The University of Georgia women’s tennis team is ranked fifth nationally in the season’s first Intercollegiate Tennis Association Team Rankings of 2019 announced Wednesday.
The top five include the reigning NCAA Champion Stanford, the NCAA runner-up Vanderbilt, North Carolina, NCAA semifinalist Duke, and Georgia. The Bulldogs are one of six Southeastern Conference teams in the top 25, the second-most of any conference behind Atlantic Coast Conference’s seven.
The Bulldogs’ 2018 campaign concluded in the NCAA Quarterfinals against the eventual Champion Cardinal. Georgia finished ranked seventh nationally, collecting a 18-7 record in its 32st-consecutive appearance in the NCAA Championships under Georgia head coach Jeff Wallace.
Georgia is set to play six teams this season that appeared in the initial team rankings including No. 2 Vanderbilt, No. 11 Florida, No. 12 Ole Miss, No. 13 South Carolina, No. 14 Georgia Tech, and No. 25 Auburn.
Unquestionably, sophomore Katarina Jokic highlighted fall competition for the Bulldogs by winning the seventh singles grand slam in Georgia women’s tennis history and the fifth individual to do so. Jokic methodically dispatched six opponents – not dropping a set – to win the Oracle/ITA National Fall Singles Championship. She finished 10-1 overall, subsequently garnering the No. 1 singles ranking in the country by ITA for winning fall’s most prestigious event.
Also experiencing a successful fall season was junior Marta Gonzalez, tallying a team-best singles record of 14-3 including a 9-3 mark against ranked foes. To close the fall, Gonzalez joined Jokic at the National Fall Championships, reaching the round of 16, which resulted in her highest career ITA Singles Ranking of No. 14. Other Bulldogs ranked by fall season’s end was sophomore Vivian Wolff (No. 54), freshman Lourdes Carle (No. 76), freshman Meg Kowalski (No. 79T), and junior Elena Christofi (No. 107).
Fans can see the Bulldogs in action Saturday at the ‘First Serve’ event held at 1 p.m. at the Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Tennis Facility. Admission is free and open to the public at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. A kids/adult clinic will follow team exhibitions along with poster signing.
Dual season begins later this month when the Bulldogs will play host to an ITA Kick-Off Weekend event. Georgia will play South Florida Friday, Jan. 25 at 2 p.m.