May 14, 2014
ATHENS, Ga.--The top-seeded Georgia women's tennis team (23-4) punched its ticket to the Sweet Sixteen of the 2014 NCAA Championships after winning its first and second round matches last weekend in Athens, each by a score of 4-0. The Bulldogs will square off with the No. 16 seed Southern California Trojans (18-7) on Thurs., May 15 at 4 p.m. at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. A win would send the Bulldogs to the quarterfinal round against either No. 8 seed Florida or No. 9 seed Vanderbilt on Sat., May 17 at 4 p.m.
Georgia in the NCAA Tournament: The Bulldogs are making their 28th consecutive appearance in the the NCAA Championships, which ranks fifth nationally in a tie with Florida. Stanford, UCLA, and California have the longest streaks at 33 and Texas is in fourth at 32. The Bulldogs are 69-25 all-time in NCAA Tournament matches, including 10 trips to the semifinals (most recently in 2009), and national titles in 1994 and 2000. This is Georgia's fourth consecutive trip to the Round of 16, and 14th overall since the tournament went to its current format in 1999.
The Road Traveled: Georgia beat Elon and Florida State in the first and second rounds, respectively, to advance in this year's tournament. Georgia topped both opponents 4-0 to improve to 26-0 all-time in first and second round matches hosted in Athens (Georgia has now hosted the regional round 13 times).
Since the NCAA Tournament move to its current format of 64 teams, Georgia has advanced to the Round of 16 in all but two seasons (2006, 2010)
A Look Back at Georgia's NCAA Titles: The Georgia women's tennis team has won five grand slam titles, including the NCAA championships in 1994 and 2000. This year marks the 20-year anniversary of the Bulldogs' first national title, which was also the first time the women's championships were held in the Classic City. Coincidentally, the Bulldogs beat Southern California in the Round of 16, before beating Duke, Cal and Stanford to win the title.
In 2000, the Bulldogs traveled to Malibu, Calif. where they beat South Alabama, Southern California, Florida and Stanford. Georgia's win snapped the Cardinal's 48-match winning streak.
Best College (Tennis) Town in America: Athens, Ga. is widely considered one of the best, if not the best, college towns in America, but its identity of a college tennis town shouldn't be overlooked. Largely because to the legenday Coach Dan Magill, Athens has played host to the NCAA Round of 16 and beyond 31 total times, with the women's tournament occuring in Athens seven times, three of which occured before the men's and women's championships were combined (1994, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2012 and 2014).
Thursday's Date with the Women of Troy: Georgia has played Southern California just three times in postseason play, holding a perfect 3-0 record.
As mentioned earlier in this notes package, the Bulldogs beat Southern California in route to both its National Championships (1994, 2000). The Bulldogs also were victorious in 2001. Georgia holds an 8-1 all-time record over Southern California.
The Women of Troy have made six straight appearances in the NCAA round of 16. They beat Michigan on Saturday, winning four singles matches after losing the doubles point.
USC's highest ranked player, Sabrina Santamaria, was sidelined earlier this year with a knee injury, but the Trojans will still have four ranked singles players in their lineup. All three of USC's doubles pairs are ranked inside the Top-50.
Dogs on Top: After a dominating run through the SEC Tournament three weeks ago, the Bulldogs found themselves atop the rankings for the first time since March 2007. For the first time in history, the Bulldogs are the NCAA Tournament's No. 1 seed.
SEC Tournament Champions: It's safe to say that the 2014 squad will always have fond memories of the program's first trip to Columbia, Mo. Georgia beat LSU, before avenging regular season losses to No. 11 Vanderbilt and No. 3 Alabama in route to the program's seventh SEC Tournament Title, and first since 2009. Lilly Kimbell and Silvia Garcia were named to the All-Tournament team, with Garcia also taking home Tournament MVP honors.
Four Bulldogs in the Individual Tournament: Four Bulldogs will participate in the 2014 NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships. The NCAA Championships will be held May 21-26 in Athens, Ga. at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
In the singles draw, Georgia's Lauren Herring and Silvia Garcia earned national seeds at No. 6 and No. 9-16, respectively. Kowase will also be included in the draw, but will be unseeded. On the doubles side, Kowase and Herring earned the No. 2 seed. Kate Fuller and Silvia Garcia, ranked No. 16 in the latest rankings, also earned a bid.
Georgia has had three NCAA individual singles champions: Lisa Spain in 1984, Angela Lettiere in 1994 and Chelsey Gullickson in 2010. Shannan McCarthy was the runner-up in 1992. No Georgia pairing has ever won the NCAA doubles championship, but Bulldog teams have reached the finals four times, including Gullickson and Nadja Gilchrist in 2012. First round matchups will be released by the NCAA during the team-portion of the tournament.
All-Americans: By virtue of being seeded in their respective draws, Lauren Herring and Silvia Garcia earn singles All-America honors and Herring and Maho Kowase earn doubles All-America honors. Kowase can still garner additional All-America honors by reaching the round of 16 in the NCAA Singles Championship or by finishing in the Top 20 of the final ITA National Singles Rankings.
Garcia and Fuller can grab doubles All-America honors by reaching the quarterfinals of the NCAA Doubles Championship or finishing in the Top 10 of the final ITA National Doubles Rankings.
Give Me 20: With its three wins in the tournament, Georgia captured its 23rd 20-win season in program history. Head coach Jeff Wallace has been present for 22 of those seasons. The Bulldogs' have now hit the 20-win mark in three consecutive seasons.
Battle Tested Bulldogs: Georgia has played eight Top-10 opponents this season, having beaten five of them. Since 1994, it has beaten at least five Top-10 opponents six times. Georgia beat seven Top-10 opponents in 1994 in route to its first national championship--a record that still stands today.
Top Dogs: The Georgia women's tennis team improved to No. 1 in the ITA's latest computer rankings of the spring. It marks the first time that Georgia has been ranked No. 1 since March 2007.
In addition, the Bulldogs have four singles players and three doubles pairs in the latest individual rankings. Lauren Herring headlines the Georgia contingent at the No. 6 spot. Silvia Garcia and Maho Kowase follow at the Nos. 15 and 20 spots, respectively. Lilly Kimbell rounds out Georgia's presence in the singles rankings at No. 102.
In doubles, Herring and Kowase are ranked No. 2, while Kate Fuller and Silvia Garcia improved to No. 19. Lilly Kimbell is also ranked with Mia King at No. 65.
The Georgia women's tennis program is the only in the SEC to have three singles players ranked in the Top-25 and is the only school in the SEC to have two doubles pairs ranked in the Top-20.
Georgia is one of four schools in the country to have both its men's and women's programs ranked inside the Top-10.
Kate Fuller is now three wins away from career singles win No. 100. Lauren Herring, a junior, is four wins away from the 100-win mark.
Kowase is also tied for third for most doubles victories in a season (33). Fuller holds the record with 40 and former Georgia great Chelsey Gullickson is second with 35. Kowase is tied with former Bulldogs Naoko Ueshima and Shadisha Robinson.
Kowase, too, is in third (132) for most career singles wins. She is just one wins away from tying Stacey Schefflin for second. Shannan McCarthy leads the pack with an impressive 150 career singles wins
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 Bulldogs have 807 all-time wins. The others are Florida (951), Stanford (917) and Indiana (815).
*The NCAA and ITA records for program wins are incomplete. These totals are based on a survey of SIDs. Updated 5/11/14.
Nobody Does It Like Kowase: At the SEC Tournament, Maho Kowase became Georgia's winningest player, now holding the Georgia record for most combined career singles and doubles wins (239). Said Kowase, "It's such an honor. There have been a lot of really great players that have played here at Georgia so to be talked about with them is a great feeling."
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 27-4 this year and undefeated in their last ten matches. Last season, the Fuller was 40-9 in doubles (26-4 with Garcia).
Best Fans in the Country...Literally: Georgia took home the title in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's (ITA) Attendance Race.
Georgia led the nation with 4,747 fans coming to watch the Bulldogs play this season. The Bulldogs averaged 396 fans over 12 matches, more than 100 more than runner-up Baylor. Athens was also the home to three of the nation's most attended matches this season (Alabama, 833; Missouri, 608; Florida, 602).
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.