After winning a point, Maho Kowase jumps and lifts her knees to her chest, occasionally letting out a squeal in excitement.
The Georgia senior was able to do that often in the final two sets with Lauren Herring as the pair came back to beat Northwestern’s Veronica Corning and Alicia Barnett 5-7, 6-2, 6-3 in the NCAA championships round of 16 on Friday.
Herring, who struggled in the duo’s second-round match Thursday, said she played better in the round of 16, though wasn’t completely satisfied with her performance.
“Once again, Maho I think kept us going,” the junior said. “I think the longer the match went on, the better it got. Especially the last couple games, I was really finding my groove. It’s sad that it took three sets before I could find it, but it was fun. I’m kind of glad we played a longer match, that way I was able to hit more balls and everything.”
Georgia coach Jeff Wallace said Herring and Kowase were more aggressive in the final two sets, especially in the third, with Herring attacking the net more.
“We kind of figured out what they were going to do and then we see and make our adjustments,” Kowase said. “We also have a good stroke for it, so if we know what they’re going to do, we can adjust.”
Herring and Kowase, who are in their second season as doubles partners and are the last Georgia players left the tournament, face Baylor’s Victoria Kisialeva and Blair Shankle at 4 p.m. today in the quarterfinals. It is yet another match Herring will rely on Kowase for laughs and light moments.
“She makes me laugh all the time,” Herring said. “That’s what I need on the court. If I have a partner who takes it too seriously, it’s probably not good news because I can be kind of serious sometimes out there, so I definitely need someone to loosen me up. Sometimes Maho says something and she’s not even trying to be funny and it makes me laugh.”
Kowase and Herring were the only bright spot for the Georgia tennis programs Friday, as unseeded Nathan Pasha, No. 9-16 seed Silvia Garcia and the doubles pair of Hernus Pieters and Ben Wagland, a No. 5-8 seed, were all knocked out.
Garcia, who ended her sophomore campaign with a 37-8 record, came out strong against Duke’s fifth-seeded Beatrice Capra, forcing a tiebreaker before going down 7-6(4) in the first set. Capra then took over, quickly ending the match 6-2 in the second despite several long rallies between the two.
“I got a little tired at the end, so maybe I missed some balls and she didn’t in that tiebreaker and I think that did it,” Garcia said. “You can’t miss easy balls.”
Pasha, who suffered a partially torn patellar during a the first round of the team championships, stayed with second-seeded Marcos Giron in the first set and, like Garcia, pushed it to a tiebreaker before Giron took it 7-6(4).
“There were certain areas I got outplayed,” Pasha said. “First set was pretty competitive. Kind of got up on me in the tiebreaker. I forced a couple back hands. He really got to my backhand a bit more.”
Pasha said Giron began attacking his backhand even more in the second set, taking it 6-3.
“I kind of forced it a bit too much,” the junior said. “My goal was to neutralize the guy when I get pulled the court with the backhand. I got to use my slice or something a bit more, but I force it and miss right away.”
Oklahoma State’s Arjun Kadhe and Jakob Sude handed Pieters and Wagland a 6-3, 7-6(3) loss, leaving the Georgia duo with a 21-11 record this year and back-to-back All-American seasons as a doubles team.
“They played an exceptional break, so they deserved to win the match,” Pieters said.
Now that his college season is over, Pasha said he sees a lot of rest and ice for his knee in the future before getting back on the court again.
Herring said she is still reeling from her dual match against USC’s Zoe Scandalis in the team championships’ round of 16. That match lasted more than three hours and left Herring feeling ill into the wee hours of the morning with little time to recover.
“Honestly, I feel like I’m in really good shape and I have the best trainer in the world, but I think you can never prepare enough for those type of situations,” she said. “… I definitely felt it physically (Thursday) in my singles match. I think it’s why I lost. I just wasn’t able to stay in the rallies.”
Ice baths, air conditioning, plenty of water and rest were on the menu for Herring and Kowase Friday night to help prepare for today’s quarterfinal match as they try to keep cramps and fatigue at bay going foward.
“But I have doubles and hopefully we’re going to win it, so I’m prepared to stay out here as long as it takes,” Herring said.
Follow Rachel online at twitter.com/rachelgbowers.
Men’s Singles Round of 16
No. 47 Roberto Cid (SOUTH FLORIDA) def. No. 41 Dane Webb (OKLAHOMA), 6-2, 7-5
No. 28 Alex Sarkissian (PEPPERDINE) def. No. 38 Leandro Toledo (MINNESOTA), 7-6(1), 6-2
No. 39 Denis Nguyen (HARVARD) def. No. 54 Andrew Adams (SOUTH CAROLINA), 6-4, 6-1
No. 51 Florent Diep (FLORIDA) def. No. 21 Gonzales Austin (VANDERBILT), 6-1, 1-6, 6-3
No. 16 [9-16] Søren Hess-Olesen (TEXAS) def. No. 22 Shane Vinsant (TEXAS A&M), 5-7, 7-6(3), 6-3
No. 35 Mackenzie McDonald (UCLA) def. No. 12 [9-16] Nik Scholtz (OLE MISS), 1-6, 6-3, 6-4
No. 55 Ben McLachlan (CALIFORNIA) def. No. 59 Ryan Lipman (VANDERBILT), 6-3, 6-4
No. 2  Marcos Giron (UCLA) def. No. 30 Nathan Pasha (GEORGIA), 7-6, 6-3
Women’s Singles Round of 16
No. 1  Jamie Loeb (NORTH CAROLINA) def. No. 12 [9-16] Breaunna Addison (TEXAS), 7-5, 6-4
No. 24 Lynn Chi (CALIFORNIA) def. No. 8  Jennifer Brady (UCLA), 6-3, 6-2
No. 22 Abigail Tere-Apisah (GEORGIA STATE) def. No. 3  Kristie Ahn (STANFORD), 6-3, 1-0, ret. inj.
No. 7  Beatrice Capra (DUKE) def. No. 15 [9-16] Silvia Garcia <http://www.georgiadogs.com/sports/w-tennis/mtt/silvia_garcia_837368.html> (GEORGIA), 7-6(4), 6-2
No. 13 [9-16] Chanelle Van Nguyen (UCLA) def. No. 21 Carol Zhao (STANFORD), 7-5, 6-2
No. 27 Ester Goldfeld (DUKE) def. No. 52 Viktoriya Lushkova (OKLAHOMA STATE), 6-4, 6-3
No. 5  Hayley Carter (NORTH CAROLINA) def. No. 11 [9-16] Jenny Jullien (ST. MARY’S), 7-5, 6-2
No. 32 Danielle Collins (VIRGINIA) def. No. 2  Robin Anderson (UCLA), 6-1, 6-4
Men’s Doubles Round of 16
No. 15 Francis Alcantara/Alex Sarkissian (PEPPERDINE) def. No. 60 Jack Findel-Hawkins/Norbert Nemcsek (UNF), 6-2, 6-1
No. 14 Arjun Kadhe/Jakob Sude (OKLA. STATE) def. No. 8 [5-8] Hernus Pieters/Ben Wagland (UGA), 6-1, 1-6, 6-3
No. 3  Peter Kobelt/Kevin Metka (OSU) def. No. 26 Russell Bader/Leonard Stakhovsky (PENN STATE), 6-1, 7-6 (3)
No. 16 Lloyd Glasspool/Søren Hess-Olesen (UT) def. No. 67 Henry Craig/Alex Gasson (DENVER), 4-6, 6-3, 6-3
No. 9 Hunter Harrington/Dominique Maden (CLEMSON) def. No. 42 Alexis Heugas/Nick Jones (VCU), 6-4, 7-6 (3)
No. 4  Gonzales Austin/Ryan Lipman (VANDY) def. No. 17 Jordan Angus/Malte Stropp (MISS. STATE), 7-6 (6), 3-6, 6-4
No. 28 Gregory Bayane/Chase Melton (CAL) def. No. 29 Ian Dempster/Robbie Mudge (NC STATE), 5-7, 6-2, 7-6 (5)
No. 2  Mikelis Libietis/Hunter Reese (TENN) def. No. 10 Marcos Giron/Mackenzie McDonald (UCLA), 6-1, 6-4
Women’s Doubles Round of 16
No. 13 Whitney Kay/Caroline Price (UNC) def. No. 32 Beatrice Gumulya/Jessy Rompies (CLEMSON), 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (5)
No. 5 [5-8] Beatrice Capra/Hanna Mar (DUKE) def. No. 78 Michaela Capannolo/Yuki Chiang (PEPPERDINE), 6-4, 6-3
No. 4  Maya Jansen/Erin Routliffe (BAMA) def. No. 25 Masa Grgan/Abigail Tere-Apisah (GA. STATE), 6-3, 6-3
No. 8 [5-8] Monique Albuquerque/Clementina Riobueno (MIAMI) def. No. 10 Kristie Ahn/Carol Zhao (STAN), 6-4, 7-5
No. 15 Pleun Burgmans/Emily Flickinger (AUBURN) def. No. 16 Brynn Boren/Zoë Katz (USC), 7-5, 7-5
No. 3  Hayley Carter/Jamie Loeb (UNC) def. No. 12 Quinn Gleason/Britney Sanders (NOTRE DAME), 6-2, 6-3
No. 35 Victoria Kisialeva/Blair Shankle (BAYLOR) def. No. 27 Sofie Oyen/Belinda Woolcock (UF), 4-6, 6-4, 6-2
No. 2  Lauren Herring/Maho Kowase (UGA) def. No. 29 Alicia Barnett/Veronica Corning (NWESTERN), 5-7, 6-2, 6-3
Seed in brackets