Jan. 15, 2014
ATHENS, Ga.--The No. 4 Georgia women's tennis team will kick-off its 2014 season with an opening tournament in Maui.
"It's great that we're back practicing and getting ready for our first event of the spring," said head coach Jeff Wallace, now in his 29th season as head coach. "We're really excited to go to Hawaii and get the chance to play some great schools. It's great to have the players back on the court, competing and getting ready for a great 2014."
The Bulldogs will square off with players from Hawaii-Pacific, No. 29 Oklahoma State and No. 44 Illinois.
The tournament will be a flighted round robin with points being awarded to top finishers in each flight. The Bulldogs beat Hawaii and BYU in the program's only trip to Hawaii in 1996.
Georgia returns six players from the 2013 squad that won the regular season SEC title and advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals. It welcomes one new member to the team, Caroline Brinson, who joined the team in January.
The Bulldogs have four singles players and two doubles tandems ranked in the year's first ranking published by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.
Lauren Herring headlines the Georgia lineup with a No. 4 singles ranking, after going 10-3 this fall and advancing to the singles semifinals at the All-American Championships. Silvia Garcia, who is ranked No. 10, has already started to build on her freshman All-SEC campaign, sporting a 13-2 record this fall and winning the ITA Southeast Regional singles championship. Rounding out Georgia's top three, Maho Kowase went 12-3 this fall to garner a No. 25 ranking. Lilly Kimbell shot up the rankings to No. 33 after going 13-2 this fall and coming within just two wins of making the main draw after beginning in the pre-qualifying rounds.
In doubles, Herring and Kowase captured the No. 5 ranking after a 14-3 record throughout the fall and a national semifinals appearance at the ITA National Indoor Championships. Mia King and Lilly Kimbell also were included in the latest rankings at the No. 52 spot. The duo went 8-3 this fall.
Georgia will play host to ITA Kickoff Weekend Jan. 24-26. The Bulldogs will square off with Elon on Jan. 24 at 2 p.m. and will play either Saturday (Consolation) or Sunday (Championship Finals) versus Kansas State or Arkansas.