ATHENS, GA–The Winthrop women’s tennis team saw its season come to an end Saturday in a 4-0 loss to No. 4 Georgia in the first round of the 2013 NCAA Tennis Championships at Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
Winthrop, champions of the Big South Conference for a sixth straight year, closes the year with a 18-10 record while Georgia improves to 22-3 and advances to the second round against No. 26 Arizona State, a 4-1 winner over No. 36 Oklahoma.
“They (Georgia) are very good,” said Winthrop head coach Cid Carvalho, who sent the Eagles into their 13th NCAA tournament. Winthrop is still looking for its first win in the tournament.
“We won some good points, but found it very hard to win games,” he said.
Georgia earned the doubles point as the Bulldogs’ No. 1 ranked duo of Kate Fuller and Silvia Garcia ousted Winthrop’s team of Yasmine Alkema and Andressa Garcia, 8-1. Giovanna Portiolli and Alice Garcia fell 8-3 in No. 2 doubles while Caitlin Cridland and Ekin Gunaysu did not finish as they trailed 6-5 when Georgia captured the point.
In singles, Georgia’s No. 19 Maho Kowase defeated Andressa Garcia 6-1, 6-0 at No. 2. Fuller knocked out Portiolli 6-0, 6-2 at No. 4 while Ayaka Okuno defeated Cridland 6-1, 6-2 at No. 5.
Winthrop battled Georgia in the early going of the singles matchups as it took early leads at No. 1 (Alkema), No. 3 (Alice Garcia), No. 5 (Cridland) and No. 6 (Uzelac), Alkema, playing in her final collegiate match along with teammate Portiolli, actually led No. 6 ranked Lauren Herring 2-0 in the first set before falling 6-3. She did not finish the second set .
“We had a very good season. I am very proud of the way the girls played all season as well as today,” said Carvalho. He told the returning players to not forget the two seniors (Alkema and Portiolli) for all they have done for the program, but he impressed the importance of working hard over the summer and coming back next season focused on getting ranked and winning another conference title.
“I am not sure that we would have been able to beat Oklahoma or Arizona State, but I feel our chances would have been much better than having to play one of the top five teams in the country. It is very important that we are ranked so that we can avoid playing the top seed in the regional,” he said.
Georgia 4, Winthrop 0
1. #1 Kate Fuller/Silvia Garcia (UGA) def. Yasmine Alkema/Andressa Garcia (WIN), 8-1
2. #52 Lauren Herring/Maho Kowase (UGA) def. Alice Garcia/Giovanna Portiollo (WIN), 8-3
3. Mia King/Ayaka Okuno (UGA) vs. Caitlin Cridland/Ekin Gunaysu (WIN), 6-5, unfinished
1. #6 Lauren Herring (UGA) vs. Yasmine Alkema (WIN), 6-3, 3-0, unfinished
2. #19 Maho Kowase (UGA) def. Andressa Garcia (WIN), 6-1, 6-0
3. #104 Silvia Garcia (UGA) vs. Alice Garcia (WIN), 6-2, 4-1, unfinished
4. Kate Fuller (UGA) def. Giocanna Portiolli (WIN), 6-0, 6-2
5. Ayaka Okuno (UGA) def. Caitlin Cridland (WIN), 6-1, 6-2
6. Mia King (UGA) vs. Tijana Uzelac (WIN), 6-1, 1-3, unfinished