ATHENS, Ga. ---The ninth-ranked Georgia women's tennis team won its SEC home opener, beating 50th-ranked Ole Miss 6-1 Friday afternoon at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
The Bulldogs (8-1, 2-0) improved to a 34-8 mark all-time against the Rebels, including a 17-1 record in Athens. Georgia jumped to an early lead with the doubles point and finished the afternoon winning five of six singles matches.
"It's always fun to play our first home SEC match," said head coach Jeff Wallace. "I'm thrilled. Doubles was exciting and I thought both teams were competing hard in singles. It was a great match and it's nice to get the win."
In doubles, Georgia's pairing of Lauren Herring and Maho Kowase were first off the court, rolling the Rebels' Mai El Kamash and Erin Stephens, 8-1. Later, Ole Miss evened the score when Julia Jones and Iris Verboven upended Georgia freshman duo of Mia King and Makenzie Craft, 8-4. Shortly after, the ninth-ranked and undefeated pair of Kate Fuller and Silvia Garciaclinched the doubles point with an 8-5 win over Caroline Rohde-Moe and Marija Milutinovic.
Garcia, ranked 97th nationally, stretched Georgia's lead to 2-0 with a 6-1, 6-2 singles win over Jones, while improving her record to 11-1 on the season. Kowase, ranked 15th in the country, dominated El Kamash in a 6-2, 6-3 victory. With the win, Kowase improves to 24-7 this year. Ole Miss quickly narrowed the gap as 116th-ranked Fuller fell to Erin Stephens with a score of 6-4, 7-6 (6). Moments later, ninth-ranked Herring clinched the match as she pulled out a 6-3, 6-3 victory over 37th-ranked Rohde-Moe. This is the second time Herring has clinched a match this spring, and she now holds a team-high of 25 wins.
With the match outcome already decided, Craft outlasted Vlaar with a 6-1, 6-4 win and boosted her record to 14-9 on the year. After a long three sets, Mia Kingheld on for the final Georgia win of 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 over Milutinovic.
Georgia will return to action on Sunday at 1 p.m. against Mississippi State. The match will be held at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex and admission will be free.
1. #9 Lauren Herring (UGA) def. #39 Caroline Rohde-Moe (MISS) 6-3, 6-3
2. #15 Maho Kowase (UGA) def. Mai El Kamash (MISS) 6-2, 6-3
3. #97 Silvia Garcia (UGA) def. Julia Jones (MISS) 6-1, 6-2
4. Erin Stephens (MISS) def. #116 Kate Fuller (UGA) 6-4, 7-6 (8-6)
5. Mia King (UGA) def. Marija Milutinovic (MISS) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
6. Makenzie Craft (UGA) def. Vief Vlaar (MISS) 6-1, 6-4
1. #9 Kate Fuller/Silvia Garcia (UGA) def. Caroline Rohde-Moe/Marija Milutinovic (MISS) 8-5
2. Lauren Herring/Maho Kowase (UGA) def. Mai El Kamash/Erin Stephens (MISS) 8-1
3. Julia Jones/Iris Verboven (MISS) def. Mia King/Makenzie Craft (UGA) 8-4
Ole Miss 2-7 (0-3); National ranking #50
Georgia 8-1 (2-0); National ranking #9
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (3,2,4,1,6,5)
Official: Paul Jones T-3:30 A-244