Title in April. Georgia tallied its 23rd 20-win season and received its first No. 1 ranking since 2009.