The Georgia women’s tennis team echoed the men and dominated the ITA Kick-off Weekend at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex culminating with a 4-0 win over Illinois on Sunday.
With the two victories this weekend, the Bulldogs (2-0) qualified for the 16-team field at the National Team Indoor Championships next month in New Haven, Conn. Georgia improved to 19-1 all-time in ITA Kick-Off Weekend matches including 18-0 at home.
“I liked our doubles again today, I thought we came out with really good energy,” Georgia head coach Jeff Wallace said. “In singles, Kennedy (Shaffer) just had a fantastic day winning 0-0 like that, played great tennis start to finish. She is working hard and playing well and it is great to see that happen not only on the practice court but also on the match courts. I give Illinois some credit, they hung in there and tried to fight back but Caroline (Brinson) did a good job closing that last match out for us.”
Georgia took a 1-0 lead by winning the doubles point. Caroline Brinson and Kennedy Shaffer posted a 6-1 win in the No. 2 match and then the No. 3 duo of Marta Gonzalez and Mariana Gould dispatched Alexis Casati and Daniela Pedraza Novak 6-2.
In singles, No. 25 Shaffer, a junior from Rossford, Ohio, mowed through her opponent, Casati, 6-0, 6-0 on the No. 2 court.
“It feels good, both at the team level and individually,” Shaffer said. “I try to do my job quickly and most efficiently as I can so I can get to the sides and help someone else out. I thought I played really aggressive and I did well pushing her and then recognizing opportunities. The trip to National Indoors is just icing on the cake. It is my favorite tournament and that’s what we are playing for.
Playing at No. 3, Freshman Elena Christofi defeated Jaclyn Switkes of the Fighting Illini 6-4,6-1. Brinson, ranked 35th, clinched it for the Bulldogs as she moved past Madie Baillon 6-2, 6-4 on court four.
In a consolation match, Georgia State beat New Mexico 4-0. The Panthers took a 1-0 lead after claiming the doubles point. It came down to the No. 3 match where Daniela Ramirez and Anastasia Grosheva edged Cassie Chung and Ruth Copas 6-4. In singles, the Panthers notched wins at No. 3 from Dominique Dulski, Lara Vovk at No. 4 and Kristin Rehse at No. 1 for the victory.
“It is a huge honor to play at home and we take a lot of pride in that,” Wallace added about the ITA Kick-Off Weekend. “We want to always do well at home. Our players are also just excited to start the season and get these two matches under our belt. Now we hit the road the next two weeks and that will be fun too.”
The Bulldogs travel to Clemson, S.C. to battle the Tigers Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
CLICK HERE for the final stats from this weekend’s ITA Kick-off.