[break] The ninth-ranked Georgia women’s tennis team (3-2) came up just short in its attempt to knock off a fellow top-10 competitor on Monday night as the Bulldogs fell 4-2 to No. 10 Virginia (3-1) at the Boar’s Head Sports Club in Charlottesville.
[break] [break] The match started brightly for the visitors as all three of Georgia’s doubles teams stormed out of the gates to sweep the opening point.
[break] [break] Senior Lauren Herring and freshman Ellen Perez beat the nation’s No. 22 pairing of Julia Elbaba and Stephanie Nauta with a 6-3 victory on court one to clinch the doubles point for the Bulldogs after sophomore Caroline Brinson and freshman Hannah King had defeated Danielle Collins and Maci Epstein 6-2 on court three. Junior Silvia Garcia and freshman Kennedy Shaffer then downed the No. 11 tandem of Cassie Mercer and Skylar Morton 6-3 on court two to give Georgia its first doubles sweep since March of 2013.
[break] [break] The No. 19 ranked Herring then carried her winning effort into singles play as she usurped the nation’s top-ranked singles player, Elbaba, in straight sets. The reigning SEC Player of the Week has now won four singles and three doubles matches in a row on the number one courts for Georgia.
[break] [break] The Cavaliers were able to find success elsewhere, though, as they stormed to straight set wins on courts five, three, and four to push the score to 3-2 in their favor.
[break] [break] The match’s deciding point came down to a third set battle between Georgia’s Perez and Virginia’s No. 42 ranked Collins on court two, but the defending NCAA singles champion overcame Perez’s 4-1 lead in the third set to win 7-5 and hand the Cavaliers their first-ever win over Georgia in three attempts.
[break] [break] “I thought we played outstanding doubles today,” said head coach Jeff Wallace. “Lauren also had a big win over the No. 1 player in the country. We just need to do a better job closing out our leads. Ellen [Perez] was up 4-1 over last year’s NCAA champion and just couldn’t close it out. Once again we’ve learned some lessons from this and are ready to apply what we have learned at national indoors starting on Friday.”
[break] [break] The Bulldogs will now remain in Charlottesville as they await tomorrow’s draws for the 2015 ITA National Team Indoor Championships, which will coincidentally be hosted by Virginia from Friday through Monday.
[break] [break] Singles Results
|1. #19 Lauren Herring (UGA) def. #1 Julia Elbaba (VA) 7-5, 6-4|
|2. #42 Danielle Collins (VA) def. Ellen Perez (UGA) 3-6, 6-1, 7-5|
|3. #16 Stephanie Nauta (VA) def. Kennedy Shaffer (UGA) 6-4, 6-3|
|4. Skylar Morton (VA) def. #83 Silvia Garcia (UGA) 6-3, 7-6 (10-8)|
|5. Maci Epstein (VA) def. #91 Hannah King (UGA) 6-3, 6-1|
|6. Caroline Brinson (UGA) vs. Cassie Mercer (VA) 7-6 (7-5), 2-6, 2-2 unfinished|
|1. Lauren Herring/Ellen Perez (UGA) def. #22 Julia Elbaba/Stephanie Nauta (VA) 6-3|
|2. Silvia Garcia/Kennedy Shaffer (UGA) def. #11 Cassie Mercer/Skylar Morton (VA) 6-3|
|3. Caroline Brinson/Hannah King (UGA) def. Danielle Collins/Maci Epstein (VA) 6-2|