Two weeks removed from dominating the SEC Tournament, Georgia women’s tennis head coach Jeff Wallace and his squad are feeling optimistic about where they stand heading into the NCAA Tournament.
Georgia enters the tournament as the No. 3 overall seed behind No. 2 Texas and No. 1 North Carolina. This year’s bid is Georgia’s 34th straight, adding another storied chapter within the program’s history.
“We’re just really pumped to be hosting,” Wallace said. “With the year how everything has happened with COVID-19, you didn’t really know what was going to happen as far as hosting. It’s just great to be able to play a couple more matches at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.”
The Bulldogs earned their place in the tournament after a historic regular season campaign, going 20-1 with an unbeaten conference record. They will have a shot to win the program’s third outdoor title.
The championship chase is nothing new to Katarina Jokic, who was on the team during its 2019 NCAA Tournament run that ended with the Bulldogs losing to Stanford in the finals.
“I feel like no one is feeling any pressure,” Jokic said. “We’re a good team and we have great team chemistry, so really we’re just going to go out there and give it our best shot.”
Jokic has been instrumental in Georgia’s success this season. As this year’s SEC Player of the Year, she’s a perfect 15-0 in dual-match play, earning major top-10 wins in both singles and doubles.
“I feel pretty confident heading into the tournament,” Jokic said. “I still think there’s always room for improvement, but I’m definitely confident with where I’m at.”
Another player who is confident given their recent success is Morgan Coppoc. Her play in the SEC Tournament was enough to make the All-Tournament team and earn the Tournament’s Most Valuable Player award.
Coppoc believes her success in recent matches is due to the hard work she’s put in all season but knows the wins she has put together are great for building momentum heading into the NCAA Tournament.
“The awards that I have been given are all from the work I’ve been putting in,” Coppoc said. “I’ve played every dual match this season like it was NCAA’s and it’s nice to see that work pay off with results.”
With a season marked by dominance, the Bulldogs are not losing sight of their main focus: to win a national championship. They’re reminded when they keep a team-oriented approach they can play anybody.
“We’ve got some good teams coming to our regional,” Wallace said. “We just have to get ready for this. Practices have been going great and our goal now is to advance and get to Orlando.”
Georgia’s 2021 NCAA Tournament run begins May 7 at 1 p.m. against Austin Peay at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex