The UGA women’s tennis team was unable to weather the top-ranked Gators in the ITA National Team Indoor Championship semifinals on Sunday, falling 4-0 to Florida.
Georgia (5-1) fell behind 1-0 after dropping the doubles point for the third day in a row on the Yale campus. In Saturday’s quarterfinal match against No. 3 Pepperdine and Friday’s round of 16 contest against 10th-ranked Duke, the Bulldogs stormed back to win four singles matches. However, on Sunday, the Gators (6-0) claimed three singles wins to advance to the championship match at the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center. They will face second-ranked North Carolina (8-0) on Monday.
With a 1-0 lead heading into singles, Florida notched wins from No. 30 Kourtney Keegan in the No. 6 spot in the lineup, Brooke Austin at No. 5 and No. 40 Belinda Woolcock at No. 1. Keegan defeated junior Mariana Gould 6-0,6-4 while Austin beat freshman Marta Gonzalez 6-3,6-3. Woolcock fought off junior Ellen Perez in the feature match, posting a 6-3,7-6(6) clinching victory. The rest of the matches were halted. Georgia junior Kennedy Shaffer and senior Caroline Brinson were in the third set of their respective contests while freshman Elena Christofi was in the second set.
“It was another hard-fought doubles point, and we knew we had to come out aggressive in singles again,” said Georgia coach Jeff Wallace. “We had our opportunities but only won two first sets and lost another in a tiebreaker. We missed some chances to gain some momentum in the second set of several matches. Overall at this tournament, we got a couple wins over top 10 ranked teams including the No. 3 team, and now we’ll get back home and work on getting better and preparing for the outdoor season.”
The Austin/Keegan duo, ranked No. 18, posted a 6-3 win at No. 1 doubles over Perez/Christofi. The 22nd-ranked pair of Anna Danilina and Ingrid Neel clinched the first team point with a 6-2 decision over Brinson and Shaffer in the No. 2 contest.
Georgia’s all-time record at the National Team Indoors is now 57-24. Georgia was seeking its eighth appearance in the finals. The Bulldogs and Gators will meet again during the SEC regular season on March 17 in Gainesville. Georgia now returns home and will play host to Mercer on Feb. 22 at 2 p.m.
For the final results of the ITA National Team Indoor Championship semifinals’ match between Georgia and Florida, CLICK HERE.