The No. 2 Georgia women’s tennis team extended its win streak to ten with a 5-2 victory over No. 19 LSU on Friday night at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
The Bulldogs (17-3, 11-1 SEC) used strong singles performances by Ellen Perez, Elena Christofi, Kennedy Shaffer and Caroline Brinson to secure the victory. If Georgia now wins on Sunday in the regular-season finale, it seals a share of the Southeastern Conference Regular Season Championship. Florida and Vanderbilt go head-to-head on Sunday with the winner garnering conference co-champions with the Bulldogs.
“It is fun to be back in Athens playing, we have been on the road for a bit,” Georgia head coach Jeff Wallace said. “We had a great crowd and they got us really spirited. I think our players came out to great starts in singles. It got to a point where it was really close on courts three, four and five to finish off those first sets, but once we got all three then I think that helped us a lot. Ellen [Perez] and Elena [Christofi] on courts No. 1 and No. 2 just rolled, they played unbelievable.”
Georgia took five of the six first sets including one in a tiebreaker to obtain momentum. Perez, ranked No. 25 in ITA singles, knocked off her opponent first as she beat the Tigers’ top-ranked Jade Lewis, No. 18, 6-0,6-3, on court No. 1. Shortly after, Christofi, No. 11, followed suit with a 6-0,6-3 victory over LSU senior Joana Vale Costa, No. 60, on court No. 2, giving Georgia a 2-1 lead.
The Tigers (13-8, 6-6) tied it at 2-all after Skylar Holloway defeated Mariana Gould, 6-1,6-3, on the final singles court.
Play slowed, as the remaining courts were back-and-forth, hard-fought battles. Shaffer, No. 67, regained the lead for Georgia at 3-2 by edging No. 118 Ryann Foster, 7-5,7-5, on court No. 3. Then for the fourth-straight match, Brinson, ranked 58th, clinched the match for the Bulldogs. The New Orleans native took the first set, 7-5, and trailed 2-3 in the second until eventually winning 6-4 over Jessica Golovin.
The closest and longest contest occurred at court No. 5 with the first two sets needing a set tiebreaker to determine the winner, which each player split. The competitive play continued in the 10-point third-set tiebreaker with Marta Gonzalez finishing on top, 12-10.
The 11th-ranked duo of Brinson and Perez won 6-3 on court No. 1, but the Bulldogs dropped the other two courts to break their streak of 10-straight matches in a row of taking the point.
“It was another hard-fought SEC match and now we just have to get ready for a Texas A&M team that is coming in town on Sunday,” Wallace added. “A big shout out to the crowd again, they were great today. Let’s hope they can make it back and watch us one more time.”
CLICK HERE for the final stats from Friday night’s tennis match between Georgia and LSU.
The Bulldogs battle the No. 21 Aggies of Texas A&M in the regular season finale at home Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.