Women’s Tennis: Georgia Defeats Texas A&M

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Women’s Tennis: Georgia Defeats Texas A&M

Kennedy Shaffer
(Photo by John Kelley)
[break] Bulldog freshman Kennedy Shaffer served up an ace in the final point of her singles match on court 3 to clinch a 5-2 victory for the No. 2 ranked Georgia women’s tennis team over Texas A&M on Sunday afternoon at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.


The Bulldogs improved to 9-3 (2-0) on the season with the win, while the Aggies fell to 3-3 (1-1). The victory moves Georgia to 10-0 in the all-time series.


After rain and cold weather forced the match to be moved inside, doubles play began in the confines of the Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Facility.


The No. 25 ranked duo of senior Lauren Herring and freshman Ellen Perez wasted no time in earning the Bulldogs an early win with an 8-5 victory over Texas A&M’s No. 35 doubles team of Rachel Pierson and Eva Paalma on court 1.


The Aggies fought back, however, securing the doubles point with wins on courts 2 and 3. The decider occurred on court 2, where Ines Deheza and Stefania Hristov upset Georgia’s No. 16 ranked doubles team of junior Silvia Garcia and freshman Kennedy Shaffer with an 8-7 (11) tiebreaker win.


“The doubles point was amazing,” said head coach Jeff Wallace. “To come right down to the last tiebreak and have it go that long; I thought it was just some great doubles played out there by both teams even though they [Texas A&M] got the doubles point.”


Down 1-0 entering singles play, Georgia fell even further behind when Garcia was defeated by Deheza 6-2, 6-1 on court 4. The Aggies’ lead did not last long, though, as Herring and Perez posted back-to-back wins on courts 1 and 2 to draw the score level. No. 6 ranked Herring won 6-4, 6-1 over No. 54 Saska Gavrilovska while No. 74 Perez won just seconds later with a powerful overhead slam that gave her a 6-2, 7-6(4) victory over No. 40 Rachel Pierson.


With the score even at 2-2, No. 66 Hannah King pulled the Bulldogs out in front with a 6-3, 6-1 win over No. 113 Hristov on court 5. No. 69 Shaffer, despite dropping her first set on court 3, then clinched the overall match for Georgia with a 6-7 (7), 6-3, 6-1 win over No. 59 Rutuja Bhosale. Her service ace was the match’s final point.


Even with the Georgia win already clinched at 4-2, No. 111 Caroline Brinson played out the final singles match against Paalma on court 6.  The sophomore dropped the first set in a tiebreaker but battled back to win the second set 6-4 and force a third set tiebreaker. Brinson went on to win the super-breaker 10-7 and increase Georgia’s margin of victory to 5-2.


“We didn’t get off to the start of singles as we wanted, but as the match progressed I really think our players picked it up and did a great job,” said Wallace. “Kennedy coming back after her first set and winning was huge for us. Lauren and Ellen got us on the board with the first two and Hannah played outstanding to pull us toward the win. It was also nice to see Caroline come back and get that match even though it [the overall match] was already clinched. Overall I think it was a great day for us.”


The Bulldogs will now make a weekend trip to Alabama and Auburn for a pair of SEC matches on the road. The match against the Crimson Tide is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET on Friday, while the showdown with the Tigers is set for 2 p.m. ET on Sunday.


Georgia is 1-2 on the road this season and 5-0 at home.


Singles Results

  1. #6 Lauren Herring (UGA) def. #54 Saska Gavrilovska (A&M) 6-4, 6-1
  2. #74 Ellen Perez (UGA) def. #40 Rachel Pierson (A&M) 6-2, 7-6 (7-4)
  3. #69 Kennedy Shaffer (UGA) def. #59 Rutuja Bhosale (A&M) 6-7 (7-9), 6-3, 6-1
  4. #117 Ines Deheza (A&M) def. #97 Silvia Garcia (UGA) 6-2, 6-1
  5. #66 Hannah King (UGA) def. #113 Stefania Hristov (A&M) 6-3, 6-1
  6. #111 Caroline Brinson (UGA) def. Eva Paalma (A&M) 5-7, 6-4, 1-0 (10-7)


Doubles Results

  1. #25 Lauren Herring/Ellen Perez (UGA) def. #35 Rachel Pierson/Eva Paalma (A&M) 8-5
  2. Ines Deheza/Stefania Hristov (A&M) def. #16 Silvia Garcia/Kennedy Shaffer (UGA) 8-7 (13-11)
  3. Saska Gavrilovska/Rutuja Bhosale (A&M) def. #55 Caroline Brinson/Hannah King (UGA) 8-4


Order of finish: Doubles: (1,3,2) Singles: (4,1,2,5,3,6)

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