Feb. 28, 2014
ATHENS, Ga.-- The 12th-ranked Georgia women's tennis team is set to begin conference play, playing host to No. 40 Tennessee on Saturday at 12 p.m. Georgia (6-2) has won its last two matchups against the Volunteers.
Live scoring and a live blog will be available on Georgiadogs.com.
Match Points: The No. 12 Georgia women's tennis team (6-2) kicks off SEC play when it plays host to No. 40 Tennessee (4-4) on Saturday at 12 p.m. The match is scheduled to be played outdoors. Following this weekend, Georgia will begin a normal Friday-Sunday conference schedule until mid-April. The Bulldogs will also play a mid-week match against ACC-foe Virginia on March 12.
The Opposition: The Bulldogs have won two in a row against the Volunteers, though that includes a forfeit in 2012 when the injury bug struck the Vols late in the season. The Bulldogs have won eight of the last 11 match-ups in the series, and hold a 41-9 series lead. In Athens, the Bulldogs lead the series, 15-2.
The Volunteers come in having beaten Indiana last weekend, 4-3. Georgia and Tennessee share only one common opponent so far this year in Georgia Tech, who beat Tennessee 5-2 in mid-February. Eve Repic is the Vols' only ranked player at No. 55.
Last Time Out: Georgia shutout out Furman before traveling to Atlanta and beating Georgia Tech, 7-0. The Bulldogs improved to 22-4 all-time against its in-state rivals. It was Georgia's first sweep of the Yellow Jackets since 2000.
In the Rankings: The Georgia women's tennis team is No. 12 in the ITA's first computerized rankings of the spring.
The Bulldogs have four singles players and two doubles pairs in the latest individual rankings. Lauren Herring and Silvia Garcia are in the Top-15 at No. 10 and No. 12, respectively. Maho Kowase sits at No. 22 and Lilly Kimbell improved ten spots to No. 33. In doubles, Herring and Kowase are ranked No. 2 while Kimbell and Mia King are No. 60.
The Georgia women's tennis program is the only in the SEC to have two singles players ranked in the Top-20 and is also the only school in the conference to have a doubles pair ranked in the Top-15.
What's Next? The Bulldogs will head to the Magnolia State to square off with Mississippi State on Friday and No. 32 Ole Miss on Sunday. Georgia is 35-0 all-time against Mississippi State and 35-8 all-time against Ole Miss.
Kate The Great: When Silvia Garcia and Kate Fuller won their doubles match last Friday against Furman, Fuller set the record for most career doubles wins in Georgia women's tennis history. Fuller passes former Georgia greats Naoko Ueshima (2007-10, 109-50), Chelsey Gullickson (2009-12, 106-42) and Cameron Ellis (2008-11, 103-54). Fuller and Garcia are 15-4 this year and 9-1 in their last ten matches. Last season, the Fuller was 40-9 in doubles (26-4 with Garcia).
Closing in on 800 wins: The Georgia women's tennis program is just seven wins away from reaching the 800-win mark. The Bulldogs will join Florida (936), Stanford (906) and Indiana (804) in the 800-win club*.
*The NCAA and ITA records for program wins are incomplete so these totals are based on a survey of SIDs. Updated 2/27/14.
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 Highlights: Lauren Herring's junior campaign has gotten off to a quick start. In December, she 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 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.
Earlier this season, 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 the weekend, she cruised to two singles victories and a key doubles win. So far this season, Herring is 19-4 with a team-leading 11 wins against ranked opponents.
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 4-0 in those matches (No. 75 Elon, No. 51 Arkansas, No. 13 Clemson, No. 25 Georgia Tech) and added a win over No. 9 Miami (Fla.) at ITA National Team Indoors. 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, five (No. 5 Florida, No. 8 Vanderbilt, No. 9 Texas A&M, No. 10 Alabama and No. 12 Georgia) are in the Top-12.
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. Last weekend, Brinson debuted in singles going 2-0 winning at the No. 5 spot in Friday's win over Furman and winning at the No. 6 spot in Sunday's win against Georgia Tech.
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, L. Harris-Champer, S. Yoculan, D. Magill).
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.