ATHENS, Ga. - The College of Charleston women's tennis team fell short against sixth-seeded and sixth-ranked Georgia, 4-0, in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Championship held Friday afternoon at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
It was the Cougars' (25-6) fourth-straight NCAA Tournament appearance as the automatic qualifier out of the Southern Conference. UGA, host site of the regional and the combined men's and women's national championships, advances to tomorrow's second-round meeting with No. 24-ranked Clemson (16-9) for a coveted spot in the Round of 16.
Four of the Bulldogs' (22-4) singles players were ranked in the top 100 of the Campbell's/ITA Singles Rankings including No. 7-ranked and 2010 NCAA singles champion Chelsey Gullickson, who defeated junior No. 1 player Christin Newman (Greensboro, N.C.) in straight sets, 6-0, 6-1, at the top of the order.
UGA's Nadja Gilchrist topped sophomore Kelly Kambourelis (Melbourne, Fla.), 6-4, 6-1, at No. 2 singles, while No. 70-ranked Lauren Herring clinched the match with a 6-2, 6-3, victory over freshman Samantha Maddox (Lexington, Ky.) at the No. 4 line.
"I was pleased with our results today," CofC Director of Tennis Angelo Anastopoulo said. "We just came up short in the end. We had a lot of close matches, especially in the first sets of singles, with the No. 6 team in the country. I thought we competed hard and both of our seniors, Caroline Newman and Katie Lee, were fighting and still on the court when the match was decided. Georgia is a very talented team and we saw firsthand, why they are the No. 6 team in the country. Coach (Jeff) Wallace is an outstanding coach and I expect them to make a deep run in the NCAA Championships."
CofC entered the match tied with the most wins (25) in the country next to No. 3-ranked Duke. It marked the Cougars' first 25-win campaign in school history which was one of many milestone moments including the program's first-ever undefeated season (17-0) at home at the CofC Tennis Center, a 4-3 upset of No. 44-ranked Oklahoma on March 20 and being ranked as high as No. 60 in the nation.
Newman and Lee closed out tremendous four-and two-year careers respectively on Friday. Newman became the first CofC player (in all sports) to compete in four-straight NCAA Tournaments and to have been a member of four SoCon Championship squads. She compiled 75 career singles victories and 61 career doubles victories. Lee, a transfer from Tennessee, played on two NCAA and SoCon Championship teams and was the lone CofC singles player in the national rankings this season after starting off the spring with an undefeated 7-0 mark at the No. 6 position.
"We set many milestones this year," Anastopoulo said. "I can't think of any other person to share our success with than Caroline Newman. She has always been modest in her approach in life and been a great leader to our program over the last four years. Having been in four-straight NCAA Tournament appearances and conference championships is an indication of what she will do later on in life. If I ever have to have surgery, I hope she is the one operating on me (as she pursues entrance into medical school).
"I'm so proud of our young ladies this season. They really fought back after a tough loss at UNCG and really peaked again and responded in the conference tournament. We will keep trying to improve and hopefully, we can continue our success and pick up a win in the month of May in the near future."
(6) GEORGIA 4, (64) COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON 0
2012 NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Championship - First Round
May 11, 2012
Dan Magill Tennis Complex
at Athens, Ga.
No. 1 - (7) Chelsey Gullickson (UGA) def. Christin Newman (CofC), 6-0, 6-1.
No. 2 - Nadja Gilchrist (UGA) def. Kelly Kambourelis (CofC), 6-4, 6-1.
No. 3 - (58) Maho Kowase (UGA) vs. Caroline Newman (CofC), 6-4, 2-0, DNF.
No. 4 - (70) Lauren Herring (UGA) def. Samantha Maddox (CofC), 6-2, 6-3.
No. 5 - (96) Kate Fuller (UGA) vs. Jenny Falcone (CofC), 6-4, 3-2, DNF.
No. 6 - Alina Jerjomina (UGA) vs. Katie Lee (CofC), 6-4, 2-0, DNF.
No. 1 - (46) Kate Fuller-Nadja Gilchrist (UGA) def. Samantha Maddox-Irene Viana (CofC), 8-1.
No. 2 - Chelsey Gullickson-Lauren Herring (UGA) vs. Jenny Falcone-Kelly Kambourelis (CofC), 7-3, DNF.
No. 3 - Lilly Kimbell-Maho Kowase (UGA) def. Katie Lee-Christin Newman (CofC), 8-3.
ORDER OF FINISH
Doubles: 1, 3
Singles: 1, 2, 4*