Senior Lauren Herring and freshman Kennedy Shaffer will represent the Bulldogs in the individual singles tournament as at-large selections, while freshman Ellen Perez will join Herring as an at-large selection in the doubles tournament. Perez was also named the fifth alternate for the singles competition.
Herring was tabbed with the No. 5 seed for this year’s singles tournament, meaning she earns the fourth All-American honor of her distinguished Georgia career. The Greenville, N.C., native went 21-6 in singles this season while beating 14 nationally-ranked opponents along the way. She is currently ranked No. 6 in the nation in singles and has already earned First Team All-SEC and SEC All-Tournament Team honors this spring.
Shaffer, a freshman from Rossford, Ohio, has earned Second Team All-SEC and SEC Freshman Team honors this season while compiling an individual singles record of 15-5. She will enter the singles tournament seeded outside of the top-16 but will be looking to build upon the six nationally-ranked wins she has this season. Shaffer is currently the No. 47 ranked singles player in the nation.
Shaffer’s fellow freshman, Ellen Perez, will also be remaining in Waco after the conclusion of the team tournament to partner with Herring in the doubles competition. The No. 13 ranked pair in the nation did not earn one of the top eight seeds but will look to improve upon the 12 overall victories and 4 wins over ranked opponents that they have already claimed this year. Perez was also named the fifth alternate for the singles tournament in the event that some of the selected players withdraw. She currently boasts a national singles ranking of No. 60.
The specific matchups and brackets for the individual tournaments will not be announced until the team portion of the event. A total of 64 players and 32 doubles teams will compete for the individual championships.
Georgia players have won the singles tournament three times: Lisa Spain in 1984, Angela Lettiere in 1994, and Chelsey Gullickson in 2010. No Bulldog tandem has ever won the NCAA doubles championships, although Herring and former teammate Maho Kowase became the fifth duo to reach the finals during last season’s tournament.
The Bulldogs (20-6) will begin postseason play as a team in the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament from May 9-10 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. Georgia will open with a match against Charleston Southern at noon on Saturday. Duke and Purdue will feature in Saturday’s other first round match at 9 a.m.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Photo Credit: Sean Taylor/UGA Sports Communications