COLUMBIA, Mo.—The No. 6 Georgia women's tennis team won its seventh SEC tournament title, beating No. 3 and top-seeded Alabama Crimson Tide 4-0 Sunday afternoon at the Mizzou Tennis Center.
Georgia avenged last week's loss to Alabama and improved to 21-4 on the season. The title marked Georgia's first since 2009. Later that season, Georgia would reach the NCAA Final Four. The Bulldogs beat No. 53 LSU and No. 11 Vanderbilt in the days leading up to Sunday's win.
"This feels great," said head coach Jeff Wallace. "I'm proud of this team. For the second day in a row, to come back and beat a team that beat us earlier in the year and to do it 4-0 is great. I thought everyone played great tennis today. We played a really great doubles point and that gave us a lot of momentum headed into singles. We did a great job out there in every singles match. All of our players did such a great job and really supported each other. This sets us up nicely for our next big tournament in our own backyard."
Caroline Brinson and Lilly Kimbell started things off, clinching a thrilling doubles point, beating No. 48 Emily Zabor and Luicelena Perez, 8-7 (7-5). Brinson and Kimbell have clinched a team-high nine doubles points so far this season. Alabama was first off the court when No. 7 Maya Jansen and Erin Routliffe topped the Bulldogs' No. 2 ranked pair of Lauren Herring and Maho Kowase. Shortly after, Georgia's Kate Fuller and Silvia Garcia, ranked No. 27 in the country, evened the count at 1-1 with an 8-5 defeat of No. 41 Mary Anne Daines and Danielle Spielmann. The Bulldogs have won 21 doubles points this year.
In singles, the Bulldogs went up 2-0 as No. 18 Kowase raced to a 6-0, 6-3 win against No. 73 Erin Routliffe to win her eighth match in a row. No. 83 Lilly Kimbell pulled Georgia to within a point of the title with a 7-5, 6-3 win over Maya Jansen. Just minutes later, No. 17 Garcia watched Spielmann's shot sail long and for Georgia to clinch the championship with a 6-4, 6-3 win on court two.
After the match it was announced that Lilly Kimbell and Silvia Garcia were named to the All-Tournament team. Garcia was also named the tournament's MVP.
By virtue of winning the SEC Tournament, Georgia will receive an automatic bid into the upcoming NCAA Tournament. The entire field will be announced on NCAA.com on April 29th at 5:30 p.m.
No. 6 Georgia def. No. 3 Alabama, 4-0
1. #7 Maya Jansen/Erin Routliffe (UA) def. #2 Lauren Herring/Maho Kowase (UGA), 8-3
2. #27 Silvia Garcia/Kate Fuller (UGA) def. #41 Mary Anne Daines/Danielle Spielmann (UA), 8-5
3. #90 Caroline Brinson/Lilly Kimbell (UGA) vs. #48 Emily Zabor/Luicelena Perez (UA)
1. #7 Lauren Herring (UGA) def. #55 Mary Anne Daines (UA), 6-1, 5-0
2. #17 Silvia Garcia (UGA) vs. #115 Danielle Spielmann (UA), 6-4, 6-3
3. #18 Maho Kowase (UGA) def. #73 Erin Routliffe (UA), 6-0, 6-3
4. #83 Lilly Kimbell (UGA) vs. #85 Maya Jansen (UA), 7-5, 6-3
5. Kate Fuller (UGA) vs. Emily Zabor (UA), 6-2, 4-1, unfinished
6. Mia King (UGA) vs. #86 Luicelena Perez, 2-6, 3-3, unfinished
Order of Finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (3,4,2)