ATHENS, GA- Yet another Division I tennis season came to a close as new champions were crowned at UGA’s Dan Magill Tennis Complex on Monday. Team play ended last Tuesday as the No. 1 seeded Southern Cal Men clinched their 100th NCAA school title with a 4-2 comeback win over the No. 2 seed Oklahoma Sooners. The UCLA women’s squad also made history when they secured their school’s 111th NCAA title with a 4-3 win over UNC. In the individual draw, UCLA junior Marcos Giron steam-rolled his way through the singles tournament, dropping only one set in six matches on his way to win the title. UVA’s Danielle Collins became the first singles champion ever for the program with her straight-set victory over Lynn Chi of Cal. In the doubles draw, Tennessee partners Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese scored the men’s title for the Vols with their exciting three-set tiebreaker win over Ohio State duo Peter Kobelt and Kevin Metka. The Alabama duo of Maya Jansen and Erin Routliffe dominated Georgia team Lauren Herring and Maho Kowase with a 6-1, 6-0 victory, bringing the women’s doubles title to the Tide.
Home court was not as much of an advantage for Georgia as they had hoped, as none of the major titles went to the Dawgs, but their achievements in the tournament will not go unnoticed. Team play saw excellent runs by both the men and women, however their seasons came to an end when the men dropped to UNC 2-4 in the round of 16 and when the women fell to Florida 1-4 in the quarters. Some Bulldogs did not stop there as the individual singles and doubles tournament began last Wednesday and Thursday. In the singles draw, Austin Smith and Maho Kowase were the first dawgs to go down with losses in the first round while Nathan Pasha, Silvia Garcia, and Lauren Herring all advanced. Pasha (No. 30), a junior Bulldog, fought his way to the round of 16, where he dropped to eventual tournament champion and No. 2 seeded Marcos Giron of UCLA in straight sets. Herring fell in the women’s second round and Garcia’s sophomore season (37-8 record) came to an end in the round of 16 as she fell to Duke’s Beatrice Capra in straights. On the doubles side, UGA’s Hernus Pieters and Ben Wagland fought to the men’s round of 16 where they faced a straight set loss to Oklahoma State. Georgia women’s duo Lauren Herring and Maho Kowase made the bulldog’s most successful run, making it all the way to the doubles championship where they faced SEC rival Alabama. Kowase and Herring were only able to take one game in the match, but still ended the season with a spectacular 36-7 record.
As with every year, UGA tennis has a lot to look forward to for next season. TennisRecruiting.net has named the Men’s 2014 recruiting class No. 2 in the nation, which should give head coach Manuel Diaz and assistant coach Will Glenn a substantial amount of confidence going into the offseason.