March 20, 2014
ATHENS, Ga.--The No. 3 Georgia women's tennis team returns to action this weekend, traveling to No. 28 Kentucky and No. 11 Vanderbilt.
Georgia will face off with Kentucky on Friday at 11 a.m. and No. 11 Vanderbilt on Sunday at 2 p.m.
The Bulldogs are riding an eight-match winning streak and are currently one of just two undefeated SEC teams in conference play.
Live scoring will be available for both matches on Georgiadogs.com.
Georgia is ranked No. 3 in the latest rankings, its best ranking of the year.
Lauren Herring was named last week's SEC Player of the Week after going 2-0 in both singles and doubles and knocking off three top-ten opponents.
Georgia's win over No. 3 Florida was its first since 2009. The Bulldogs enter the weekend with Alabama as the only two SEC schools to remain undefeated.
The Bulldogs eight-match win streak is second-best in the SEC (Alabama, 9).
Georgia enters the weekend after beating a pair of top-five opponents at home last week. It topped No. 5 Virginia 4-3 last Wednesday and beat No. 3 Florida 4-2 on Sunday. Georgia also beat conference rival South Carolina 4-0 on Friday. It marks the eighth time since 1994 that Georgia has knocked off at least two top-five opponents in the same season.
The Georgia women's tennis program will be going for its 800th program win this weekend. Wednesday's win over Virginia and Sunday's win against Florida were the programs 798th and 799th wins, respectively.
Georgia hasn't lost to Vanderbilt or Kentucky since 2006. In that year, the Bulldogs lost the regular season matchups to both (on the road) and fell to Vanderbilt in the NCAA Tournament's second round.
On Kentucky and Vanderbilt: Both the Wildcats and Commodores sit in the upper half of the SEC rankings.
Kentucky enters the weekend on a three-match win streak, having played its last four matches on the road. It's lone SEC loss came in College Station to Texas A&M, 4-2. Nadia Ravita is the only Kentucky player ranked in singles at No. 54. In doubles, CeCe Witten and Caitlin McGraw are ranked No. 56.
Much like Kentucky, Vanderbilt is 3-1 in its last four matches (all on the road) with its only loss coming to Texas A&M. The Dores have won nine of its last 10 matches. Vanderbilt has two ranked in singles (No. 63 Sellyn and No. 92 Colton) and has four ranked doubles pairs, headlined by Ashleigh Antal and Sydney Campbell at No. 30.
Top Dogs: The Georgia women's tennis team is No. 3 in the ITA's latest computer 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. 15, respectively. Maho Kowase sits at No. 21 and Lilly Kimbell sits at No. 45. In doubles, Herring and Kowase are ranked No. 3, Kate Fuller and Silvia Garcia broke in at No. 36 and 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 one of just two schools in the conference to have a doubles pair ranked in the Top-10. Updated singles and doubles rnakings will be published next week.
What's Next? The Bulldogs return home to host No. 7 Texas A&M and Missouri. Sunday's match against Missouri will be streamed 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.
Closing in on 800 wins: The Georgia women's tennis program is just one win away from reaching the 800-win mark. The Bulldogs will join Florida (942), Stanford (908) and Indiana (809) 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 3/13/14.
Herring Garners SEC Player of the Week Honors: Herring went 2-0 in both singles and doubles, including three top-ten wins to help Georgia win three matches last week. She beat Julia Elbaba of Virginia, 6-4, 6-4 and No. 8 Olivia Janowicz of Florida, 6-2, 6-4.
In doubles, Herring and partner Maho Kowase went 2-0 against two top-25 opponents. The duo clinched a critical doubles point against No. 9 Julia Elbaba and Rachel Pierson of Virginia, 8-6 and shutout No. 24 Belinda Woolcock and Sofie Oyen of Florida, 8-0.
This is the second time that Herring has won SEC Player of the Week honors this spring.
Kate The Great: When Silvia Garcia and Kate Fuller won their doubles match against Furman on Feb. 21, 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 17-4 this year and 9-1 in their last ten matches. Last season, the Fuller was 40-9 in doubles (26-4 with Garcia).
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.
Non-Conference Success: The Bulldogs had six "guaranteed" non-conference matches, five which against opponents ranked in the latest ITA rankings. Georgia went 5-0 in those matches (No. 75 Elon, No. 51 Arkansas, No. 13 Clemson, No. 25 Georgia Tech, No. 5 Virginia) and added a win over No. 9 Miami (Fla.) at ITA National Team Indoors.
And that's just non-conference play. The Southeastern Conference is among the best in the country with six ranked teams, five (No. 3 Georgia, No. 5 Florida, No. 7 Texas A&M, No. 8 Alabama, No. 11 Vanderbilt) are in the Top-11.
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 8-1 while she is 4-1 in singles competition.
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 the 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.