Feb. 5, 2014
ATHENS, Ga.—The fourth-ranked Georgia women’s tennis team is set to square off with No. 9 Miami on Friday at 12 p.m. at the 2014 ITA National Team Indoor Championships. The Bulldogs are making the program’s 24th appearance at he national championship event, which will run through Monday, Feb. 10.
Live scoring will be available on Georgiadogs.com courtesy of the University of Virginia.
Full ITA National Indoor Team Championship Notes Package
Match Points: This will be Georgia’s 24th appearance at the ITA National Indoor Championships dating back to 1988--the first year of the tournament. The Bulldogs have won three national indoor team titles (1995-95, 2002), finished second three times (2001, 2004, 2009), and tied for third nine times (1989-93, 1998-2000, 2013). The Bulldogs will be joined by (in order of seed) Florida, North Carolina, UCLA, USC, Texas A&M, Cal, Miami, Duke, Michigan, Alabama, Clemson, Virginia, Northwestern, and Vanderbilt. The SEC and the ACC lead the field with five teams apiece. The PAC-12 has three teams in the field, followed by the Big Ten with two and the Big 12 with just one.
The Opposition: The Bulldogs will square off with No. 9 Miami (Fla.) in the first round on Friday, Feb. 7. Georgia is 6-5 all-time against the Hurricanes. In the two teams’ last meeting, Miami beat Georgia 5-2 at the 2010 ITA National Team Indoor Championships. Should Georgia advance, the Bulldogs would face either No. 8 Cal or No. 13 Clemson. Click here for the tournament bracket.
The Road Traveled: In 2009, the field for the tournament expanded to 60-teams with the first and second rounds scattered around the country as part of ITA Kickoff Weekend. Two weeks ago, the Bulldogs beat No. 75 Elon and No. 51 Arkansas to clinch a berth in the prestigious 16-team championship even in Charlottesville, Va.
In the Rankings: The Georgia women’s tennis team in at No. 4 in the 2014 ITA preseason rankings released in early January and have stayed there since. It’s the third consecutive season that the Bulldogs have started the season ranked in the Top-10.
The Bulldogs have four singles players and two doubles pairs in the first individual rankings of the year. Lauren Herring and Silvia Garcia are in the Top-10 at No. 4 and No. 10, respectively. Maho Kowase sits at No. 25 and Lilly Kimbell surged to No. 33 after a stellar fall campaign. In doubles, Herring and Kowase are ranked No. 5 while Kimbell and Mia King are No. 52.
The Georgia women’s tennis program is the only in the SEC to have two singles players ranked in the Top 15 and is also the only school in the conference to have a doubles pair ranked in the Top 15.
It’s not just the women either...Georgia is one of three schools to have both its women’s and men’s tennis programs currently ranked in the top 10. The Georgia men’s team is ranked No. 3. The others are UCLA and Southern California.
What’s Next? The Bulldogs will return home to square off with Furman on Feb. 21. Georgia is 16-1 all-time in its series with the Paladins, with its only loss occuring in the Bulldogs’ inaugural 1974 season.
Herring Named SEC Player of the Week: Georgia junior Lauren Herring garnered SEC Player of the Week honors for her play in Georgia’s wins over No. 75 Elon and No. 51 Arkansas two weeks ago. On Friday against Elon, the Georgia junior shutout No. 69 Jordan Johnston, 6-0, 6-0. In Sunday’s championship match, Herring topped No. 71 Yang Pang of Arkansas, 6-0, 6-3. In doubles, Herring and partner Maho Kowase were first off the court with a 6-1 win over Arkansas’ Surin and Huxley.
Lights, Camera, Action! Georgia’s March 30th match vs. Missouri will be carried live on ESPN3 as part of the USTA’s College MatchDay program. In addition to the coverage, the USTA’s 53-foot fan experience trailer will make a trip to Athens for the match.
Aloha, 2014! In early January, Georgia ventured to the Aloha State for competition against No. 29 Oklahoma State, No. 44 Illinois and Hawaii-Pacific. Though the Bulldogs did plenty of sight-seeing and other activities, they also took care of business on the court. Georgia went a combined 17-1 in singles and 9-0 in doubles, sweeping the podium in singles and claiming the top two spots in doubles.
In singles, Lauren Herring won the title after notching 24 points. Silvia Garcia was runner-up with 20 points and Maho Kowase rounded out the top-three with 19 points.
In doubles, the No. 5 pair of Herring and Kowase took home the title with 11 points. Garcia and Fuller finished second with ten points. The trip was the program’s first to Hawaii since 1996.
Familiar Faces: The 2013-14 Bulldog squad returns 87 percent of last season’s singles wins and 83% of last season’s doubles victories. It returns 98 percent of its ranked wins in both singles and doubles. Georgia will be led by three seniors in Kate Fuller, Lilly Kimbell and Maho Kowase. Junior Lauren Herring rounds out Georgia’s upperclassmen.
A Look at the Schedule: The Bulldogs have six “guaranteed” non-conference matches, five which are against opponents ranked in the latest ITA rankings. Last weekend, Georgia beat No. 75 Elon and No. 51 Arkansas. After hosting No. 13 Clemson this weekend, the Bulldogs will play host to unranked Furman and then, just two days later, will travel to Atlanta to renew its annual rivalry with No. 19 Georgia Tech. In March, No. 14 Virginia will come to Athens for a midweek double-header with Georgia’s men’s team.
And that’s just non-conference play. The Southeastern Conference is among the best in the country with six ranked teams, three of which (No. 2 Florida, No. 4 Georgia and No. 7 Texas A&M) are in the Top-10.
It’s a Family Affair: Georgia welcomes third-generation Bulldog Caroline Brinson to the team this spring. The New Orleans native’s grandfather, Vernon Brinson, played baseball at Georgia from 1958-59, and her mother, the former Elizabeth Alexander, played tennis for Georgia from 1988-89, helping the Bulldogs to the SEC Championship in 1989. The New Orleans native is still finishing up her senior year high school requirements while jointly enrolled at UGA. Brinson and doubles partner Lilly Kimbell are 2-0. Officially, Brinson hasn’t played a singles match, but she did beat Clemson’s Joana Eidukonyte, 6-3, 6-1 in an exhibition singles match on Satuday.
Champions du Monde: In 2013, Lauren Herring was selected to be part of the United States’ eighth annual Master’U team. The squad, which was made up of the best college players from around the country, represented the U.S. at the Master’U BNP Paribas, an international collegiate team competition held Nov. 29-Dec. 1 in Aix-en-Provence, France. Herring, along with her American comrades, went 3-0 en route to the American’s fourth Master’U championship.
Where’s Wallace: In 2013, head coach Jeff Wallace became one of just four women’s tennis coaches to reach the 600-win mark. The winningest active coach in women’s college tennis, Wallace ranks fourth on the all-time wins list. Entering the season, Indiana’s Lin Loring, in his 41st season, ranks first with a 800-308 record, Pepperdine’s Gualberto Escudero, entering his 37th season, is second with a 633-329 mark and Notre Dame’s Jay Louderback is third with a 633-343 record.
Wallace’s excellence isn’t just limited to the women’s side as he is just one of six active collegiate tennis coaches (of men or women) to reach 600–win mark. He is also just the fifth coach in UGA’s history to reach the 600-win mark (A. Landers, 919, L. Harris-Champer, 847, S. Yoculan, 834, D. Magill, 706).
NCAA Championships in Athens: The Dan Magill Tennis Complex will be the home of the NCAA Tennis Championships in May 2014 and 2017. It has played host to the men’s NCAA Championships 24 times and the women’s NCAA Championships three times, in addition to three combined tournaments for a total of 30, most recently in 2012. The women claimed the national title in 1994 and at home in 2000.
The Future is Bright: In addition to Brinson, head coach Jeff Wallace announced the signing of juniors tennis standouts Mariana Gould and Hannah King who will arrive on campus in the fall of 2014. Gould, a five-star blue chip recruit, is ranked No. 19 in the Class of 2014 according to TennisRecruiting.net, and has been ranked as high at No. 5 in her class’s recruiting rankings. Gould’s junior’s career is highlighted by two doubles Gold Balls.
King has sported a Top-100 ITF ranking, and has been ranked in the top five in her recruiting class by Tennisrecruiting.net since her freshman year. She received a wild card into the U.S. Open Junior Championships qualifying this year and, in 2011, played in the main draw of the U.S. Open Junior Championships in both singles and doubles, along with being a finalist in multiple ITF events.
Following Georgia Women’s Tennis: Fans are able to follow each match through a live blog on Georgiadogs.com. See the website for more details.
After the match, fans can check Georgiadogs.com for post-match highlights and interviews. Fans can also “Like” Georgia Women’s Tennis on Facebook and follow @UGAWomensTennis on Twitter.