No. 3 Georgia women’s tennis swept Alabama 4-0 Thursday evening at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
The sweep extends the Bulldogs’ win streak to 14 matches and continues their undefeated SEC season with one match remaining before the SEC tournament. With the win, Georgia’s clinched the SEC regular season title for the first time since 2019.
“I thought our players played some great doubles today, got that first point and then singles got really good,” said head coach Jeff Wallace. “There were some hard-fought sets going on out there, but we find a way. Elena Christofi gets that point down there, and Lea Ma played phenomenal on court two.”
Georgia got off to a fast start by winning the doubles point. On court one, the third-ranked duo of Katarina Jokic and Ariana Arseneault defeated Moka Ito and Loudmilla Bencheikh 6-1 by winning multiple deciding points in the victory.
To secure the doubles point, Meg Kowalski and Lea Ma made quick work of Alba Cortina Pou and Anna Parkhomenko 6-1 on court three.
On court three, Morgan Coppoc and Elena Christofi were in a tightly contested match with Anne Marie Hiser and Sydney Riley before finishing with a 4-3 lead when the doubles point was decided.
The Bulldogs continued to win as singles play began. On court six, Christofi defeated Sasha Gorchanyuk in straight sets 6-1, 6-0.
“I felt very good out there, I was just enjoying every moment with the crowd [and] with my teammates beside and next to me on the other courts, and I just kept playing my game,” Christofi said. “I was concentrated and stayed aggressive and my goal was to come up to the net as much as I could and it went really well today. I enjoyed it all the way through.”
Shortly thereafter, No. 59 Ma delivered the second singles point and the third point overall defeating Cortina Pou 6-2, 6-0.
To clinch the match and the SEC regular season championship, No. 1 Jokic defeated Bencheikh after coming back from two match points down in the first set 7-5, 6-3.
“I didn’t start well. I was down, [Bencheikh] was serving incredibly, and I just couldn’t find the rhythm,” Jokic said. “But I tried to stay in the match to try and have longer points and just really try and find a way to win. I would get frustrated at times, but I was just always focused on the next point and that’s what really kept me going today.”
As the match finished, No. 61 Coppoc was leading in the second set 7-6, 1-3 against Hiser. No. 96 Gonzalez was leading in the second set 6-4, 4-5 against Riley, and No. 12 Kowalski was battling in the second set of a tough match against Parkhomenko, finishing with a score 2-6, 1-4.
With Thursday’s win, Georgia improves to 15-1 on the season and 11-0 in the SEC. The Bulldogs will attempt to finish the SEC regular season undefeated at home with a match against Auburn on April 10 at noon.
Printed with permission from The Red & Black independent student media organization based in Athens, Ga.; redandblack.com/sports