The No. 2 Georgia women’s tennis team (20-1) claimed its eighth SEC Tournament Championship after sweeping No. 17 Texas A&M Friday morning at the University of Alabama Tennis Stadium.
The Bulldogs won the SEC Regular Season title earlier this season and finished the season 13-0 in conference play. Georgia swept all three opponents on its way to being named SEC Tournament Champions. This is the first time the team has won both the regular season and conference tournament crown in the same season since the 1994 season.
The All-Tournament team featured two Bulldogs, including the Tournament Most Valuable Player. Sophomore Lea Ma was named to the All-Tournament team, as well as senior Morgan Coppoc. Coppoc was also awarded the title of Tournament MVP.
In a heated affair, doubles started strong with Coppoc and Elena Christofi defeating Renee McBryde and Dorthea Faa-Hviding, 6-3 on court two. No. 6 Katarina Jokic and Ariana Arseneault fell to No. 27 Tatiana Makarova and Jayci Goldsmith leaving the doubles point in the hands of Meg Kowalski and Ma. The duo fought back and forth throughout their match but sealed the deal in a tiebreaker set, winning 7-6(4) on court three to clinch the doubles point.
Christofi was first the strike in singles, breezing through her match taking down Riley McQuaid on court six, 6-1, 6-1. No. 16 Kowalski went toe to toe with Katya Townsend on court three but ultimately prevailed 6-1, 7-5. It would be No. 55 Coppoc who would clinch the match for the Bulldogs, taking down Dorthea Faa-Hviding 6-2, 6-2 on court four. No. 3 Jokic, No. 60 Ma and No. 51 Gonzalez all went unfinished in their matches.
The Bulldogs will now prepare for the NCAA Tournament with the team and bracket announced Monday, May 3. The NCAA Tournament is set to begin on May 7.
Head Coach Jeff Wallace
On claiming both conference titles in the same season…
“Obviously we are all super excited about this championship. Winning the regular season was awesome and now, getting to win three here at the conference tournament and being tournament champions is great. This team has worked so hard and they’ve earned this. They had to go out and fight and compete to get this and they certainly did that today.”
Senior Morgan Coppoc
On clinching the match…
“Clinching the match was very special. It’s not something I do very often and so it was just so special to do that today for the team. I was trying not to look at the scoreboard but I saw Meg’s [Kowalski] score, I knew her second set was close and I knew she was going to get it and then she did and it ended up being me to clinch. It was such a team effort. We all did awesome.”
On being named Tournament MVP…
“Being named MVP was something that I was not really expecting. I just go out and play tennis. I do it for my team, I don’t do it to be named anything like that. It’s a team effort and I wouldn’t have been named MVP without my team, especially my doubles partner Elena Christofi.”
Morgan Coppoc, Georgia (MVP)
Lea Ma, Georgia
Megan Davies, South Carolina
Rebeka Mertena, Tennessee
Tatiana Makarova, Texas A&M
Riley McQuaid, Texas A&M
1. #27 Tatiana Makarova/Jayci Goldsmith (A&M) def. #6 Katarina Jokic/Ariana Arseneault (UGA) 7-5
2. Morgan Coppoc/Elena Christofi (UGA) def. Renee McBryde/Dorthea Faa-Hviding (A&M) 6-3
3. Meg Kowalski/Lea Ma (UGA) def. Katya Townsend/Riley McQuaid (A&M) 7-6 (7-4)
1. #3 Katarina Jokic (UGA) vs. #18 Tatiana Makarova (A&M) 7-6 (7-3), 1-2, unfinished
2. #60 Lea Ma (UGA) vs. Jayci Goldsmith (A&M) 6-0, 4-6, 3-2, unfinished
3. #16 Meg Kowalski (UGA) def. Katya Townsend (A&M) 6-1, 7-5
4. #55 Morgan Coppoc (UGA) def. Dorthea Faa-Hviding (A&M) 6-2, 6-2
5. #51 Marta Gonzalez (UGA) vs. Renee McBryde (A&M) 5-7, 3-1, unfinished
6. Elena Christofi (UGA) def. Riley McQuaid (A&M) 6-1, 6-1