Senior Lilly Kimbell
April 10, 2014
ATHENS, Ga.—The No. 8 Georgia women’s tennis team will play host to the last regular season SEC matches of the year this weekend, hosting No. 9 Alabama and No. 24 Auburn.
The Bulldogs will play No. 9 Alabama on Friday at 5 p.m. in a match that will have a large impact on the final SEC standings. Both the Bulldogs and the Crimson Tide are tied atop the SEC with Vanderbilt. The Commodores travel to take on No. 11 Florida and South Carolina this weekend.
On Sunday, Georgia will play host to Auburn at 1 p.m. Georgia’s three seniors—Kate Fuller, Lilly Kimbell and Maho Kowase—will be honored prior to the match.
All matches are held at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex and admission is free. Fans can watch live scoring and video on Georgiadogs.com, as well as the Georgia Tennis Live Chat.
• Georgia is No. 8 in the latest rankings. It has four ranked singles players and four ranked doubles tandems.
• The Bulldogs are riding a four-match winning streak out and have shutout five of its last six opponents.
• Georgia’s match against No. 9 Alabama will be its seventh match of the season versus a Top-10 opponent. The Bulldogs have beaten four Top-10 opponents. Since 1994, they have beaten at least four Top-10 opponents (including postseason) eight times and at least five six times. Georgia beat seven Top-10 opponents in 1994 in route to its first national championship--a record that still stands today.
• With a pair of wins this weekend, Georgia will secure a share of its second straight SEC Championship. Currently, Georgia is one of three teams (Vanderbilt, Alabama) atop the SEC with just one loss, with its lone loss coming to Vanderbilt three weeks ago. The Commodores travel to Gainesville and Columbia (S.C.) this weekend, while Alabama will visit Athens and Knoxville.
• Georgia sports a combined 88-8 record against Alabama and Auburn.
• This weekend marks Georgia’s regular season competition on the season. The Bulldogs will travel to Columbia, Mo. for the 2014 SEC Tournament from April 16-20.
On Alabama and Auburn: The Crimson Tide enters the weekend in a tie for first place in the SEC, with its only loss coming to Vanderbilt. Earlier this season, it beat Florida for the first time in program history.
Alabama has five players ranked in singles, but no one within the Top-50. It has four doubles pairs ranked, led by No. 10 Erin Routliffe and Maya Jansen.
Current UGA Assistant Coach Drake Bernstein coached at Alabama for one season in 2012, helping the Crimson Tide to its highest end-of-season ranking in school history at No. 11.
Auburn, which currently sits at sixth in the SEC, is led by No. 36 Pleun Burgmans, who is one of two singles players ranked. The Tigers also have two doubles tandems in the rankings.
Top Dogs: The Georgia women’s tennis team is No. 8 in the ITA’s latest computer rankings of the spring. Despite two wins last weekend, UGA fell six spots from the No. 2 spot which was 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. 7 and No. 14, respectively. Maho Kowase sits at No. 19 and Lilly Kimbell sits at No. 73. In doubles, Herring and Kowase are ranked No. 2, while Kate Fuller and Silvia Garcia improved to No. 28. Caroline Brinson and Lilly Kimbell stayed in the rankings at No. 81. Kimbell is also ranked with Mia King at No. 54.
The Georgia women’s tennis program is the only in the SEC to have three singles players ranked in the Top-25 and is one of only two schools in the SEC to have two doubles pairs ranked in the Top-30.
What’s Next? Georgia travels to Columbia, Mo. for the 2014 SEC Tournament from April 16-20. The Bulldogs have secured a top-four seed so will have bye until Friday’s quarterfinal round. One win from Georgia this weekend will guaruntee a top-three seed.
Senior Spotlight: Sunday marks the final homematch for seniors Kate Fuller, Lilly Kimbell and Maho Kowase. Coming into the weekend, this senior class has helped Georgia win 84 matches, an SEC Championship and three NCAA Quarterfinals berths. This season, they account for 48 percent of the team’s singles win, and sports a .807 winning percentage. They’ve combined for 302 singles wins in their careers.
Wallace on the Seniors:“It’s amazing what they’ve done and how much they’ve brought to this program. Their leadership and their inspiration when they’re our there on the court in practices and matches, I can’t say enough about them.
We’re excited for them to be here in their final regular season home matches, but it’s also sad because they’ll be leaving us. I know that they will all move onto bigger and better things.
The coolest thing is the culture that they brought in as a group. They wanted a super-positive, cohesive team and a hard working atmosphere and that’s what they all brought in.
We have three seniors that are in their final weekend and really have given so much to this program. It’s players like these that help a program not only maintain but grow and each of them has been important to our current and future success.”
• Maho Kowase won her 29th doubles match of the season last Friday to move into a tie for ninth for most doubles wins in a season.
• Lauren Herring sits just two wins away from entering the Top-10.
800-Win Club: With its 4-0 win over No. 28 Kentucky earlier this season, 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 (947), Stanford (913) and Indiana (812).
*The NCAA and ITA records for program wins are incomplete so these totals are based on a survey of SIDs. Updated 4/9/14.
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 22-4 this year and 9-1 in their last ten matches. Last season, the Fuller was 40-9 in doubles (26-4 with Garcia).
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 12 ranked teams, five of which are in the Top-10 (No. 5 Vanderbilt, No. 8 Georgia, No. 9 Alabama, No. 10 Texas A&M).
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.
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.