Georgia advances to quarterfinals with close victory against Clemson
URBANA, Ill. — Fourth-seeded Georgia beat the 13th-seeded Clemson Tigers 4-2 on Friday at the Kahn Outdoor Tennis Complex to advance to the quarterfinals on Saturday.
This will be Georgia’s 21st quarterfinal appearance.
“It was a great match,” head coach Jeff Wallace said. “I thought Clemson played the best doubles point against us of the season. I was really impressed with how we responded in singles. I knew [after the break] that our players were ready to give it everything that they had. We got off to good starts on pretty much every court and I felt like our players fought hard and kept their composure.
Georgia was able to overcome its third lost doubles point of the season with a strong performance in singles.
In doubles, the nation’s top-ranked pair of Kate Fuller and Silvia Garcia dropped only their third match of the season, falling to Yana Koroleva and Beatrice Gumulya 8-3. Lauren Herring and Maho Kowase evened the doubles point with an 8-3 win against Romy Koelzer and Tristen Dewar, but Tigers’ clinched the doubles point when Liz Jeukeng and Ani Miao beat Lilly Kimbell and Mia King 8-1.
Herring, ranked sixth in the country, dropped a 6-2, 6-0 decision to No. 16 Yana Koroleva. The loss snapped Herring’s eight-match winning streak. Shortly after, Fuller beat Romy Koelzer 6-4, 6-1. The win is Fuller’s third in a row and 31st of the season. No. 104 Garcia evened the score with a 6-4, 6-3 win against No. 40 Gumulya, handing Gumulya her first loss since March 3.
Garcia also avenged a two-set loss to Gumulya in February. King put Georgia up 3-2, outlasting Tristen Dewar 6-3, 1-6, 6-2. The win is King’s fifth in a row. Kowase, ranked 19th in the country, punched Georgia’s ticket to the quarterfinals, winning a tightly contested 7-6 (4), 7-6 (2). Kowase was broken to being the set, but fought back and got consecutive breaks to seal victory.
“I’m so happy to get the win [for the team],” Kowase said. “We fought so hard [Friday] and I think it really showed that we wanted it.”
Georgia is playing in its 27th consecutive NCAA tournament and now owns a 67-24 all-time record. The Bulldogs are aiming for their 11th semifinal appearance and their first since 2009.