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Friday, February 8, 2013

Georgia Survives Texas 4-2 to Reach ITA Women's Indoor Quarterfinals

©Colette Lewis 2013--
Charlottesville, VA--

None of the eight first round matches played Friday in the ITA Women's Team Indoor went down to the last match, but No. 4 seed Georgia is has every reason to be happy about that.

After winning the doubles point from Texas, Georgia looked to be in serious trouble after the Longhorns fought back to make it 2-2, but freshman Silvia Garcia saved the Bulldogs with a 7-5, 6-4 win at No. 4 singles over Elizabeth Begley.

Georgia earned the doubles point without too much struggle, cruising at No. 1 with Kate Fuller and Garcia taking an 8-1 win over Breaunna Addison and Noel Scott, while Mia King and Lauren Herring earned an 8-5 decision over Lina Padegimaite and Annat Rabinovich at No. 3.

Save for No. 2 singles, where Georgia's Maho Kowase breezed past freshman Addison 6-1, 6-1, all the singles matches were close from the start.

Georgia looked as if it might get their third point from Herring at No. 1 or Fuller at No. 3 when both took first sets from Aeriel Ellis and Scott respectively, but both Longhorns took control of their second sets.  Ellis found her groove against Herring, painting lines with winner after winner, while Herring often chipped in with unforced errors. Ellis won eight games in row in the second and third sets before Herring finally got on the board in the third set, but she couldn't dent Ellis' confidence in her groundstrokes.  While Ellis was reversing the course of her match, Padegimaite collected Texas's first point, beating Mia King 6-4, 6-2 on court 5.

When Ellis completed her 4-6, 6-0, 6-2 win over Herring, Texas had pulled even, but only a few minutes later, Mackenzie Craft put Georgia back on top at 3-2 with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory over Lana Groenvynck at line 6.  Texas's Scott had taken a 4-1 lead in the third set against Fuller, so Georgia needed Garcia's match, which seemed to also be turning to the Texan's favor.  Up a break at 4-3 and serving, Garcia held off Begley's attempt to break for more than 15 minutes, but Begley finally got the match back on serve at 4-4. As long as that eighth game was, the final two games of the match went to its loser in a snap as Begley was broken and Garcia, who joined the Bulldogs last month, held to claim a 7-5, 6-4 win for Georgia.

Georgia will play No. 5 seed Cal on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

Georgia 4, Texas 2

Singles competition:
1. Aeriel Ellis (TEXAS) def. #8 Lauren Herring (UGA) 4-6, 6-0, 6-2
2. #18 Maho Kowase (UGA) def. Breaunna Addison (TEXAS) 6-1, 6-1
3. #54 Kate Fuller (UGA) vs. #79 Noel Scott (TEXAS) 7-6 (7-2), 3-6, 1-4, unfinished
4. Silvia Garcia (UGA) def. Elizabeth Begley (TEXAS) 7-5, 6-4
5. Lina Padegimaite (TEXAS) def. Mia King (UGA) 6-4, 6-2
6. Makenzie Craft (UGA) def. Lana Groenvynck (TEXAS) 3-6, 6-2, 6-3

Doubles competition:
1. Kate Fuller/Silvia Garcia (UGA) def. Breaunna Addison/Noel Scott (TEXAS) 8-1
2. #22 Lilly Kimbell/Maho Kowase (UGA) vs. Elizabeth Begley/Aeriel Ellis (TEXAS) 6-5, unfinished
3. Mia King/Lauren Herring (UGA) def. Lina Padegimaite/Annat Rabinovich (TEXAS) 8-5

Match Notes
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (2,5,1,6,4)