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Meg Kowalski, a freshman from Chicago, Illinois, dips to return the ball during singles play against Wake Forest University on May 5, 2019 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Georgia. Georgia defeated Wake Forest 4-0 to progress to the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament. (Photo/Julian Alexander)

The No. 5 Georgia women’s tennis team came out with a strong showing Sunday afternoon, defeating No. 19 Tennessee 4-0 in its first conference match of the season at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.

The Bulldogs started off the match with doubles, seeking to clinch the point after a quick win from the duo of Lea Ma and Meg Kowalski over Carly Briggs and Rebeka Mertena 6-2.

“We’re yin and yang,” Kowalski said. “[Ma] is super chill, and I’m pretty amped up. We balance each other out.”

Katarina Jokic and Ariana Arsenault earned a 6-3 victory over Daria Kuzcer and Esther Adeshina, giving Georgia the early 1-0 lead, and extending the team’s unbeaten streak in doubles play to six games this season.

The No. 37-ranked duo of Morgan Coppoc and Elena Christofi struggled in the meantime as their match went unfinished with the pair trailing 4-2 to Tenika McGiffin and Eleonora Molinaro.

No. 31 Ma continued her winning ways, defeating Briggs 6-1, 6-3 to pick up the Bulldogs second point of the day. No. 16 Jokic also had a strong showing, taking down Molinaro in straight sets 6-3, 6-3.

The match was clinched by No. 60 Kowalski, who defeated Mertena 6-2, 6-2. The win was her 16th consecutive singles victory dating back to the fall season.

“I didn’t even know I was on that streak,” Kowalski said. “All I care about is the team’s performance and getting my point up for the team.”

The Bulldogs were leading or tied on all other courts before the match was clinched. No. 73 Coppoc was tied 6-1, 2-4 against Kuzcer. No. 50 Marta Gonzalez and Christofi led their matches by scores of 6-4, 2-0 & 6-4, 5-1.

The win puts Georgia at 5-1 on the season and 1-0 to start conference play. The Bulldogs will hit the road, heading to Oxford, Mississippi to play Ole Miss next Friday, Feb. 26.

“It’s always nice to get that first conference win, especially against a quality opponent like Tennessee,” said head coach Jeff Wallace. “You really want to get those conference wins at home because you know the road matches are always going to be a lot tougher.”