The 5th ranked Georgia women’s tennis team returns to action Saturday at noon with a match-up against in-state rival Georgia Tech.
“We’re excited for this match,” said head coach Jeff Wallace. “We’ve had a little time off to transition to outdoor tennis. Georgia Tech has a great team and it’s always a great match, We’re ready for a battle. We want to try to keep our good season going so we’re looking forward to what should be a great rivalry match.”
Georgia Tech is 2-3 this season with wins coming in mid-January against Syracuse and mid-February against Tennessee. Tech lost to Clemson, their only common opponent with Georgia, 6-1 last week.
Georgia improved to No. 5 in the latest ITA team poll, and now has five ranked singles players and four ranked doubles pairs. Sophomore Lauren Herring and juniors Maho Kowase and Kate Fuller anchor the top of the Dawg lineup. Herring, who earned SEC Freshman of the Year honors in 2012, is ranked eighth nationally sporting a 23-3 record this year. The 15th-ranked Kowase has a 22-6 record while the 96th-ranked Fuller is 16-4. Freshmen Garcia and Makenzie Craft are ranked No. 100 and No. 117, respectively.
In doubles, the No. 13 pair of Fuller and Garcia, who are 7-0 this season, are the Dawgs topped ranked tandem. Fuller is also ranked with Herring (No. 16) and Mia King (No. 49). Kowase and Lilly Kimbell are ranked No. 33 with a 9-2 record.
After going 6-0 in singles and doubles at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships, Silvia Garcia was named to the All-Tournament Team and garnered SEC women’s tennis Freshman of the Week honors. The Madrid-native, who is 8-1 in singles and 8-0 in doubles, came in at No. 13 in the ITA Top-60 doubles rankings with Fuller and cracked the ITA Top-125 singles rankings at No. 100 in the latest rankings.
Next weekend, Georgia will travel to Knoxville, Tenn. to kick-off SEC competition with a road bout against No. 25 Tennessee (2-4). The Volunteers, who have yet to play an unranked team, beat No. 54 Indiana and No. 55 Ohio State last weekend after dropping its first four matches. Georgia is 43-8 all-time against Tennessee. Last year, the Volunteers were
forced to forfeit its match with Georgia in Athens due to injuries. Before that, the Dawgs hadn’t beaten Tennessee since 2009 in the SEC Tournament championship match.
Georgia is one of four schools to have both its women’s and men’s tennis programs currently ranked in the top 10. The Georgia men’s team is ranked No. 6. The others are Duke, UCLA and USC.