Athens, GA - The fourth-ranked Georgia women's tennis team beat eighth-ranked Alabama in its regular-season finale to win a share of the 2013 Southeastern Conference regular-season title. Georgia beat Alabama 4-0 in Tuscaloosa, Ala. to win its 15th overall and ninth regular season conference championship.
It’s Georgia’s first SEC regular season crown since 2009. In that year, Georgia (19-2, 12-1) also went on to win the SEC Tournament.
“We’re so excited,” said head coach Jeff Wallace. “The team put in a lot of hard work all year and it has paid off in a great way. Alabama played a really great match, but I’m so proud of our team and the way we played today.
Georgia topped Alabama (18-4, 10-3) in tightly contested doubles point and then won three singles matches to clinch the win and the conference championship. Sunday’s match was played indoors due to rain.
In doubles, Georgia’s No. 64 duo of Lauren Herring and Maho Kowase were first off the court with an 8-5 win over Alabama’s No. 84 pairing of Antonia Foehse and Maya Jansen. Later, the tandem of Kate Fuller and Silvia Garcia, ranked third in the country, outlasted the No. 5 pairing of Alexa Guarachi and Mary Anne Macfarlane, 8-6.
In singles, Fuller notched a 6-3, 7-5 win over Foehse to improve her record to 27-6 this year. The win also marks the seventh time this season that she has picked up Georgia first singles point. On the top court, No. 6 Herring overpowered No. 62 Alexa Guarachi 7-5, 6-1 to bring Georgia to within a point of winning the match. The Bulldogs clinched the match and championship when No. 19 Kowase beat No. 29 Macfarlane 6-2, 6-3. It was Kowase’s eighth match clincher of the year. She leads the team with 35 victories this year.
“Now that the regular season is over, we’re excited to get started on the postseason,” Wallace continued. “We have two big tournaments coming up. We’re looking forward to enjoying this win tonight, but then we’re going to get back to work this week to get ready for the SEC Tournament.”
This is the fourth time that both the men’s and women’s teams have won SEC regular season championships in the same year (1989, 2002, 2007, 2013).
Georgia won the tiebreaker and drew the No. 1 seed in next week’s SEC Tournament in Starkville, Miss. The Bulldogs will face the winner of South Carolina and Ole Miss on Friday at 8:00 a.m. CT in the quarterfinal round. Georgia, which holds a 47-19 record all-time in the SEC Tournament, is in search of the program’s seventh SEC Tournament Title.
#4 Georgia 4, #8 Alabama 0
1. No. 3 Garcia/Fuller (UGA) def. No. 5 Guarachi/Macfarlane (UA) 8-6
2. No. 64 Kowase/Herring (UGA) def. No. 84 Foehse/Jansen (UA) 8-5
3. Okuno/King (UGA) vs. Zabor/Maynetto (UA) 5-4, unf.
Order of Finish: 2,1
1. No. 6 Lauren Herring (UGA) def. No. 62 Alexa Guarachi (UA) 7-5, 6-1
2. No. 19 Maho Kowase (UGA) def. No. 29 Mary Anne Macfarlane (UA) 6-2, 6-3
3. No. 102 Maya Jansen (UA) vs. No. 88 Silvia Garcia (UGA) 6-4, 4-5, unf.
4. Kate Fuller (UGA) def. Antonia Foehse (UA) 6-3, 7-5
5. No. 116 Natalia Maynetto (UA) vs. Ayaka Okuno (UGA) 6-3, 5-3, unf.
6. Emily Zabor (UA) vs. Mia King (UGA) 6-3, 2-6, 0-1, unf.
Order of Finish: 4,1,2*