ATHENS, Ga. – Returning to play at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex, the seventh-ranked Georgia women’s tennis team battles No. 28 Tennessee in the Bulldogs’ Southeastern Conference home opener Saturday at noon.
The Bulldogs (7-2, 2-0) have spent the last six matches either away or on a neutral court at the ITA National Team Indoors. The matchup against the Volunteers (12-2, 0-2) is the first of three home matches in a row for Georgia as Florida and South Carolina come to Athens next weekend.
“It is important this year to learn how to play good tennis on the road,” Georgia head coach Jeff Wallace said. “Obviously, the SEC Tournament and the NCAA Tournament are not here this year, so we have to learn how to play in front of different environments. But it is always special to play at home. We have one this weekend and two more next weekend. It is a blast to play in front of a home crowd and I think our players are looking forward to it.”
To open SEC play last weekend, the Bulldogs defeated LSU, 4-1, prior to winning two third-set singles matches to topple Texas A&M, 4-2. Coincidentally, the Volunteers began conference play on the road against the same opponents, but on opposite days. After dropping a 4-1 contest to the Aggies, Tennessee took the Tigers to the wire, but fell 4-3 in a third-set tiebreaker.
For the latest on Georgia women’s tennis, follow the team on Twitter (@UGAWomensTennis), Instagram (@ugawomenstennis) and on Facebook (UGA Women’s Tennis).
»Inside the Series«
Overall | Georgia leads, 45-9
First Meeting | 1976
Last UT win | 2011
Streak | UGA 6 wins in a row
Shutouts | UGA (15), UT (1)
Last Year | Georgia blanked UT, 4-0. The singles matches were straight sets including wins by Mariana Gould and Caroline Brinson.
»Jokic Among the Elite«
Jokic, ranked No. 2 in ITA singles and No. 12 in ITA doubles, is the only freshman ranked inside the top-10 in singles and the only frosh inside the top 15 in both. During the 2017-18 campaign, she has faced four of the nine other players that are currently ranked in the singles top-10. She is 2-0 with two unfinished in those matches.
Individually, the Volunteers strength comes from the bottom half of their singles lineup. At court No. 4, redshirt sophomore Gabby Schunk sports an 11-1 dual record, while freshman Kaitlin Staines holds an undefeated 10-0 record including a 4-0 slate at the No. 6 court.
In doubles, Staines pairs with sophomore Ariadna Riley to form the 69th-ranked duo in the nation. The tandem displays a 10-0 dual record, primarily on the No. 2 court (9-0).
In Georgia’s road wins at LSU and TAMU, freshman Vivian Wolff made her dual match debut, going 1-0 with an unfinished. The win came against the Aggies in a third set that gave the Bulldogs a 3-2 lead. The unfinished match versus the Tigers was entering the third set at clinch time.
»Nearly Perfect Doubles«
Georgia has dropped one doubles point among its nine matches in the dual season. The Bulldogs have only lost four doubles matches in that span (15-4, 6 unf.). 12th-ranked Jokic and Gould have won all but one match.