Back in front of a home crowd, the No. 2-ranked Georgia women’s tennis team breezed past No. 48 Ole Miss, 4-0, Friday evening at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
The Bulldogs remain unbeaten, improving to 14-0 overall, including 6-0 in the Southeastern Conference and 6-0 in matches on their own courts. Georgia got back on track with the doubles point, and then cashed in on singles wins from freshman Meg Kowalski, and sophomores Katarina Jokic, and Vivian Wolff to seal the win. Ole Miss dropped to 6-6 overall and 3-3 in conference play.
“I thought the doubles was great,” Georgia head coach Jeff Wallace said. “It was really exciting to see Lourdes [Carle] and Katarina [Jokic] playing that well on the number one court. They didn’t lose their first point until the sixth game; they were just really on fire and playing some great tennis. I talked a bit with them in practice about doing some things and I think they did a great job of it. They’ve had some really close matches against some of the top teams in the country that they didn’t finish so it was nice for them to get a win today. Vivian [Wolff] and Elena [Christofi] did a good job of finding a way to get that thing done.”
Jokic and freshman Lourdes Carle made quick work of doubles court one, winning 6-1 against OM’s sophomore-junior team of Sabina Machalova and Alexa Bortles. The Rebels then took court three, leaving Wolff and junior Elena Christofi to clinch their fifth doubles point, which they did. Down 5-4 and 40-0 on serve, Ole Miss won two points, but Wolff thwarted the comeback with back-to-back shots at the net to close out the 6-4 win over senior Tea Jandric and junior Anna Vrbenska. The victory is the seventh in a row for Georgia’s court two duo of Christofi/Wolff.
Georgia dropped the doubles point last Sunday at South Carolina, but after obtaining it today, the Bulldogs are six for their last seven tries. The transition into singles was smooth and reassuring as Georgia took five first sets.
Playing flawlessly, Kowalski, ranked No. 103 in ITA singles, dominated senior Rebel Allie Sanford, 6-0, 6-0, on court six to continue her unblemished record to 15-0 overall, including 11 dual wins. The last match shutout occurred in the first round of the 2017 NCAA Championships when Carolina Brinson and Marta Gonzalez did so against their South Carolina State opponents.
On court one, Jokic, the nation’s top-ranked singles player, methodically defeated Machalova, 6-1, 6-2, to make it a 3-0 Georgia lead. Jokic upped her overall mark to 18-3, including eight dual wins.
“Today, obviously we played very good tennis,” Jokic said. “Everybody was competing and everybody seemed to be really focused because we’re not losing many games. I think doubles was really important because Lourdes [Carle] and I like to finish quickly and it helped that other teams played well. It was also a little windy but we didn’t think about it. We were just focused on tennis.”
Not even five minutes later, Wolff clinched her third match of the season by overpowering Bortles, 6-1, 6-2, on court four.
“She’s playing aggressive,” Wallace said about Wolff. “She’s just relaxed and having a great time on the court. Her grounds strokes are phenomenal and I think she’s approaching the matches in the right way. She’s looking forward to competing and wants to put a point on the board for the ‘Dogs.”
The sophomore from Frankfurt, Germany has racked up eight-straight wins to jump her record to 20-3 overall with a team-best 12 dual wins.
“Of course also I must give a thank you to all of our fans that came out to support of this evening,” Wallace added. “It is always great to play here at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex and the fans definitely helped bring energy today. It was a quick match under two hours and now it’s time to get ready for Mississippi State.
Georgia continues its homestand Sunday at 1 p.m. against No. 50 Mississippi State.