April 3, 2014
ATHENS, Ga.--The No. 2 Georgia women's tennis team returns to action this weekend, traveling to take on No. 47 Arkansas and No. 54 LSU in its final regular season road trip of the 2014 season.
The Bulldogs will take on the Razorbacks on Friday at 4 p.m., before heading south to face the No. 54 Tigers on Sunday at 12 p.m. Georgia enters the weekend as one of three teams sitting atop the SEC standings with one loss.
Live scoring and live video will be available on Georgiadogs.com for both matches.
Georgia improved to No. 2 in the latest rankings, its highest since April of 2009.
The Bulldogs shut out out a pair of SEC opponents last weekend, including beating No. 7 Texas A&M 4-0 on Friday night.
Georgia has beaten four Top-10 opponents. Since 1994, the Bulldogs have beaten at least four Top-10 opponents (including postseason) eight times. Georgia beat seven Top-10 opponents in 1994 in route to its first national championship--a record that still stands today.
Along with Vanderbilt and Alabama, Georgia is one of three teams atop the SEC with just one loss. The Commodores beat UGA two weeks ago, but will face Kentucky this weekend before a road trip to Florida and South Carolina. The Crimson Tide hosts Missouri and Texas A&M this weekend before traveling to Georgia and Tennessee to close out the regular season.
Georgia sports a combined 60-7 record against Arkansas and LSU.
This weekend marks Georgia's final regular season road trip on the season. The Bulldogs will travel to Columbia, Mo. for the 2014 SEC Tournament from April 16-20.
On Arkansas and LSU: Arkansas and LSU sit at Nos. 11 and 12 in the conference, respectively. Both teams are on multiple match slides.
Arkansas has no ranked doubles or singles pairs, but is led by Yang Pang at the No. 1 singles spot. LSU's Joana Vale Costa is the lone Tiger ranked, coming in at No. 88.
Top Dogs: The Georgia women's tennis team is No. 2 in the ITA's latest computer rankings of the spring, marking its best ranking since April 2009.
The Bulldogs have four singles players and four doubles pairs in the latest individual rankings. Lauren Herring and Silvia Garcia are in the Top-20 at No. 6 and No. 19, respectively. Maho Kowase sits at No. 21 and Lilly Kimbell sits at No. 63. In doubles, Herring and Kowase are ranked No. 2, while Kate Fuller and Silvia Garcia improved to No. 25. Caroline Brinson and Lilly Kimbell cracked the rankings at No. 68. Kimbell is also ranked with Mia King at No. 53.
The Georgia women's tennis program is one of just two SEC schools to have the only in the SEC to have three singles players ranked in the Top-25 and is the only school in the conference to have two doubles pairs ranked in the Top-25.
What's Next? Georgia returns home for its final regular season homestand, hosting No. 5 Alabama and No. 21 Auburn. Sunday's match against the Tigers is also Senior Day for Kate Fuller, Maho Kowase and Lilly Kimbell.
Senior Spotlight: Fuller, Kowase and Kimbell are less than a week away from their final regular season home match. This season, they account for 48 percent of the team's singles win, and sports a .807 winning percentage. They've combined for 298 singles wins in their careers.
*Kate Fuller and Lauren Herring are each seven wins away from career singles win No. 100.
*Maho Kowase and Lauren Herring are one and two wins away from entering the Top-10 for Georgia doubles wins in a season.
800-Win Club: With its 4-0 win over No. 28 Kentucky, the Georgia women's tennis program joined an exclusive club, becoming one of just three Division I women's tennis programs in the 800-win club. The other are Florida (945), Stanford (912) and Indiana (810). *The NCAA and ITA records for program wins are incomplete so these totals are based on a survey of SIDs. Updated 4/2/14.
Herring Garners SEC Honors: Herring has been awarded SEC Player of the Week twice this season, first for her performance at ITA National Indoors and later for her play against Virginia, South Carolina and Florida.
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 20-4 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, six of which are in the Top-10 (No. 2 Georgia, No. 5 Alabama, No. 7 Florida, No. 8 Vanderbilt, No. 10 Texas A&M).
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 11-1 while she is 5-1 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.