Bulldogs Eliminate Tide From NCAA

ATHENS, Ga. – The 26th-ranked Alabama women's tennis team bowed out of the 2011 NCAA Tennis Championships with a 4-0 loss to No. 8 Georgia on Sunday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. The Crimson Tide finishes the season with a 16-7 record, while the Bulldogs improve to 18-4.

"The credit goes to Georgia today," Alabama Coach Jenny Mainz said. "You could see the focus in them, and it was the difference-maker today."

Georgia earned the early 1-0 lead after collecting the doubles point with wins on courts one and two. First to finish was the matchup at No. 1 where juniors Chelsey Gullickson and Nadja Gilchrist posted an 8-3 victory over Alabama's 11th-ranked team of junior Courtney McLane and sophomore Alexa Guarachi. Shortly after, Georgia's freshman duo of Kate Fuller and Lilly Kimbell put up the second win for the Bulldogs as they earned an 8-1 decision against Junior Taylor Lindsey and freshman Alex Clay.

"Doubles has been our strong point all season, and today, Georgia took that away from us," Mainz said. "They came out ready to play and took control of the match from the get-go. That was the best anyone has played us all season in doubles."

Georgia made it a 2-0 lead after tallying the first point in singles as No. 25 Gullickson topped freshman Mary Anne Macfarlane, ranked No. 37, 6-0, 7-5. Gullickson cruised in the first set, but Macfarlane came back and put up a solid fight in the second to lead 5-3. The Bulldog netter would go on to win four straight games to take the set and the match over Macfarlane. Georgia freshman Maho Kowase, ranked 79th, was next to post a win for the Bulldogs as she beat McLane 6-3, 6-2. McLane came back from a 3-0 deficit in the first to even the set at 3-3, but Kowase would go on to win the last three games to take the set. Kowase broke McLane early in the second and remained in front for the duration of the frame for the victory.

The match would be clinched for Georgia on court two as 59th-ranked Gilchrist tacked on a 7-5, 6-0 win against No. 69 Guarachi. Guarachi battled her way back into the first after being down 5-0 to tie the set. From there, Gilchrist won eight consecutive games to take the match and give the Bulldogs the team victory.

"We got into the match way too late," Mainz added. "We lost first sets across the board that we won yesterday. I thought we did a good job of finding our way back in matches, but it was too late.

"I think the distance we have come since January is tremendous. We improved as a team and individually from our freshmen to our senior which is a testament to their will and dedication. I think we will carry a lot of momentum into next season."

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