ATHENS, Ga. — The Georgia women’s tennis team earned its fourth-straight conference win Friday over the No. 18 Florida Gators 4-1 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex, giving the defending national champion Gators their first loss in league play.
The No. 8 Bulldogs improved to 9-2 and a perfect 4-0 in Southeastern Conference play, earning their third top-25 win of the year in the process. The Gators dropped to 9-5 and 4-1, moving them out of first place in the SEC standings. Georgia started by clinching the doubles point, marking the 10th time the Bulldogs have clinched doubles in 11 dual matches this season.
Both of the winning doubles pairs earned comeback victories. Freshman Annette Goulak and senior Kennedy Shaffer earned the first victory over Florida’s Peggy Porter and Katie Kubicz 6-4 on court three, while freshman Katarina Jokic and senior Mariana Gould, ranked 10th in ITA doubles, clinched the point with a 6-4 win over Josie Kuhlman and McCartney Kessler on court two.
“I thought we got off to a really good start with our doubles,” Georgia head coach Jeff Wallace said. “We were down on courts two and three, but just kept fighting and found ways to turn it around. I thought court three had great energy and good poise and really helped us get it at the end.”
This was the sixth time in 11 duals matches that Jokic and Gould clinched the doubles point, improving to 22-4 overall and 10-1 in duals matches while notching their sixth-ranked win on the year.
“Mariana and Katarina, they just [played] tough tennis on court two. They just battled and found a way. It was great to get that doubles point and I think that helped us out a lot.”
Moving on to singles play, freshman Morgan Coppoc earned a swift victory 6-0, 6-4 on court five over Peggy Porter to give the Bulldogs a 2-0 edge over the Gators. After some highly competitive play, Gould lost to Kessler 6-2, 6-3 on court four towards Florida’s sole point.
Shortly thereafter, Shaffer edged her opponent, 45th-ranked Josie Kuhlman, with a decisive 6-4, 6-1 win on court two. Shaffer was down 1-4 in the first set prior to taking the next 11 of 12 games to earn the win. Freshman Vivian Wolff obtained her first career clinch on court six, outlasting Florida’s Katie Kubicz in the second set for a 6-2, 7-5 victory.
Jokic squared off against No. 15 Anna Danilina in a rematch of the ITA Southeast Regional Singles Championship back on Oct. 23, during which the Bosnian native claimed a 6-4, 6-2 win to earn her third tournament victory of the fall. This time, Jokic was leading Danilina 6-4, 4-2 on court one before the match was called.
Next up, the Bulldogs aim to take sole possession of first place in the SEC. They face another ranked conference foe, No. 10 South Carolina, on Sunday, March 18, at 1 p.m. The match will take place at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex and admission is free.
Tennis Match Results
Florida vs Georgia
March 16, 2018 at Athens, Ga.
(Dan Magill Tennis Complex)
#8 Georgia 4, #18 Florida 1
1. #2 Katarina Jokic (UGA) vs. #15 Anna Danilina (UF) 6-4, 4-2 (uf)
2. #59 Kennedy Shaffer (UGA) def. #45 Josie Kuhlman (UF) 6-4, 6-1
3. Elena Christofi (UGA) vs. #100 Victoria Emma (UF), 1-6, 6-5 (uf)
4. McCartney Kessler (UF) def. #125 Mariana Gould (UGA) 6-2, 6-3
5. #93 Morgan Coppoc (UGA) def. Peggy Porter (UF) 6-0, 6-4
6. Vivian Wolff (UGA) def. Katie Kubicz (UF) 6-2, 7-5
1. #10 Elena Christofi/Morgan Coppoc (UGA) vs. #15 Anna Danilina/Victoria Emma (UF) 5-5 (uf)
2. #12 Mariana Gould/Katarina Jokic (UGA) def. McCartney Kessler/Josie Kuhlman (UF) 6-4
3. Annette Goulak/Kennedy Shaffer (UGA) def. Katie Kubicz/Peggy Porter (UF) 6-4
Florida 9-4, 4-1; National ranking #18
Georgia 9-2, 4-0; National ranking #8
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (5,4,2,6)
Official: Karen Badger-Mabry T-2:17 A-562