Feb. 20, 2014
ATHENS, Ga.-- The seventh-ranked Georgia women's tennis team is set to square off with Furman and No. 25 Georgia Tech this weekend. The Bulldogs will play host to the Paladins (3-2) on Friday at 2:30 p.m. and will travel to Atlanta on Sunday to take on the No. 25 Yellow Jackets (3-1) at 1 p.m. Georgia is returning from a 12-day break after competing at the 2014 ITA National Team Indoor Championships two weeks ago.
Live scoring and a live blog will be available for both matches on Georgiadogs.com.
Match Points: The seventh-ranked Georgia women's tennis team is set to host Furman on Friday and then travel to Atlanta to battle with in-state rival Georgia Tech on Sunday. Friday's match will begin at 2:30 p.m. and first-serve of Sunday's bout will be at 1 p.m. Both matches are scheduled to be played outdoors and will feature the return of eight-game pro-sets in doubles and full third sets in singles.
The Opposition: The Bulldogs have won 16 in a row against the Paladins, with its only loss coming in Georgia's inagural season of 1974. Furman is riding a two-match winning streak with wins over Charlotte and UNC-Wilmington. Earlier this season, the Paladins fell to now No. 1 Duke and No. 33 South Carolina. Georgia Tech is also riding a two-match winning streak, most recently beating No. 27 Tennessee in Knoxville, 5-2. The Yellow Jackets' last win in the series came in 2010 in Atlanta. Their doubles pair of Kendal Woodard and Megan Kurey is the top-ranked team in the country and Kurey is Tech's lone-ranked singles player at No. 94.
Last Time Out: Georgia went 1-2 in its 24th appearance at the ITA National Indoor Championships. The Bulldogs shutout No. 9 Miami before falling in tight 4-3 matches to No. 8 Cal and No. 3 North Carolina. Maho Kowase went 3-0 on the weekend in singles and the doubles pairs of Herring/Kowase and Garcia/Fuller both went 2-0.
In the Rankings: The Georgia women's tennis team is No. 7 in the latest ITA rankings.
Georgia started the season ranked No. 4, marking 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 latest individual rankings. Silvia Garcia and Lauren Herring are in the Top-10 at No. 6 and No. 7, respectively. Maho Kowase sits at No. 17 and Lilly Kimbell is No. 43.
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 Ten and is also the only school in the conference to have a doubles pair ranked in the Top Ten.
It's not just the women either...Georgia is one of eight schools to have both its women's and men's tennis programs currently ranked in the Top-15.
What's Next? The Bulldogs will kick off SEC action when they plays host to No. 27 Tennessee. The Bulldogs are 41-9 all-time against the Vols.
UGA Looking Forward to Full Third Sets: Much has been made about the ITA's experimental rules used during the indoor season. The rules shortened matches by shrinking doubles matches to just a six-game set and removing full third sets in singles matches to instead play a 10-point super tiebreak.
After a quick look at the numbers, it's easy to see why the Bulldogs are surely looking forward to the return of full third sets. Last season, the current Bulldogs won 75 percent of matches that went to a full third set. Over the course of each of their careers, the current Georgia squad wins nearly 70 percent of matches that go the full length.
Herring Named SEC Player of the Week: Two weeks ago, 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.
A Look at the Schedule: The Bulldogs have six "guaranteed" non-conference matches, five which are against opponents ranked in the latest ITA rankings. So far, is 3-0 in those matches (No. 75 Elon, No. 51 Arkansas, and No. 13 Clemson) and added a win over No. 9 Miami (Fla.) at ITA National Team Indoors. After hosting unranked Furman, Georgia will travel to Atlanta to renew its annual rivalry with No. 25 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. 5 Florida, No. 7 Georgia and No. 10 Texas A&M) are in the Top-10.
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.
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 5-1. 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. There's a complete list on page five of this notes package.
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, 920, L. Harris-Champer, 856, 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 home 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.