Bulldogs Open Indoor Tennis Season Friday
ATHENS, Ga.—Several members of the sixth-ranked Georgia women’s tennis team will be in action here Friday for the Georgia Invitational.
A three-day round-robin event, players from No. 58 Memphis, No. 67 Kansas State, Troy and the host Bulldogs will be competing at the Hopkins Indoor Courts. Friday’s action begins at 9:30 a.m. Georgia’s entries will hit the courts for doubles at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., followed by singles at 6:30 p.m. On Saturday, play begins with Bulldog doubles teams competing at 10 a.m. with singles at 1 p.m. On Sunday, only singles will be played with Bulldogs taking the courts starting at 11:30 a.m. Admission is free every day.
Four Bulldogs are ranked in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) singles Top 125, and two Georgia pairs are ranked in the doubles Top 60. Sophomore Lauren Herring, who is the reigning SEC Freshman of the Year, will start the season ranked No. 8. She went 17-2 in the fall, including 6-2 against ranked opponents. Junior Maho Kowase checks in at No. 18 while junior Kate Fuller and freshman Makenzie Craft are ranked No. 54 and No. 76, respectively. Two Bulldogs slated to make their debut Friday are freshmen Mia King and Silvia Garcia. They joined the program earlier this month.
The tandem of Herring and Fuller come in at No. 15 after posting a 12-5 mark in the fall, including winning the ITA Southeast Regional. Kimbell and Kowase are ranked No. 22. Last year, they went 24-2, including a school-record setting 22-match winning streak.
“I was pleased with how the fall season went, and we had four players improve their national ranking,” said Georgia coach Jeff Wallace. “We’re starting the indoor season, and this will give everybody a chance to play a few matches before next Sunday’s first team match.”
Kansas State’s top player is junior Petra Niedermayerova as she opens the indoor season ranked No. 15. She went 13-3 this past fall. Niedermayerova is ranked No. 30 in doubles with freshman Ivana Kubickova and No. 34 with senior Karla Bonacic.
The Lady Tigers of Memphis tallied a couple of dual match shutouts earlier this week, registering 7-0 victories over Lipscomb and Tennessee-Martin. They have two doubles teams ranked. Senior Courtney Collins and senior Kelly Gray are ranked No. 18 while freshman Caroline Wegner and junior Stefanie Mikesz are ranked No. 35. Collins and Mikesz were limited in the fall due to injuries and are not ranked in singles.
Troy was in action this past Tuesday in Tallahassee, falling 6-1 to No. 38 Florida State. The Trojans top player is senior Karoline Grymel who is ranked ninth in the ITA Southern Region rankings plus ninth regionally in doubles with junior Lyubov Dorofeeva.
Georgia begins its dual match season next Sunday as part of the ITA Kickoff Weekend when it plays host to No. 73 Columbia, No. 40 Oklahoma State and No. 70 Georgia State. The Bulldogs first dual match will be against the Lions, Jan. 27 at 2 p.m.
Bulldogs In Action At The Hopkins Indoor Courts
Friday: Doubles Matches at 2 p.m./5 p.m.; Singles at 6:30 p.m./8 p.m.
Saturday: Doubles Matches at 10 a.m./11 a.m; Singles at 1 p.m./2:30 p.m.
Sunday: Singles Matches at 11:30 a.m./1 p.m.