Georgia's Marta Gonzalez warms up before the start of doubles play against Notre Dame on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020 at the Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Tennis Courts in Athens, Georgia. The matches were part of the ITA kickoff tournament which also featured matches against Furman and Michigan State. (Photo/Julian Alexander, jalexander@randb.com)

After a first-round win on Friday, the Georgia women’s tennis team stumbled toward the end of the ITA National Indoor Tournament on Saturday and Sunday.

Despite a 4-0 record entering the tournament, the No. 3 Bulldogs went a disappointing 1-2 in Chicago, falling to Duke and NC State. 

The Bulldogs lone win came against No. 11 Virginia on Friday, where the team won 4-2. Georgia’s points all came from singles victories from No. 56 Meg Kowalski, Anna Hertel, No. 41 Katarina Jokic and No. 90 Marta Gonzalez.

Georgia’s victory was short lived as it fell in a close 4-2 match against No. 5 Duke on Saturday. Duke, like Virginia, won the doubles point after No. 48 Kowalski and Morgan Coppoc lost 6-3 to Duke’s Summer Dvorak and Yasmine Mansouri on court three. In singles, Jokic, Hertel and Eleni Christofi’s losses handed Georgia its first loss this season.

Georgia concluded tournament play with a 4-1 loss against No. 8 NC State on Sunday. NC State, a team that boasts two top-15 doubles pairs, took the doubles point after going 2-1 in those respective matches. 

The duo of No. 42 Jokic and Hertel fell to the top-ranked doubles duo of Alana Smith and Anna Rogers by a score of 6-1. After a victory from Kowalski and Coppoc, the senior duo of Gonzalez and Christofi came up short of defeating No. 14 Jada Daniel and Adirana Reami, losing 6-4 on court two.

In singles, the Bulldogs’ lone victory came from No. 83 Coppoc, who defeated NC State’s Liz Norman 6-0, 6-2.

Georgia freshmen Hertel and Lea Ma also came up short in singles. After starting the season with a combined record of 6-1, the pair went a combined 3-3 in Chicago. Hertel went 1-2 and Ma ended the weekend going 2-1, respectively.

Georgia’s inconsistent play across the board is to blame for its underwhelming performance. Prior to the tournament, the team was undefeated in doubles points this season. In three matches in Chicago, the team took just one of three doubles points and finished 2-6 in matches.

The same trend follows for singles, as the Bulldogs finished 7-7 in matches, with four of those coming in their win against Virginia.

The Bulldogs now boast a 5-2 record for the season and will take a near three-week break as they recuperate after the long week. They will be back in action when they return to Athens to begin SEC play against No. 22 Tennessee on Saturday, Feb. 29 at noon.

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