Bulldogs Finish No. 6 in Final ITA Poll
ATHENS-----The Georgia women’s tennis team finished with a No. 6 ranking in the final Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) poll of the 2012 season.
The Bulldogs registered a 24-5 record (9-2 SEC) and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships. It marked the 26th straight NCAA appearance under head coach Jeff Wallace, and the 23d time that Georgia has finished with a top 10 final ranking.
Seniors Chelsey Gullickson and Nadja Gilchrist earned All-America honors. Gullickson became the first Bulldog in Georgia tennis history to be an eight-time All-American in their career. She was a singles and doubles All-American from 2009-12. She ended her career with a school record 230 combined wins, going 124-34 in singles and 106-42 in doubles. It was the third All-America honor for Gilchrist who completed her career with the fourth most doubles wins in school history with a record of 101-36. As a tandem, they went 64-21. This tally ranks as the most wins by a team in Bulldog history.
In 2012, Gullickson led the squad with a 34-9 singles mark and went 24-8 in doubles with Gilchrist. The Bulldog duo reached the finals of the NCAA Championships, and back in 2010, Gullickson captured the 2010 NCAA singles title in Athens. In 2012, she was named the ITA Southeast Region Senior of the Year while freshman Lauren Herring was tabbed ITA Southeast Region Rookie of the Year. Herring went 30-9 in singles and 26-12 in doubles with sophomore Kate Fuller.
In the final ITA singles rankings, Gullickson was seventh, sophomore Maho Kowase was No. 58 followed by Herring at No. 82 and Fuller at No. 94. Kowase posted a 25-8 mark while Fuller was 27-12. In doubles, the Gullickson/Gilchrist team ended up No. 13 while the Fuller/Gilchrist tandem was No. 36.
The Kowase/Lilly Kimbell team made history during the 2012 season as they went undefeated in dual matches. They registered a 24-2 overall record including a school record 22-0 at No. 3 in the lineup. The old mark for consecutive wins by a duo was 19 by Marissa Catlin and Vanessa Castellano in 1999. They finished 26-2.
In related tennis news, it was announced earlier this week that by virtue of its final national ranking, Georgia would play host to one of the 15 sites of the 2013 ITA Kickoff Weekend, set for Jan. 27-28 at the Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Facility. The Bulldogs will be the top seed and welcome No. 41 Oklahoma State, No. 69 Georgia State and No. 75 Columbia to Athens. The Bulldogs will face the Lions who posted their best season in school history, going 13-6. The Cowboys will battle the Panthers in the other first round match. The winners meet in the second round on Jan. 28 with a bid to the prestigious ITA National Indoor Team Championships on the line. Overall, 60 teams are competing for a spot in the tournament, to be held Feb. 8-11 at the Boar’s Head Sports Club in Virginia.