Georgia beats Florida State inside, outside to go to Round of 16
ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia beat Florida State on Saturday evening at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex, punching its ticket to the NCAA Round of 16 for the fourth consecutive year. The Bulldogs (23-4) will play at 4 pm. ET May 15 in Athens against either Michigan or Southern California,
It marks the 14th time that Georgia has advanced to the Round of 16 since the tournament moved to its current format in 1999. Georgia improves to 26-0 in first- and second-round matches that have been hosted in Athens.
"Our players were really focused," Georgia head coach Jeff Wallace said. "We had good energy out there in doubles to get the doubles point. In singles, it seemed like both teams were playing at a really high-level but some of our players did a good job of extending their leads and closing out sets. I was excited to see us get the 4-0 win."
Georgia won an indoor doubles point before moving outdoors and winning three singles matches.
The pair of Lauren Herring and Maho Kowase beat Florida State's duo Kerrie Carwright and Daneika Borthwick 8-1. The win was their 31st of the season. Just a short time later, Lilly Kimbell and Caroline Brinson topped Mia Vriens and Kristina Schleich 8-3 to clinch the doubles point. Kimbell and Brinson have clinched 10 doubles points for the Bulldogs this year
"It's an amazing feeling [to be headed back to the Round of 16]," Lauren Herring said. "It's even more amazing because it's here in Athens. I don't think there's a better feeling than playing in front of the crowd here and I can't say enough about how much they help and support us."
In singles, Lilly Kimbell was the first off the court with a 6-1, 6-1 defeat of Daniela Schippers. Kimbell has now won four consecutive matches. Maho Kowase, ranked No. 20 in the country, gave the Bulldogs a 3-0 lead with a 6-1, 6-3 victory against Mia Vriens. Kowase leads the team with 38 singles wins this year. Sixth-ranked Lauren Herring clinched the Bulldogs' spot in the Round of 16, beating Kerrie Cartwright 6-2, 6-5. Herring won the match's final 10 games to grab her 29th win of the season. The match clincher is Herring's fifth of the year.
With Saturday's win, the Bulldogs advance to their fourth consecutive Round of 16.
The Bulldogs are making their 28th consecutive appearance in the NCAA 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.