WOMEN’S TENNIS: UGA ready to defend its No. 3 ranking in ITA Kick-Off this weekend

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WOMEN’S TENNIS: UGA ready to defend its No. 3 ranking in ITA Kick-Off this weekend

 Meg Kowalski (L) and Marta Gonzalez | UGA women's tennis | NCAA Super Regional - Georgia vs. Michigan 2019 - May 11, 2019
Meg Kowalski (L) and Marta Gonzalez | UGA women’s tennis | NCAA Super Regional – Georgia vs. Michigan 2019 – May 11, 2019

The No. 3 Georgia women’s tennis team is set to begin the 2020 spring season on Saturday, January 25 against Michigan State at 2:00 p.m. ET as part of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend. UGA will serve as the overall No. 2 seed and plays host for the tenth time since 2010. The Bulldogs are a perfect 18-0 when hosting.

The two teams are joined by Notre Dame and Furman who will compete earlier at 10:00 a.m. ET with the winners of each match advancing to the championship match at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 26 and the losers competing in the consolation match at 10:00 a.m.

Saturday – Jan. 25
10:00 a.m.Furman vs. Notre DameLive-Scoring/Video
02:00 p.m.Georgia vs. Michigan StateLive-Scoring/Video
Sunday – Jan. 26
10:00 a.m.ConsolationLive-Scoring/Video
02:00 p.m.ChampionLive-Scoring/Video

The ITA Kick-Off Weekend consists of 60 teams traveling to 15 host sites to participate. Host sites were selected based on the final 2018-2019 Oracle/ITA Collegiate Tennis Rankings. Each of the 15 regional host institutions will welcome three other teams for a single-elimination event, with the winners advancing to the National Team Indoors. The Illinois women will serve as hosts for the National Team Indoors in 2020 in Chicago, Ill. from Feb. 5-10, guaranteeing them an automatic bid into the championships.

For the full game notes of this weekend’s ITA Kick-Off Weekend, CLICK HERE.

Meg Kowalski | UGA women's tennis team |  NCAA Regional - Georgia vs. Alabama State - May 04, 2019
Meg Kowalski | UGA women’s tennis team | NCAA Regional – Georgia vs. Alabama State – May 04, 2019

The Bulldogs open the season as the No. 3 overall team in the country after one of the most historic seasons last season that included the 2019 Indoor National Championship, an undefeated regular season, regular-season SEC Champions and an appearance in the National Championship match, as well as chosen as the preseason SEC Champions as voted on by the coaches.

With no seniors last season, the Bulldogs return a highly touted and experienced group, along with the addition of two top tier freshmen. Seniors Elena Christofi and Marta Gonzalez return to finish out their careers on a high note after providing consistent performances in singles and doubles play with Gonzalez earning All-America honors in doubles last season. ITA National Player of the Year Katarina Jokic concluded a phenomenal season including being named a Honda Award finalist, ITA All-America Honors in both singles and doubles, NCAA All-Tournament Team in No. 1 singles and doubles, First Team All-SEC and is ready to only improve. Morgan Coppoc will provide depth for the Bulldogs as a competitor after finishing 14-3 this past fall season. Sophomores Alee Clayton and Meg Kowalski will take the foundation they built upon their first season with the team and provide a competitive edge in singles and doubles. Kowalski had a great freshman campaign going 20-1 in the sixth spot for the Bulldogs. Lea Ma joined the program in June as the No. 3 recruit and began her career in the fall of 2019 going 14-5 in her first taste of collegiate action. Anna Hertel joined the team in January of 2020 and is one of the most experienced international players with a career-best juniors ranking of No. 46. 

The Spartans come to Athens after a 7-0 victory over Eastern Michigan. Last season, Michigan State went 15-11  with wins over Xavier, Connecticut, Nebraska, and others. This will be the first matchup since the facing the Spartans in 2018 in the ITA Kick-Offs where Georgia went on to win 4-0. Georgia is 3-0 all-time against Michigan State.

Georgia will take on either Notre Dame or Furman depending on the outcome of Saturday’s competition. The consolation and championship matches will take place on Sunday, January 26th at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. ET, respectively. The Lady Bulldogs’ regular-season begins next Thursday, January 30th in Atlanta against in-state rival Georgia Tech at 4:00 p.m. ET.

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