The Georgia women’s tennis team beat up on the Kentucky Wildcats 4-1 in a Friday afternoon match at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in the Bulldogs’ SEC season opener.
On Court two, Kentucky’s Akvile Parazinskaite double faulted on her final serve to hand No. 15 Elena Christofi a 6-1, 6-4 victory and a 3-1 UGA lead. Moments later at No. 4, junior Kennedy Shaffer clinched the match with a 6-2, 6-4 decision when Mami Adachi’s return landed in the net. Shaffer, ranked 44th in ITA, improved to 14-5 on the season while Christofi, a freshman from Athens, Greece, moved her team-best record to 20-3, 8-0 in duals.
“Very excited for the win,” Georgia head coach Jeff Wallace said. “It’s the conference opener, it’s a match at home, and we won so that was super exciting. But I think practices leading up to this have been inspiring. I like how our players came out and won the six first sets in singles and everybody really competed hard there.”
Georgia, ranked eighth in USTA rankings, started singles play in a flurry as all six Bulldogs took the first set. Junior Mariana Gould cruised on court six to a 6-3, 6-0 victory over Morgan Chumney to snag Georgia’s first point. Next, senior Caroline Brinson, ranked 41st, moved past Emily Fanning 6-1, 6-2 to give the Bulldogs the 2-1 advantage.
“Just the way we came together as a team,” Gould said about the team’s play. “We had a bad loss last week and we really talked about it and practiced well this week. We just focused more on ourselves and just tried to compete no matter what. At the end of the day it is about winning but you want to do that the right way and I think that’s what we really focused on.”
In doubles, Christofi and Shaffer fell first at No. 2 but Georgia’s Marta Gonzalez and Gould quickly evened it up on court three with a 6-4 win over previously unbeaten Fanning and Justina Mikulskyte. The Gonzalez and Gould tandem improved to 5-1 in dual matches.
The fifth-ranked Wildcat duo of Mami Adachi and Aldila Sutjiadi rallied down 4-5 to defeat Ellen Perez and Brinson 7-5 to clinch the doubles point for Kentucky on court one.
The Bulldogs continue their homestand with a match against No. 14 Vanderbilt Sunday at 1 p.m.
For final stats of the Bulldogs’ tennis match from Friday, CLICK HERE.