[su_spacer size=”40″] The win avenged the Bulldogs’ 4-1 loss to the Cardinal when the teams last met in the quarterfinals of the 2013 NCAA Championships. Georgia will play seventh-seeded UCLA in the NCAA semifinals today at 6 p.m. ET.
[su_spacer size=”40″] “I’m super proud of this team,” said head coach Jeff Wallace. “They’ve worked hard and learned a lot this year and are applying everything that we’ve taught them and they’ve learned. We’re excited to be where we’re at and are looking forward to more action.”
[su_spacer size=”40″] Weather once again forced the Bulldogs to play indoors, this time at Baylor’s Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center. Georgia got hot in doubles from the start and never looked back as the No. 11 ranked tandem of senior Lauren Herring and freshman Ellen Perez beat the nation’s No. 2 ranked duo of Carol Zhao and Taylor Davidson 8-2 on court 1. The No. 85 ranked pairing of sophomore Caroline Brinson and Hannah King were equally impressive, claiming an 8-2 victory of their own over Krista Hardebeck and Lindsey Kostas on court 3.
[su_spacer size=”40″] “Those were some great matches,” said Wallace. “It was some of the best doubles we’ve played this year. It was unbelievable tennis getting played out there and it really gave us a lot of momentum.”
[su_spacer size=”40″] Taking a 1-0 lead into singles, the Bulldogs won first sets on courts 3, 4, and 5 to sustain their momentum. Unsurprisingly, it was those three courts that ended up closing out the match for Georgia, culminating in Shaffer’s match-clinching forehand winner at the No. 4 spot.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Junior Silvia Garcia (94) put in a stellar performance to double the Bulldogs’ advantage early on, blasting Caroline Doyle (25) 6-2, 6-2 on court 3. Freshman Hannah King (88) then made up for Ellen Perez’s court 2 loss with a 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 victory over Ellen Tsay (106) on court 5. That victory restored Georgia’s lead to two points and set things up for Shaffer to clinch in her third set on court 4.
[su_spacer size=”40″] The Rossford, Ohio, native had split sets with Hardebeck (92), 6-3, 0-6 earlier in her match, but stayed tough to pull out a 6-4 win in the third. She is the second Georgia freshman to clinch in as many matches at this year’s tournament. On the other courts, Herring’s top-10 showdown with Zhao on court 1 went unfinished at 6-7(4), 6-1, 2-3, while Brinson also didn’t get a chance to finish her match with Kostas on court 6.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Up next for Georgia is a UCLA team that the Bulldogs beat 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the ITA National Indoor Team Championships earlier this season. Perez, King, and Brinson all picked up singles wins that day, while the tandems of Garcia/Shaffer and King/Brinson also picked up doubles victories.
[su_spacer size=”40″] “I think both teams have had a lot of matches and experiences since we last met,” said Wallace. “It was a great match for us that day to play well and win, but we know that the semis tomorrow is a different match. I expect them to come out and play great tennis just like I expect our team to. It should be an epic battle.”
[su_spacer size=”40″] Georgia is 8-4 all-time against the Bruins, including a 1-0 record against them in the NCAA Championships. The last time the Bulldogs won an NCAA semifinal match they went on to win the championship in 2000 (Malibu, Calif.).
[su_spacer size=”40″] Assuming tomorrow’s match will be played outdoors, live scoring and live video will be available at the links below. An updated tournament bracket and link to tomorrow’s live chat are also listed below.
[su_spacer size=”40″] #6 GEORGIA (24-6) def. #14 STANFORD (18-6) 4-1 – Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center – Noon
[su_spacer size=”20″] Doubles (Order of finish: 1, 3)
1. #11 Lauren Herring/Ellen Perez (GEORGIA) def. #2 Taylor Davidson/Carol Zhao (STANFORD), 8-2
2. #43 Kennedy Shaffer/Silvia Garcia (GEORGIA) vs. #10 Caroline Doyle/Ellen Tsay (STANFORD), 5-5, unfinished
3. #85 Caroline Brinson/Hannah King (GEORGIA) def. Krista Hardebeck/Lindsey Kostas (STANFORD), 8-0
[su_spacer size=”40″] Singles (Order of finish: 3, 2, 5, 4)
1. #5 Lauren Herring (GEORGIA) vs. #2 Carol Zhao (STANFORD), 6-7 (4), 6-1, 2-3, UF
2. #19 Taylor Davidson (STANFORD) def. #63 Ellen Perez (GEORGIA), 6-2, 6-4
3. #94 Silvia Garcia (GEORGIA) def. #25 Caroline Doyle (STANFORD), 6-2, 6-2
4. #59 Kennedy Shaffer (GEORGIA) def. #92 Krista Hardebeck (STANFORD), 6-3, 0-6, 6-4
5. #88 Hannah King (GEORGIA) def. #106 Ellen Tsay (STANFORD), 6-2, 2-6, 6-3
6. #104 Caroline Brinson (GEORGIA) vs. Lindsey Kostas (STANFORD), 4-6, 4-3, unfinished