The second-ranked Georgia women’s tennis team (5-1) was defeated by No. 5 North Carolina to end its bid for the ITA National Women’s Team Indoor Championship, falling by a 4-2 tally at the University of Wisconsin’s Nielsen Tennis Stadium.
The Tar Heels also defeated the Bulldogs in the tournament a year ago in the final round. Sophomore Kennedy Shaffer (ranked 109) scored another ranked win in the dual match, besting No. 68 Kate Vialle 6-1, 6-2 on the No. 4 court. It was Shaffer’s sixth singles win in six dual matches.
“We played a tough North Carolina team who did a great job of showing us where we need to improve by May,” said associate head coach Drake Bernstein. “We’ve had a nearly flawless start to the season in both practices and matches, but today we were able to learn more about ourselves. Our team is looking forward to getting back to work in Athens, and we are already eager to get back on the match court against Georgia Tech in a couple of weeks.”
For the first time this season, Georgia dropped the doubles point. Caroline Brinson and Silvia Garcia claimed a 6-0 win on the two court over the 16th-ranked pair of Jessie Aney/Kate Vialle, but could not solve North Carolina on courts one or three as the Bulldogs trailed for the first time this season.
Shaffer started off singles play with her victory to draw even in the match at one win apiece. The Tar Heels claimed the next two wins to seize a 3-1 edge with wins on the two and three courts before Mariana Gould won 7-6, 6-2 on the No. 5 court.
The match ended on the six court, as Laura Patterson’s courageous effort fell just short. After she had dropped the first set 6-1, she battled to win the second 6-2 and led 4-2 in the third before ultimately falling 6-4 in the final set.
The Bulldogs now get some time off and will return to action on Feb. 20 at in-state rival Georgia Tech. For all the latest on Georgia women’s tennis, follow the team on Twitter (@UGAWomensTennis), Instagram (@ugawomenstennis) and Facebook (Georgia Women’s Tennis), and keep checking in to georgiadogs.com.
#5 North Carolina 4, #2 Georgia 2
#12 Ellen Perez (UGA) vs. #6 Hayley Carter (UNC), 5-7, 6-4, 2-1, unfinished
#88 Whitney Kay (UNC) def. #22 Caroline Brinson (UGA) 1-6, 6-1, 6-3
Jessie Aney (UNC) def. #82 Silvia Garcia (UGA) 6-0, 6-4
#109 Kennedy Shaffer (UGA) def. #68 Kate Vialle (UNC) 6-1, 6-2
Mariana Gould (UGA) def. Marika Akkerman (UNC) 7-6, 6-2
#112 Chloe Ouellet-Pizer (UNC) def. Laura Patterson (UGA) 6-1, 2-6, 6-4
#2 Hayley Carter/Whitney Kay (UNC) def. #14 Ellen Perez/Mariana Gould (UGA), 6-4
Silvia Garcia/Caroline Brinson (UGA) def. #16 Jessie Aney/Kate Vialle (UNC), 6-0
Ashley Dai/Chloe Ouellet-Pizer (UNC) def. Laura Patterson/Kennedy Shaffer (UGA), 6-3
Order of Finish
Singles: (4, 3 ,2, 5, 6) Doubles: (2,1,3)