WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – After arriving Monday on Wake Forest’s campus, the seventh-seeded Georgia women’s tennis team have spent the past two days priming for its run in the 2018 NCAA Division I Women’s Tennis Championships, starting with Thursday’s noon Round of 16 matchup against No. 10 South Carolina.
The Sweet Sixteen appearance marks the eighth straight for the Bulldogs and 18th overall in program history since the NCAA field expanded from 16 to 64 in 1999. Georgia aims to reach the Elite Eight and Final Four for the first time since 2015, and earn the program’s third National Championship – last obtained in 2000.
The Bulldogs (17-6) and the Gamecocks (21-6) each swept both of their opponents at their home sites for the first and second rounds to advance to the Round of 16. Georgia bested Georgia State and No. 29 Wake Forest, while South Carolina defeated Quinnipiac and No. 23 Virginia.
Facing another Southeastern Conference opponent serves as a rematch as Georgia looks to avenge its regular season loss that occurred in Athens back in March. After the Bulldogs took the doubles point, the Gamecocks powered through singles to win 4-1. Missing in Georgia’s lineup that afternoon was sophomore Marta Gonzalez who will now be in the lineup at the No. 3 singles spot, which shifts court matchups.
“Every match regardless of the matchups, you have to be ready to play,” Georgia head coach Jeff Wallace said. “The plan every year is to peak at the time of NCAAs. That is the most important thing. We’ve put together a few good practices up here and will be ready to go tomorrow. All Round of 16’s are filled with great matches, so it’s going to be a battle.”
The winner of Georgia and South Carolina advances to play Saturday at noon against the victor of No. 2-seed North Carolina and No. 15-seed Stanford. The Tar Heels and the Cardinal each grabbed automatic bids after winning the ACC and Pac-12 Championships, respectively.
All event information including schedule, tickets, parking, live scoring, brackets, and more are found on the tournament site (http://gado.gs/90o). In a case that rain moves play indoors, Georgia and South Carolina would play on the Campus of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, approximately 80 miles east of Winston-Salem.
For all the latest on Georgia women’s tennis, follow the team on Twitter (@UGAWomensTennis), Instagram (@ugawomenstennis) and on Facebook (Georgia Women’s Tennis), and keep checking georgiadogs.com.