STANFORD, Calif. - The ninth-seeded California women's tennis team (18-7) was narrowly edged, 4-3, by eighth-seeded Georgia (19-4) in the round of 16 of the 2011 NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Championships at the Taube Family Tennis Center on Fri., May 20.
The Bulldogs bit worse than they barked as the tug-of-war of a dual match concluded with the Golden Bears on the short end of things. Cal wraps up its 30th all-time tournament appearance with a 2-1 mark in the postseason.
With the result of the dual match in the balance, top-ranked junior Jana Juricova came back from dropping her first set, 6-3, to force a third stanza with a 7-5 win over No. 25 Chelsey Gullickson on the top court. Facing each other for the fourth time in their careers, Juricova had the defending NCAA singles champion on the ropes in the third set with a 4-1 lead.
Gullickson would not be denied as she picked up one game at a time to force a four-all tie. She then broke Juricova once more to go up, 5-4. On her last legs, down 40-30, Juricova was able to earn deuce-point, but Gullickson was too much, this time, as she sealed the three-set win, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, to push the Bulldogs into the quarterfinals.
Though the battle for the doubles point started out close, the Bears struggled to stay with the Bulldogs on courts two and three as Georgia secured the first point of the day. At the top court, Cal's No. 1-ranked team of senior Mari Andersson and Juricova traded blows against Nadja Gilchrist and Gullickson, but the match was abandoned with the score tied, five all.
Georgia's team of Cameron Ellis and Maho Kowase fired the first round of the day as they took out sophomore Tayler Davis and freshman Alice Duranteau, 8-2, at the third doubles court. The Bulldogs stopped play when Kate Fuller and Lilly Kimbell finished off Cal's 30th-ranked duo of sophomore Annie Goransson and freshman Anett Schutting.
Cal raced out to leads on the bottom three singles courts, but Georgia seized control on the top half of the field. When the dust had settled, the Bulldogs made the first move to go up, 2-0, as No. 79-ranked Kowase defeated No. 104 Schutting in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2, at court three.
As courts four and six split sets to go three, No. 84-ranked Goransson put the Bears on the board with her 6-1, 6-1 win over No. 86 Ellis at court five. Ten minutes later, Cal knotted things up at two all on a win at No. 2 singles where No. 23-ranked Andersson dispatched of No. 59 Gilchrist, 7-5, 6-2.
It was at court four that the Bears made their big push. Cossou had won her first set, 6-2, but allowed Kimbell to force a third set as she fell, 7-5, in the second set tiebreaker. Cossou returned to form in the final frame as she duplicated her 6-2 score for the three-set win to give Cal its first lead in the match, 3-2.
Down at court six, No. 55-ranked Davis slipped in the first set to drop a 6-3 decision against Fuller, but regained her footing in the second to claim a 6-2 win. With a 4-2 lead in the final set, Davis had a couple of opportunities to close out the match, but Fuller continued to battle and earned a 6-4 win in the third set to tie the match at three-all and send the clinching point to court one.
No. 8 Georgia 4, No. 9 California 3
2011 NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Championships | Round of 16
Taube Family Tennis Center | Stanford, Calif.
Friday, May 20, 2011
New records: Georgia (19-4), California (18-7)
1. Gilchrist/Gullickson (UGA) vs. No. 1 Andersson/Juricova (CAL) DNF
2. Fuller/Kimbell (UGA) def. No. 30 Goransson/Schutting (CAL) 8-1
3. Ellis/Kowase (UGA) def. Davis/Duranteau (CAL) 8-2
Order of finish: 3, 2* (Georgia wins doubles point)
1. No. 25 Chelsey Gullickson (UGA) def. No. 1 Jana Juricova (CAL) 6-3, 5-7, 6-4
2. No. 23 Mari Andersson (CAL) def. No. 59 Nadja Gilchrist (UGA) 7-5, 6-2
3. No. 79 Maho Kowase (UGA) def. No. 104 Anett Schutting (CAL) 6-1, 6-2
4. Marina Cossou (CAL) def. Lilly Kimbell (UGA) 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-2
5. No. 84 Annie Goransson (CAL) def. No. 86 Cameron Ellis (UGA) 6-1, 6-1
6. Kate Fuller (UGA) def. No. 55 Tayler Davis (CAL) 6-3, 2-6, 6-4
Order of finish: 3, 5, 2, 4, 6, 1*