Five from UGA tennis teams advance at NCAA championships

URBANA, Ill. — The Georgia men’s and women’s tennis programs continued their marches toward NCAA singles and doubles titles on Thursday with five of the eight Bulldogs advancing.

The men’s doubles duo of Ben Wagland and Hernus Pieters and the women’s team of Kate Fuller and Silvia Garcia won their first-round matches, while the women’s squad’s Lauren Herring advanced to today’s singles quarterfinals.

Wagland and Pieters, ranked No. 5, reached today’s round of 16 with a 7-6 (4), 6-3 victory over UNC-Wilmington’s 30th-ranked team of Kosta Blank and Chris Cooprider. The Bulldogs’ duo will face North Florida’s 22nd-ranked team of Mortiz Buerchner and Norbert Nemcsek today at a time to be announced this morning.

Georgia’s 15th-ranked team of Garrett Brasseaux and Nathan Pasha fell 7-5, 7-5 to Duke’s 14th-ranked Blake Davis and Dominic Cotrone and wraps up the season with a 19-9 record.

No. 6 Herring topped Southern Cal’s No. 27 Zoe Scandalis 6-4, 6-2 to reach today’s quarterfinals, where she will face Stanford’s 14th-ranked Krista Hardebeck at noon. Hardebeck defeated VCU’s No. 76 Cindy Chala 1-6, 7-5, 6-4 in the second round.

“Lauren did a great job today,” said head coach Jeff Wallace. “She was back in top form today and playing with some confidence. We’re looking forward to her match tomorrow afternoon.”

The top-ranked team of Fuller and Garcia began slowly but did not yield a point in the final set to Rice’s 23rd-ranked duo of Natalie Beazant and Dominique Harmath, winning 3-6, 6-4, 6-0. Fuller and Garcia advance to face Texas Tech’s No. 16 team of Samantha Adams and Kenna Kilqo today at a time to be announced this morning.

“[Kate and Silvia] got off to slow start and the other team was really playing well, but I thought that they weathered the storm nicely,” Wallace said. “We really kept our composure and played a really solid third set.”

Georgia’s Maho Kowase was eliminated in the second round in a 6-1, 6-1 loss to Texas A&M’s No. 4 Christina Sanchez-Quintanar. She finishes the season with a 38-10 overall record.

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Georgia’s odds to win the national championship are now 8/1, according to Bovada. They were 14/1 a week ago.

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