Oct. 19, 2012
ATHENS, Ga—Four Bulldogs advanced to the Round of 16 in singles and both of Georgia’s doubles pairs punched their tickets to the second round at the USTA/ITA Regional Championships on Friday.
“It was a really good, solid first day for us,” said head coach Jeff Wallace. “Our players played hard and played well and really created some good opportunity for us to get ready to take advantage of tomorrow.”
In doubles, the second-seeded and 30th-ranked tandem of Kate Fuller and Lauren Herring topped UCF’s Caroline Eberhart and Clare Mendell, 8-1. The win improves the pair’s record to 7-2 this year, and marks their fourth consecutive win. Georgia’s fourth-seeded and 50th-ranked duo of Maho Kowase and Lilly Kimbell topped Georgia Southern’s Paola Garrido and Jordana Klein 8-4.
Tomorrow, Fuller and Herring will square off with Mia Vriens and Francesca Sargeant of Florida State, while Kowase and Kimbell will face the Seminoles’ Kristina Schleich and Leyla Erkin. The win marks the pair’s 26th consecutive win dating back to last season.
In singles, all five Bulldogs won their opening round matches while four advanced to the Round of 16. Top-seeded and 37th-ranked Kowase beat Georgia State’s Linn Timmermann 7-5, 7-5 in the first round, and won in the second round over Florida’s 78th-ranked Caroline Hitimana 6-4, 6-2. With the pair of wins, Kowase improves to 12-1 this year. She will face Kendal Woodard of Georgia Tech on Saturday.
Herring, ranked 53rd in the country, topped Georgia Tech’s Natasha Prokhenska in the first round 6-3, 6-3, and then punched her ticket into the round of 16 with a 6-0, 6-0 shutout of FIU’s Rita Maisak. She will face Briana Morgan of Florida tomorrow. Herring is 9-1 and the winner of five in a row.
Fuller, ranked 62nd nationally, bested FAU’s Ene 6-1, 6-1 to start the day, and then overpowered Mia Vriens of Florida State 6-0, 6-3 in the second round. Fuller is 9-1 in her last 10 matches. She will go up against Georgia State’s 2nd-seeded and 23rd-ranked and Abigail Tere-Apisah tomorrow.
Freshman Makenzie Craft bested Georgia Tech’s Jasmine Minor 6-2, 6-3 in her first match of the day, and then followed with a 6-1, 6-4 win over South Florida’s Fanny Fracassi in the second. Tomorrow, she’ll try to upend 4th-seeded Danielle Collins of Florida.
Kimbell was edged her opening round match against UCF’s Jenna Doerfler 6-3, 5-7, 7-5, but will compete in the singles back draw tomorrow.
The USTA/UTA Regionals is a four-day singles and doubles tournament that serves as a qualifying event for the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships, considered the second leg of the collegiate Grand Slam. The Indoor Championships are held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. from Nov. 8-11.