Yes, I was hoping that UGA would claim all four SEC tennis titles: men's regular season, men's tournament, women's regular season, and women's tournament. The Dawgs have done it once before, in 2007, and remain the only SEC school to accomplish that feat. But it was not to be repeated in 2013.
Things started great, as Maho Kowase and Lauren Herring raced to an 8-0 win at No. 2 doubles. Ayaka Okuno and Lilly Kimbell fell at No. 3, 8-3. So it was up to Kate Fuller and Silvia Garcia at No. 1 to win the doubles point for the Dawgs. Fuller and Garcia are the top-ranked doubles pair in the country and have lost only one match all year, but the Gators eked out a 9-8(2) tiebreaker win to take the point and the 1-0 lead.
Despite the early deficit, Georgia fought back hard. In singles, each team won three first sets. Although the Florida lead expanded to 3-0 with straight-set wins over Fuller at the 4 position (6-3, 6-0) and over Garcia at 3 (6-4, 6-3), the Dawgs still had a chance. Mia King, Kowase, and Okuno, went to third sets, and Herring went toe-to-toe with the nation's top-ranked player, leading 6-5 in her second set after dropping the first. But the Gators clinched the tournament-winning point with a win over Okuno, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.
Fun fact: every single SEC women's tennis championship, in tournament titles dating back to 1980 and regular-season titles dating back to 1990, has been won or shared by Florida and/or Georgia, except the 1999 tourney title (Ole Miss) and the 2005 regular season title (Kentucky).
Our women did a great job this season, earning a share of the regular season conference championship. We still have the NCAA tournament left to play, and Coach Wallace will have the team ready.