ATHENS, Ga. -- The No. 6 Georgia women's tennis team began its dual match season Sunday with a 4-1 win over No. 72 Columbia at the Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Courts on first day of the ITA Kickoff in Athens.
"We're happy to get the win and have the opportunity to play tomorrow for a chance to go to Virginia (for National Indoors)," said head coach Jeff Wallace. "But Columbia is a good team and they kept the match tight the entire time. It's great to get this first win and I'm proud of the way we fought. I thought we played some good tennis."
Georgia won the doubles point and then won three singles matches to win its first match of the year.
Georgia's 22nd-ranked pair of Maho Kowase and Lilly Kimbell topped Columbia's Lauren Stratman and Kanika Vaidya , 8-3. The duo is now 8-1 this year. Columbia's Crystal Leung and Nicole Bartnik evened the doubles score with an 8-6 win over Georgia Lauren Herring and Mia King. Shortly after, Kate Fuller and Silvia Garcia clinched the doubles point with an 8-6 win over the duo of Bianca Sanon and Tiana Takenaga.
In singles, the Bulldogs' Garcia gave Georgia a 2-0 lead with a 6-2, 6-2 win over the Lions' Stratman. Shortly after, Columbia's Vaidya, ranked 85th nationally, topped Georgia's 54th-ranked Fuller, 6-2, 6-2. The loss is only Fuller's third of the year.
Later, Kowase, who's ranked 18th in the country, put Georgia up 3-1 with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Columbia's 81st-ranked Sanon. Kowase improves to 19-5 this year, including eight wins against ranked opponents.
Eighth-ranked Herring clinched the match for Georgia with a 7-5, 7-6 (4) win over 24th-ranked Bartnik. Herring trailed 4-2 in the first set before surging back to a 7-5 first set victory. She improves to 21-2 this year.
With the match outcome already decided, the two remaining matches in progress were suspended with Georgia leading on both courts. King led Alecsiu 6-2, 3-2 and Kimbell led Leung 6-4, 3-1.
The Bulldogs will play No. 70 Georgia State Monday at 2 p.m. with the winner advancing to the USTA/ITA National Team Indoors in Charlottesville, Va.. Georgia is hosting one of the 15 legs of the ITA Kickoff, with the winner of each site advancing to ITA Team Indoors Feb. 8-11. Georgia has won the National Indoor Championship three times.
Live scoring for both matches will be available on Georgiadogs.com.
#6 Georgia 4, #73 Columbia 1
1. #8 Lauren Herring (UGA) def. #24 Nicole Bartnik (COL) 7-5, 6-6
2. #18 Maho Kowase (UGA) def. #81 Bianca Sanon (COL) 7-5, 6-4
3. #85 Kanika Vaidya (COL) def. #54 Kate Fuller (UGA) 6-2, 6-2
4. Silvia Garcia (UGA) def. Lauren Stratman (COL) 6-2, 6-2
5. Mia King (UGA) vs. Ioana Alecsiu (COL) 6-2, 3-2, unfinished
6. Lilly Kimbell (UGA) vs. Crystal Leung (COL) 6-4, 3-1, unfinished
1. Kate Fuller/Silvia Garcia (UGA) def. #37 Bianca Sanon/Tiana Takenaga (COL) 8-6
2. Nicole Bartnik/Crystal Leung (COL) def. Mia King/Lauren Herring (UGA) 8-6
3. #22 Lilly Kimbell/Maho Kowase (UGA) def. Lauren Stratman/Kanika Vaidya (COL) 8-3
Columbia 0-1; National ranking #73
Georgia 1-0; National ranking #6
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (4,3,2,1)
No. 70 Georgia State def. No. 40 Oklahoma State
ATHENS, Ga.-In the first match of the day, 70th-ranked Georgia State upset 40th-ranked Oklahoma State 4-3 in ITA Kickoff Weekend action at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex Sunday. Georgia State built a 3-0 lead, then the Cowgirls tied the match before the Panthers (2-0) secured a win at No. 6 to advance to the winner's contest Monday. The Cowgirls dropped to 1-1.
The Panthers took a 1-0 lead by winning a tightly-contested doubles point. After picking up a win in the No. 2 contest 8-6, the No. 1 and 3 matches both went to tiebreakers at 7-all. The No. 3 team of Maria Alvarez and Lorena Gheorghe saved two match points and rallied back to win their tiebreaker 9-7. At that point, the No. 1 contest was tied at 6-all in their tiebreaker. The 19th-ranked Panther duo of Masa Grgan and Abigail Tere-Apisah edged Malika Rose and Kanyapat Narattana 8-6 to win the match and clinch the team point.
In singles, the 29th-ranked Tere-Apisah made it 2-0 Panthers with a 6-4,6-3 win over Rose in the No. 1 match. Georgia State pushed its lead to 3-0 with a win at No. 3. Whitney Byrd rallied past C.C. Sardinha 3-6,6-3,6-2. Oklahoma State climbed back in to contention after winning a pair of three-set contests. At No. 4, Alvarez outlasted Linn Timmermann 6-3,3-6,6-2 and then 89th-ranked Blevins rallied past Grgan 7-5,3-6,6-1 to make the match 3-2. The Cowgirls tied the match with a victory at No. 5 from Narattana. She defeated Chaimaa Roudami 6-2,1-6,6-4. All eyes turned to the No. 6 contest. Jocelyn Ffriend beat Lorena Gheroge 6-4,6-1 to give the Panthers a 4-3 victory. They will play the winner of the Georgia-Columbia match.
Oklahoma State will play Columbia in a consolation match Monday at 9 a.m.
#70 Georgia State 4, #40 Oklahoma State 3
1. #19 Masa Grgan/Abigail Tere-Apisah (GAST) def. Malika Rose/Kanyapat Narattana (OKST) 8-7 (8-6)
2. Whitney Byrd/Maryna Kozachecnko (GAST) def. Meghan Blevins/Karyn Guttormsen (OKST) 8-6
3. Maria Alvarez/Lorena Gheorghe (OKST) def. Jocelyn Ffriend/Linn Timmermann (GAST) 8-7 (9-7)
1. #29 Abigail Tere-Apisah (GAST) def. Malika Rose (OKST) 6-4,6-3
2. #89 Meghan Blevins (OKST) def. Masa Grgan (GAST) 7-5,3-6,6-1
3. Whitney Byrd (GAST) def. C.C. Sardinha (OKST) 3-6,6-3,6-2
4. Maria Alvarez (OKST) def. Linn Timmermann (GAST) 6-3,3-6,6-2
5. Kanyapat Narattana (OKST) def. Chaimaa Roudami (GAST) 6-2,1-6,6-4
6. Jocelyn Ffriend (GAST) def. Lorena Gheorghe (OKST) 6-4,6-1
#70 Georgia State 2-0; #40 Oklahoma State 1-1
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (1,3,4,2,5,6)
University of Georgia