Playing outdoors at home for just the second time this spring season, the Bulldogs clinched the match courtesy of sophomore Caroline Brinson’s 7-5, 6-3 victory over No. 72 Marie Casares on court 6.
The win improves Georgia to 12-4 on the season and 5-1 in SEC play, while the Commodores fall to 9-5 and 4-1. The victory also means the Bulldogs are a perfect 7-0 when playing at home this season.
“We just take every match the same whether we are at home or on the road,” said head coach Jeff Wallace. “We just take pride in trying to go out there and figure out a way to win. I thought our team did a great job today.”
The afternoon began with Vanderbilt claiming the doubles point via wins on courts 2 and 3. On court 2 the No. 20 ranked pair of junior Silvia Garcia and freshman Kennedy Shaffer lost just its fourth match of the season, 8-4, to Vanderbilt’s No. 30 ranked duo of Astra Sharma and Ashleigh Antal.
The Commodores then clinched the opening point with an 8-3 win over Brinson and freshman Mariana Gould. It was the first time the two Bulldogs had been paired together in doubles play this season.
In singles, Vanderbilt doubled its advantage with an early victory on court 2, but Georgia rallied behind wins on courts 3-5 to take the lead. Freshman Hannah King got the ball rolling with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Antal on court 5, before Garcia and Shaffer finished in quick succession with 6-3, 6-1 and 6-3, 6-2 wins, respectively, to hand the Bulldogs a 3-2 lead.
That left the door open for Brinson to clinch the match, and the sophomore did so with the 7-5, 6-3 victory on court 6. Senior Lauren Herring, the No. 11 ranked player in the nation, was then left to finish out her match against No. 9 Sydney Campbell on court 1, and won 6-4, 5-7, 7-6(8) to put the final score at 5-2 in Georgia’s favor. It was Herring’s tenth win against a nationally-ranked opponent this season.
“After losing the doubles point we won five first sets and won courts 3, 4, 5, and 6 in straight sets and beat some great players,” said Wallace. “It was a good weekend for us beating both Kentucky and Vandy. Vandy played a great match out here today. They’re a well-coached team and they always play us tough. It’s always an exciting match and it was again today.”
The win extends the Bulldogs’ advantage over the Commodores in the all-time series to 31-9 and avenges the regular season loss they suffered in Nashville last spring.
Georgia will take to the road for its next match against Tennessee on Saturday, March 21, at noon ET. The Bulldogs will host their next home match when Ole Miss visits Athens on April 3.
- #11 Lauren Herring (UGA) def. #9 Sydney Campbell (VU) 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (10-8)
- #77 Astra Sharma (VU) def. #56 Ellen Perez (UGA) 6-2, 6-3
- #102 Silvia Garcia (UGA) def. #84 Courtney Colton (VU) 6-3, 6-1
- #58 Kennedy Shaffer (UGA) def. #96 Frances Altick (VU) 6-3, 6-2
- #55 Hannah King (UGA) def. Ashleigh Antal (VU) 6-2, 6-4
- Caroline Brinson (UGA) def. #72 Marie Casares (VU) 7-5, 6-3
- #16 Lauren Herring/Ellen Perez (UGA) vs. #15 Sydney Campbell/Courtney Colton (VU) 6-5,unfinished
- #30 Astra Sharma/Ashleigh Antal (VU) def. #20 Silvia Garcia/Kennedy Shaffer (UGA) 8-4
- Frances Altick/Marie Casares (VU) def. Mariana Gould/Caroline Brinson (UGA) 8-3
Order of finish: Singles (2,5,3,4,6,1) Doubles (2,3)