Freshman Ellen Perez (63) secured the match winner for Georgia, defeating Ronit Yurovsky (31) 6-4 in the third set to send the Bulldogs through to their fifth-straight NCAA Championships quarterfinal appearance. Georgia will face the winner of the California vs. Stanford match on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.
“It was a big match and we really wanted to move on so I was fighting my hardest,” said Perez. “It feels good to get the win for my team.”
Prior to Perez’s clincher on court 2, the Bulldogs earned points from their other underclassmen in freshmen Kennedy Shaffer and Hannah King, and sophomore Caroline Brinson. Georgia dropped the doubles point with losses on courts 2 and 3 despite Perez and senior Lauren Herring claiming an 8-6 win over Michigan’s No. 15-ranked tandem of Emina Bektas and Alex Najarian on court 1.
Shaffer (59) was the first to finish in singles, pulling the Bulldogs level with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Najarian on court 4. King (88) finished moments later, giving Georgia its first lead in the match with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Mira Ruder-Hook on court 5.
Brinson (104) then put Georgia ahead 3-1 from court 6 with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Sara Remynse. Bulldog junior Silvia Garcia (94) dropped a 6-3, 6-2 decision to Sarah Lee (111) on court 3 to let Michigan pull within one, but Perez stepped up in the third set of her match to defeat Yurovsky 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 and send Georgia through to the quarterfinals. Herring’s (5) match against Bektas (27) on court 1 went unfinished, although the Georgia senior was ahead 1-0 after breaking her opponent in the first game of the third set.
“We’ve lost a few doubles points this year and have played enough matches by now to know what we’re capable of doing whether we win or lose the doubles point,” said head coach Jeff Wallace. “I really like how we bounced back, though, and to get five first sets like we did I thought it was really great for our momentum. I really like where our team is at overall and the things that they are doing are really fantastic. We’ve just got to keep growing as a team and keep applying the things that make us special.”
The win moves Georgia to 4-0 all-time in head-to-head matches against Michigan and improves its all-time NCAA tournament record to 73-26. The Bulldogs will face the winner of today’s California (3) vs. Stanford (14) matchup on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET in a quarterfinal stage that has proved to be a roadblock in recent seasons. The Bulldogs beat California 4-2 in the semifinals of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships earlier this season but have not faced Stanford since losing to the Cardinal in the quarterfinals of the 2013 NCAA Championships.