COLUMBIA, MO. | The No. 6 Georgia women‚Äôs tennis team advanced in the Southeastern Conference tournament on Friday, beating LSU 4-0 at the Mizzou Tennis Center.
Georgia (19-4) got the early momentum by winning the doubles point. The No. 27 duo of Silvia Garcia and Kate Fuller won five straight games to win 8-3. Fuller and Garcia improve to 25-4 overall. The No. 2 tandem of Lauren Herring and Maho Kowase clinched the doubles point, battling back to beat Joana Vale Costa and Noel Scott, 8-5. Herring and Kowase have clinched five doubles points on the year.
Georgia carried its early momentum into singles to win three singles matches.
The Bulldogs‚Äô No. 17 Garcia won her sixth match in a row to give Georgia a 2-0 lead after beating the Tigers‚Äô Scott 6-1, 6-1. Kowase, ranked No. 18, brought the Bulldogs to within one point of the clinch, beating Owens, 6-2, 6-4. No. 7 Herring clinched the match with a 6-2, 6-0 win over Vale Costa.
It marks the fourth time that Herring has clinched a match for Georgia this spring.
With her win in doubles, Kowase becomes the winningest player in program history, passing Chelsey Gullickson‚Äôs mark of 230 combined doubles and singles wins. Kowase has 232 total wins after both of her wins Friday.
The Bulldogs make their 22nd SEC semifinals appearance today, facing No. 11 Vanderbilt at 11 a.m.
Georgia is seeking its seventh SEC tournament title and its first since 2009.
Top-seeded Bulldogs fall to Commodores
NASHVILLE, TENN. | The top-seeded and Southeastern Conference regular season champion Georgia men‚Äôs tennis team suffered a 4-2 loss to No. 8 seed and host Vanderbilt in SEC tournament quarterfinal action Friday.
Georgia (16-7) dropped the doubles point for just the fifth time this season, but went on to win five of six singles first sets. Vanderbilt forced third sets on three courts and rallied to complete the upset.
Vanderbilt won the first completed doubles match with an 8-3 victory for Rhys Johnson and Pen Binet at No. 2 over Garrett Brasseaux and Nathan Pasha. But Georgia responded with an 8-5 win for Eric Diaz and Austin Smith ‚Äî their 16th of the season ‚Äî at No. 3, setting up court No. 1 as the deciding match. There, the teams traded early breaks and eventually went to a tiebreaker, where the Commodores‚Äô fifth-ranked pair of Gonzales Austin and Ryan Lipman beat No. 7 Hernus Pieters and Ben Wagland, 8-7(2) to give Vandy an early 1-0 lead heading to singles.
The Bulldogs would win five of the six opening sets, and pulled even in the team match at 1-1 as 20th-ranked Smith defeated No. 59 Lipman, 6-1, 7-5. Georgia took a 2-1 lead as Nick Wood also used straight sets to defeat Suresh Eswaran, 7-6(8), 6-1, but Vanderbilt evened it at 2-2 as 24th-ranked Austin defeated Pasha in a pair of tiebreakers, 7-6(3), 7-6(10).
Vanderbilt pulled back the momentum at that point, up breaks on each of the three remaining courts. It became a 3-2 lead for the hosts as Ryan Smith defeated Pieters, 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-3 at No. 6, and Johnson provided the clinch for VU as he bested Wagland, 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 to seal the upset. Brasseaux was down a break at 3-1 in the third when that match was suspended.
The Bulldogs await the NCAA tournament selection show at 5 p.m. April 29.
Bulldogs rally in first round
BIRMINGHAM, ALA. | The Georgia women‚Äôs golf team carded a 14-over 302 in Friday‚Äôs opening round of the SEC women‚Äôs golf championships at Greystone Golf & Country Club.
The Bulldogs did so after an extremely slow start due to steady rain and wind when they took the course, followed by a four-hour weather delay.
Shortly after play resumed, Georgia rallied and played some of the best golf of the field while covering its final 13 holes at 3-over as a team.
Play was suspended around 8:30 p.m. with three teams remaining on the course. Arkansas, South Carolina and Alabama complete their round starting at 9 a.m. this morning, with the second round slated to begin at 11 a.m.
The Bulldogs sit in seventh place. LSU is the leader in the clubhouse at 295; however, Arkansas is at 6-over with golfers still on the course. The Crimson Tide and Gamecocks are a stroke ahead of Georgia but also still with first-round holes to play.
Amira Alexander led Georgia with a 1-over 73. The Bulldogs‚Äô additional counters were a 74 from Manuela Carbajo R√©, a 77 by Sammi Lee and a 78 from Rocio Sanchez Lobato. Harang Lee posted an 81.