Bulldogs Sweep ITA Regional Titles
ATHENS, Ga.--Georgia's Lauren Herring captured the USTA/ITA Southeast Regional singles title and won the doubles with Kate Fuller Monday in Tampa.
Herring, who is ranked 53rd nationally, upset Florida's 32nd-ranked Sofie Oyen 7-6(3),7-6(1) to win the event held on the campus of South Florida. She improves to 13-1 on the year while Oyen drops to 10-2. Then, the 30th-ranked Herring/Fuller duo dispatched Abigail Tere-Apisah and Masa Grgan (Georgia State) 8-3 for the doubles crown.
With the titles, Herring and Fuller advance to the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships, Nov. 8-11 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y.
"I had a really good tournament, and I'm proud of how I hung in there mentally, especially today," said Herring. "Sofie (Oyen) is a good player, and we had a lot of good points. I have to give credit to Kat (Katrin Koch, UGA strength and conditioning for Olympic Sports) for helping me with my conditioning and for Drake (Bernstein, UGA assistant tennis coach) on the sidelines with his coaching."
It was the second straight year that the Fuller/Herring team reached the regional doubles final. In 2011, they fell to the Bulldog team of Chelsey Gullickson and Lilly Kimbell.
"It feels great to win the doubles this year," Herring added. "We were disappointed last year and felt like we didn't play our best in the final because it's hard playing your teammates. Still, I feel like we've improved since then, and we're looking forward to going to New York now."
The Fuller/Herring team won five matches this past weekend to raise their record to 11-2 this season and 37-14 in their career.
"In singles, it was a good, even match today, and Lauren was very steady the whole time and tough in both tiebreakers," said Bernstein. "In doubles, Lauren and Kate had a tight match in the second round against a Florida State team Saturday and then won 8-3 in their next three matches so that shows they are clicking now. I'm excited to see them playing well and ready to see how they will compete in New York."