Georgia will return to action on Thursday at 4 p.m. against USC
May 13, 2014
ATHENS, Ga.—The No. 1 Georgia women’s tennis team garnered six Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Southeast Regional awards, the organization on Tuesday morning.
Head Coach Jeff Wallace and Assistant Coach Drake Bernstein each won ITA Regional Coach of the Year and Assistant Coach of the year honors, respectively. Wallace, who this season led Georgia to its first No. 1 overall seed in program history and the program’s 23rd 20-win season, has now won four ITA regional coaching awards. This is the first such honor for Bernstein.
Maho Kowase was named ITA Region Senior of the Year and the region’s winner of the Cissie Leary Award for Sportsmanship. On the court, she leads the team with 38 singles wins and 33 doubles wins. This season, the four-time All-SEC First Team selection became the winningest player in Georgia history, now holding the Georgia record for most combined career singles and doubles wins at 235. Off the court, Kowase is a multiple time ITA Scholar Athlete and SEC Academic Honor Roll team member. She was also awarded the NCAA, SEC and UGA Sportsmanship awards, becoming the first UGA student-athlete to ever garner the NCAA’s most coveted sportsmanship award.
For the second straight year, Kate Fuller won the region’s Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sportsmanship and Leadership award. Fuller, who has won more doubles matches than anyone in program history, was just named to the SEC Community Service team for the fourth straight year. She has been President of the UGA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, was a “Peach of an Athlete” collegiate nominee and has been an active member with many philanthropic organizations on campus and in the community. This year, Fuller serves as a student-athlete representative on the UGA Athletic Association Board of Directors.
Lilly Kimbell was awarded ITA Regional Most Improved Senior of the Year. She’s a career-best 29-7 in singles this season, and has gone 25-6 in doubles. In the fall, an unranked Kimbell advanced through the pre-qualifying draw of the All-American Championships to come within just two wins of making the main draw. Kimbell was named to the 2014 SEC All-Tournament team after she and doubles partner Caroline Brinson clinched a critical doubles point against No. 3 Alabama in the final and Kimbell clinched Georgia’s semifinal win over No. 11 Vanderbilt.
All of the regional winners are now eligible to be awarded the national award which will be announced next week.
The Bulldogs (23-4) will play on Thursday, May 15 at 4:00 p.m. ET in Athens against No. 16 seed Southern California. The Bulldogs are making their 28th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tennis Championships, ranking fifth nationally in a tie with Florida. Georgia is 69-25 in the NCAA Championships, including 10 trips to the National Semifinals with national titles in 1994 and 2000.