Meg Kowalski became the latest Bulldog to clinch All-America honors after advancing to the round of 16 in the NCAA Singles Tournament at the USTA National Campus here Monday.
Kowalski, ranked No 20, started the day for the Georgia contingent with a 7-5, 6-2 win over Furman’s No. 16 ranked Katarina Kozarov. Kowalski came back to after being down 4-3 in the first set. The, she got up early in the second set and closed it out. Up next, she will face the No. 3 seed in Emma Navarrao (Virginia).
“It has been a dream of mine since the day I committed to UGA to become an All-American,” said Kowalski. “It is an honor to play with the G on my chest every day, and my goal in every match during this individual tournament is to leave it all on the court regardless of the outcome. I miss competing with my Dawgs next to me, but so happy I was able to pull out this big win today with my teammates behind the fence supporting me. UGA has amazing alumni that are proudly hanging on the All-American wall at the Lindsey Hopkins Indoor facility, and I am so grateful to be able to put my picture and name up on that wall alongside them.”
“Drake (Bernstein) and I are really thrilled for Meg,” said Georgia coach Jeff Wallace. “She has worked extremely hard and done it the Georgia way. Today’s win was huge, and it’s a well-deserved honor now to earn All-America honors. The future is bright for her.”
The criteria for ITA All-America honors include earning a top 16 seed into the NCAA Singles Championship, or advancing to the round of 16 at the NCAA Championship or finishing in the top 20 of the final Oracle/ITA Singles Rankings. All-America recognition is awarded to doubles teams that earn a top eight seed into the NCAA Championship, reach the NCAA Championship quarterfinals or finish in the top 10 in the final Oracle/ITA National Doubles Rankings.
The rest of the day did not go as well for the remaining Bulldogs in the tournament. Fourth-ranked Katarina Jokic fell 6-1, 6-4 to No. 17 Janice Tjen of Oregon. No. 55 Lea Ma was the was eliminated by the top seed and second-ranked Sara Davvettila of UNC 6-4, 6-4. In doubles, the sixth-ranked duo of Ariana Arseneault and Jokic fell to No. 8 Andrea Garcia and Nandini Das of Florida State 6-4, 6-4.
Jokic ends her career with another All-America honor in singles and doubles. Jokic finished as a four-time All-American in singles and two-time All-American in doubles. This is the first All-America honor for Arseneault as they were a top eight seed at the NCAAs.
No. 20 Meg Kowalski (UGA) def. No. 16 Katarina Kozarov (FUR) 7-5, 6-2
No. 17 Janice Tjen (ORE) def. No. 4 Kararina Jokic (UGA) 6-1, 6-4
No. 2 Sara Davvettila (UNC) def. No. 55 Lea Ma (UGA) 6-1, 6-4
No. 8 Garcia/Das (FSU) def. No. 6 Arseneault/Jokic (UGA) 6-4, 6-4