COLUMBIA, Mo. – Ella Taylor won the first set in a tiebreaker, but her match went unfinished as the LSU women’s tennis team fell 4-0 to third-seeded and sixth-ranked Georgia in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament on Friday at the Mizzou Tennis Complex.
“We competed hard today,” said LSU head coach Julia S. Sell. “I was so proud. We wanted it so badly we almost forced it a little bit. When we had our moments, we overplayed a little bit. Next time we are in that position, we’re going to stay a little calmer and be able to execute. We certainly left our heart and soul out there and I’m proud of what they did not only today, but the entire tournament.”
The Lady Tigers are now 14-13 on the season and the Bulldogs hold a 19-4 record.
Although Taylor got off to a slow start on court four, she overcame a 4-1 deficit to win her first set 7-6 (4). The sophomore was down 3-2 in the second set when her court went unfinished due to the overall match being clinched.
“I thought Ella was a better competitor,” said Sell. “She was a smarter competitor today. Even though the score was close, that was one of the courts where I always felt like we were in control on that court.”
Georgia jumped out to an early lead as they took the doubles point. On court one, Joana Vale Costa and Noel Scott battled hard, but fell to No. 2 Lauren Herring and Maho Kowase 8-5. Abigail Owens and Gabrielle Otero then dropped an 8-3 decision to No. 27 Silvia Garcia and Kate Fuller on court two.
In singles, LSU’s Scott met defeat 6-1, 6-1 at the hands of No. 17 Garcia on court two. Georgia then increased its lead to 3-0 as LSU’s Owens was topped 6-2, 6-4 by No. 18 Kowase on court three.
Lady Tiger Vale Costa could not overcome No. 7 Herring, falling 6-2, 6-0 on court two as the Bulldogs clinched the match to secure a berth in the semi-finals of the SEC Tournament.
The Lady Tigers finished the SEC Tournament with multiple wins for the first time since 2004 and advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2010. These achievements came from a 4-0 victory over No. 26 Tennessee, which was the first time the Lady Tigers defeated a Top 30 opponent since LSU topped No. 27 South Carolina on March 6, 2011.
“I’m very happy that we had the opportunity to play Mississippi State and Tennessee again,” said Sell. “Those were two really hard fought wins, and Tennessee is one of our highest ranked wins of the season right now. We’re only going to get better. We are going to go home and learn from this and we are going to be better.”
LSU awaits the decision of the NCAA for the National Tournament selections. The Selection Committee will announce its decisions on Tuesday, April 29 at 4:30 p.m. CT.
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#6 Georgia 4, #53 LSU 0
Mizzou Tennis Complex at Columbia, Mo.
Apr 18, 2014
1. #7 Lauren Herring (UGA) def. Joana Vale Costa (LSU) 6-2, 6-0
2. #17 Silvia Garcia (UGA) def. Noel Scott (LSU) 6-1, 6-1
3. #18 Maho Kowase (UGA) def. Abigail Owens (LSU) 6-2, 6-4
4. #83 Lilly Kimbell (UGA) vs. Ella Taylor (LSU) 6-7 (4-7), 3-2, unfinished
5. Kate Fuller (UGA) vs. Skylar Holloway (LSU) 6-3, 5-4, unfinished
6. Caroline Brinson (UGA) vs. Gabrielle Otero (LSU) 1-6, 6-2, 0-1, unfinished
1. #2 Lauren Herring/Maho Kowase (UGA) def. Joana Vale Costa/Noel Scott (LSU) 8-5
2. #27 Silvia Garcia/Kate Fuller (UGA) def. Abigail Owens/Gabrielle Otero (LSU) 8-3
3. #90 Caroline Brinson/Lilly Kimbell (UGA) vs. Skylar Holloway/Ella Taylor (LSU) 4-5, unfinished
LSU 14-13; National ranking #53
Georgia 19-4; National ranking #6
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (2,3,1)