For the sixth time in program history, the Georgia women’s tennis team won a national championship, as the No. 5 Bulldogs knocked off No. 3 North Carolina Tar Heels 4-3 to win the 2019 ITA National Team Indoor Championship on Tuesday.
The Bulldogs beat North Carolina 4-3, with the final match decided in a third set tie breaker won by sophomore Katarina Jokic, who is ranked as the No. 2 singles player in the country. On the way to the championship, Georgia also beat No. 14 NC State, No. 2 Vanderbilt and No. 1 Stanford on the way to the title.
“It is exciting,” Georgia head coach Jeff Wallace said. “I’m really proud of this team, the coaches, and the support staff that was here. It was a total team effort, which makes it really special. Drake [Bernstein – Associate Head Coach] and I spent a lot of time talking to the team about the importance of supporting each other and being a true team and then to see them pull together like they have and lift each other up in tough situations and comeback in these tough matches that we are able to get in close fashion – really, really says a lot.”
The national title was Georgia’s fourth indoor title, with the previous three coming in 1994, 1995 and 2002. Georgia won the NCAA Championships in 1994 and 2000. In addition to Jokic, Georgia scored points from Vivian Wolff, Elena Christofi and Meg Kowalski. Marta Gonzalez and Lourdes Carle both dropped their singles matches in three set affairs. Georgia also dropped the doubles point, something it did in every round of the National Team Indoor Championship in Seattle.
“I’m super, super proud of our team in what they were able to accomplish,” Wallace said. “The season is early and young and there is a lot of work to be done, but we are looking forward to enjoying this one for sure.”
Georgia’s season continues on Feb. 23, when the Bulldogs take on in-state rival Georgia Tech in Athens. The match is set for 1 p.m.
Results from Georgia-UNC championship match
#2 Katarina Jokic (UGA) def. #6 Makenna Jones (UNC), 6-7(3), 7-5,7-6(2)
#15 Sara Daavettila (UNC) def. #10 Marta Gonzalez (UGA), 3-6, 7-6(4), 7-6(3)
#7 Alexa Graham (UNC) def. #102 Lourdes Carle (UGA), 6-0, 5-7, 6-2
#58 Vivian Wolff (UGA) def. #20 Cameron Morra (UNC), 4-6, 6-3,6-2
Elena Christofi (UGA) def. Jessie Aney (UNC), 6-2, 6-2
#84 Meg Kowalski (UGA) def. #104 Alee Sanford (UNC), 6-2, 7-6(3)
Order of Finish: 5, 6, 3, 4, 2, 1
Aney/Graham (UNC) def. Wolff/Carle (UGA), 6-1
#5 Jones/Morra (UNC) def. Coppoc/Christofi (UGA), 6-2
Jokic/Kowalski (UGA) def. Daavettila/Sanford (UNC), 6-1
Order of Finish: 3,1,2