The 6th-ranked Georgia women’s tennis team defeated New Mexico 4-0 on Saturday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex to advance to the championship match of the ITA Kick-off Weekend.
The Bulldogs (1-0) will face Illinois (1-2) Sunday at 5 p.m. with the winner advancing to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships next month in New Haven, Conn. The Fighting Illini edged Georgia State 4-2 in Saturday’s first match.
Georgia picked up the doubles point and got straight-set wins in singles from freshman Elena Christofi, senior Caroline Brinson and junior Kennedy Shaffer for a successful start of the 2017 campaign. Christofi, ranked No. 23 nationally, defeated Andrea LeBlanc 6-1,6-2 in the No. 1 match to move her record to a team-best 13-3. Brinson, ranked No. 35 nationally, was next off the court, dispatching Dominque Dulski 6-2,6-3 at No. 3. Shaffer, ranked No. 25 nationally, clinched the team win after beating Ludivine Burguiere 6-3,6-2.
“We needed to come out and play aggressive from the start and that began with doubles,” said Brinson. “We stayed ahead the whole match and played to win. Once we got going in singles, we got the first sets and got rolling in the second sets, it was about who was going to come off the court first.”
In doubles, the No. 2 team of Brinson and Shaffer beat LeBlanc and Diana Wong 6-1 as they improved to 7-2 this season. Then, Georgia’s No. 3 team of Marta Gonzalez and Mariana Gould clinched the team point with a 6-4 victory over Ruth Copas and Cassie Chung. The Bulldog tandem is 5-1 on the year.
“The thing about the first match is really about what we need to do on the court, things that we’ve been practicing,” said Georgia head coach Jeff Wallace. “I thought our workouts have been good, and the things we’ve been talking about, they brought to the match today.”
Georgia improved to 18-1 overall in ITA Kick-Off Weekend matches including 17-0 in Athens. In the first match of the day, Illinois defeated Georgia State 4-2.The Fighting Illini claimed the doubles point for a 1-0 lead and then picked up singles wins from Jaclyn Switkes, Alexis Casati and Jade Hilton for the victory. The Panters earned victories at No. 1 singles from Kristin Rehse and Arina Taluhyenko at No. 4. The Panthers (0-3) will play the Lobos (0-1) in Sunday’s consolation match at 9 a.m.
CLICK HERE for the complete results of the Georgia women’s tennis team’s match against New Mexico.