Of the tournament-best five Bulldogs that participated in the qualifying round, three won their respective initial match and Garcia and Perez followed with victories to advance to play on Wednesday. In tomorrow’s action, Perez will take on North Carolina’s Jessie Aney and Garcia will face Lexi Borr (No. 90) from Boston College for a place in the final stage of the tournament.
All told, the Bulldogs notched seven ranked victories on the day.
“It was a fantastic day out here in terms of our play and our learning,” said Associate Head Coach Drake Bernstein. “We are up against the best competition in the country and grinding out some tough matches, which is exactly what we will be looking to do for both the rest of the Fall and the Spring season.”
Perez, ranked 29th nationally, initially defeated Stanford’s Krista Hardebeck, the 69th-ranked player in the country, in straight sets, 6-3, 7-6. Garcia, who holds the No. 58 mark, won her first contest against USC’s Rianna Valdes, the No. 2 newcomer in the country, in three sets. Sophomore Kennedy Shaffer, ranked 39th, also won her first match against Missouri’s Kelli Hine (6-1, 7-6) but fell in her second match.
Perez then defeated No. 46 Leeza Nemchinov of William & Mary 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 to advance into play on Wednesday. Garcia’s second match of the day was against 26th-ranked Desirae Krawczyck of Arizona State, and Garcia took the decision 6-3, 6-2.
Junior Caroline Brinson and sophomore Mariana Gould each lost their first match of the day, though they both followed with consolation match victories. Brinson knocked off Texas A&M’s Rutuja Bhosale (No. 50) 6-1, 6-3, and Gould defeated No. 61 Meredith Xepoleas of USC in a hard-fought 7-5, 7-6 match.
Doubles play for Georgia will begin on Thursday as the main draw begins. The pairs of Perez-Gould and Garcia-Shaffer will represent the Bulldogs in that competition.
Qualifying Match 1
#29 Ellen Perez def. #69 Krista Hardebeck (Stanford) 6-3, 7-6(1)
#37 Kennedy Shaffer def. #89 Kelli Hine (Missouri) 6-1, 7-6(13)
#58 Silvia Garcia def. #2N Rianna Valdes (USC) 6-4, 0-6, 4-1, ret.
#36 Madison Westby (USC) def. #72 Caroline Brinson 6-2, 7-5
#57 Arianne Hartono (Ole Miss) def. #88 Mariana Gould 6-1, 1-6, 6-2
Qualifying Match 2
#29 Perez def. #46 Leeza Nemchinov (William & Mary) 6-4, 3-6, 6-4
#58 Garcia def. #26 Desirae Krawczyck (Arizona State) 6-3, 6-2
Louisa Stefani (Texas A&M) def. #39 Shaffer 6-4, 6-1
#88 Gould def. #61 Meredith Xepoleas (USC) 7-5, 7-6
#72 Brinson def. #50 Rutuja Bhosale (Texas A&M) 6-1, 6-3