WTennis: Dawgs Blank Alabama and Auburn, Extend Streak To 17

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WTennis: Dawgs Blank Alabama and Auburn, Extend Streak To 17

Elena Christofi

The No. 1-ranked Georgia women’s tennis team completed the Southeastern Conference weekend sweep of the state of Alabama with its 4-0 win over No. 49 Auburn at the Yarbrough Tennis Center.

On Friday at Alabama, the Bulldogs’ win streak reached the highest in a decade, and Sunday afternoon the bar was raised even higher, 17 in a row – the longest since 2002. Georgia improved to 17-0 on the season and 9-0 in the SEC.

“The 2002 team was a great team, and now we have a new great team that is having another great type of year,” Georgia head coach Jeff Wallace said. “I’m proud about how they are playing and the effort they are putting in. They seem like they are on a mission and that is important, because in the SEC season everyone is good, and it gets long.”

Vivian Wolff

After Georgia earned its 12th doubles point of the season, sophomore Vivian Wolff, freshman Lourdes Carle, and junior Elena Christofi recorded singles wins to seal the Bulldogs’ victory. The Bulldogs took care of business so fast in singles that the No. 2 singles court was still in a first-set tiebreaker by the time Christofi ended the match with her second match clinch of the season.

Auburn fell to 13-11 overall and remained winless in the conference at 0-9.

Georgia’s No. 3 doubles tandem had its best performance to date as junior Marta Gonzalez and freshman Meg Kowalski swept Auburn’s Yu Chen and Caroline Turner, 6-0. The twosome improved to 5-3 in the dual season – all SEC matches.

“In the last two days, they [Gonzalez/Kowalski] have played some really good tennis,” Wallace said. “They are a new team and are growing into their own together. They understand each other more and more each time they play together and know the style it is going to take to play at their best. They have done a great job on listening and being very coachable, and then transferring that to the courts and playing hard the Georgia way.”

The doubles clinch came from Christofi and Wolff who have yet to lose together since getting paired at the start of the outdoor season, compiling a 10-0 record. Their 6-2 win on court two over Jaeda Daniel and Lindsay Song marked their sixth clinch of the season.

In singles, Wolff, ranked No. 34 in ITA singles, blanked Chen in the first set, dropped a game to start the second set, and then raddled off six straight games again to win, 6-0, 6-1. The victory on court four enhanced her already team-best record to 23-3, including eight SEC wins.

Marta Gonzalez

Similar to Friday’s finish but with different players, points three and four occurred very close together. First, Carle, ranked No. 93, dispatched Russo, 6-3, 6-1, on court three to improve to 15-5 overall and remain undefeated in the conference at 5-0. Christofi wrapped up the weekend’s action on court five, beating Turner 6-2, 6-0. The junior moved to 14-5 overall and also upped her undefeated SEC mark to 5-0.

“I think all of our players are just bringing it,” Wallace added. “They are playing hard and training hard. Lourdes [Carle] did a great job out there today. Her opponent was playing well, but Lourdes was just playing to win, showed mental toughness, maturity, and did things that we’ve talked about and worked on, so I was real pleased there. Vivian [Wolff] again playing so well, and so was Elena [Christofi], but really everyone today was on top of their game.”

Going unfinished in singles were sophomore Katarina Jokic, the nation’s No. 1 player, and Kowalski – both leading in the second set – in addition to Gonzalez who was battling in her first set tiebreaker.

“We just have to keep practicing and keep it going into Fayetteville [Arkansas], and Columbia [Missouri] next weekend, before we can finish off the regular season at home the next weekend, which we are super excited about,” Wallace finished with.

Georgia will compete on the road again next weekend with a Friday match at Arkansas on April 5th at 6 p.m. ET, and then a meeting at Missouri on the following Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.

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Greg is closing in on 11 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.