200118_JCA_TennisFirstServe_08.jpg

Senior Elena Christofi (right) stands beside breakout freshman Lea Ma during the National Anthem at the second annual First Serve on January 18, 2020 at the Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Tennis Courts in Athens, Georgia. The men’s and women’s tennis teams played mixed matches against one another and hosted a clinic during the event. (Photo/Julian Alexander, jalexander@randb.com)

The No. 3 Georgia women’s tennis team defeated No. 27 Florida 4-1 Friday evening at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex to pick up its seventh straight win.

The Bulldogs started the day searching for their ninth doubles point this season. Meg Kowalski and Lea Ma cruised to a 6-1 victory over Sydney Berlin and Layne Sleeth on court three.

Florida would quickly return the favor on court one as No. 26 McCartney Kessler and Marlee Zein defeated Katarina Jokic and Ariana Arseneault 6-1.

“We lost three deuce games, which was a little unlucky,” Jokic said. “I wouldn’t say we did very many things wrong, we were just a little unlucky.”

No. 37 Morgan Coppoc and Elena Christofi would pull through for Georgia, taking down Sara Dahlstrom and Ida Jarlskog 6-2. The win clinched yet another Bulldogs doubles point, as they’ve yet to lose one this spring.

“Getting that first point on the board and moving on to singles just lets us relax,” Coppoc said. “We’re still going after it, but it gets the ball rolling for everybody in singles.”

No. 73 Coppoc was right about getting the ball rolling singles, defeating Dahlstrom 6-1, 6-2 to add another point for the Bulldogs.

No. 50 Marta Gonzalez could not create a similar result in her match as she fell to Sleeth in straight sets 6-2, 6-0 giving Florida its only point of the match.

“[Marta’s] opponent just outplayed her today, and that’s going to happen,” said head coach Jeff Wallace. “I’m looking for her to bounce back on Sunday.”

On court one, No. 16 Jokic showed some emotion, pumping up the crowd after beating No. 32 Kessler 6-3, 6-3.

“It’s always fun to play with the crowd behind you,” Jokic said. “I was just enjoying it so much.”

Georgia gained its fourth point off the racket of Christofi who beat Berlin 6-2, 6-3 on court six, clinching the win over Florida to remain unbeaten in SEC play this spring.

No. 60 Kowalski was on the verge of winning her singles match before the match was completed. She played her opponent Jarlskog to a score of 6-1, 6-6.

No. 31 Ma showed some fight in her match against Zein. After dropping the first set, Ma came back to take the second set and led the third set before the match was completed for a score of 3-6, 6-1, 1-0.

“[Ma’s] opponent had the hot hand to start, but Lea weathered the storm and was strong in the second set, which was outstanding,” Wallace said.

The Bulldogs sit at 8-1 nearly halfway through the regular season and are unbeaten in conference play with a record of 4-0.

Georgia will have a quick turnaround, facing South Carolina on Sunday afternoon at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.

“We’re used to a quick turnaround in conference play,” Wallace said. “Tomorrow we’ll get a good practice in and just get remotivated to stay on our mission Sunday.”