Gamecocks Fall at No. 4 Georgia 6-1
March 2, 2012
ATHENS, Ga. - The No. 22 South Carolina women's tennis team (7-2, 0-1 SEC) had its five-match winning streak snapped Friday by a 6-1 score at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga., versus No. 4 Georgia (11-1, 1-0 SEC).
Georgia swept past the Gamecocks in doubles. The Bulldog duo of Lauren Herring and Kate Fuller finished first at the No. 2 position with an 8-1 triumph against Jaklin Alawi and Adriana Pereira. Georgia's Lilly Kimbell and Maho Kowase scored an 8-2 victory over Josefin Andersson and Katerina Popova on court three to clinch the doubles point. The Bulldogs' No. 6-ranked tandem of Chelsey Gullickson and Nadja Gilchrist finished doubles play with an 8-4 win versus Anya Morgina and Dominika Kanakova.
"Georgia definitely outplayed us in doubles, and they looked really good," interim head coach Katerina Petrovic said. "What we learned today was we have to be a little more aggressive in doubles. This was a good match for them to see that if you attack the net and you're a little bit more aggressive, you can have a good outcome. I'm hoping tomorrow we can do that in practice."
In singles, Georgia continued to press the Gamecocks, picking up two quick victories to push the score to 3-0. Gullickson finished first at the No. 1 position with a 6-2, 6-2 victory against Morgina, and Kimbell defeated Andersson 6-2, 6-4 at No. 6 singles.
South Carolina managed to respond with a win at the No. 5 spot from Pereira, who defeated Fuller 6-4, 6-3. Fuller, who is ranked No. 69 in the nation, is the highest ranked player Pereira has beaten in her career. With the win, Pereira improved to 11-4 on the year and 3-3 in dual matches.
"I was worried a little bit about Adriana since she didn't play a singles match for over a week," Petrovic said. "She was in charge of the points and her footwork was amazing today. These were the two things that helped her win the match. That was a huge win for her and will help her confidence."
Herring provided the clinching point for Georgia, defeating Alawi 6-2, 6-3 at the No. 2 singles spot. Soon afterward, Gilchrist upended Kanakova 6-3, 6-3 on court three to make the score 5-1. Popova continued to fight in her match with Kowase at No. 4 singles after losing the first set 7-5. The match was tied 4-all in the second set before Kowase managed to put it away with a 6-4 win to close out the day.
"Katerina played great," Petrovic said. "I told her after the match this was the best effort I've seen the whole year from her. There were two close games at 6-5 down and 5-4 down, and she had chances. She played amazing, and I was happy with her effort today even though she lost the match. She played against a great opponent, too."
South Carolina next faces No. 5 Tennessee on Sunday at 1 p.m. in Knoxville, Tenn.
Order of Finish: 1, 6, 5, 2, 3, 4
Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1