After months of waiting, the Georgia women’s tennis team will be returning home to the Dan Magill Tennis Complex this weekend for its final tournament of the fall season.
The Bulldogs only had one opportunity to play in their $8.5 million, newly renovated Henry Feild Stadium last spring. The team won its only outdoor home match of the season, ultimately having to cancel six more due to COVID-19.
“I am so excited to play at home again,” said junior Morgan Coppoc. “It seems like it was either ten years ago or last week that we were getting ready to play at home after being gone the weekend before.”
Georgia announced on Tuesday that spectator attendance will be limited to guests of the respective team members via pass list. No other fans will be allowed inside the Dan Magill Tennis Complex during the men’s and women’s respective fall tournaments.
Some of the athletes are expecting their parents to be in attendance for the tournament this weekend since this will be their only opportunity to watch the team play at home this fall.
“They always travel and support the team so I am excited for them to get back to Athens and watch not only me but my teammates,” said sophomore Alee Clayton. “My teammates are like my sisters and they’re part of the family too.”
While this fall season was shorter compared to last year's six tournament schedule, the women are thrilled to be finishing this fall season with a tournament on their home turf.
“To end it at home, I don’t think anyone else can understand that feeling,” Coppoc said. “You’re finally home. You’ve been training for this. We get to sleep in our beds here and then wake up and play in Athens, we’re so excited for it.”
After the final match of the tournament is complete, the Bulldogs will begin to set their focus on preparing for the spring season.
“This will be a good way to kick off going into the next season in the spring,” Clayton said.
Since the remainder of Georgia’s academic year will be online only after Thanksgiving, the Bulldogs must request to come back if they want to train in Athens, although it is not guaranteed.
Associate head coach Drake Bernstein explained how he believes they will stay motivated during their unusually long break between the fall and spring season.
“We’ve got a lot of trust in these girls and they take their game seriously. They take tennis seriously,” Bernstein said. “It’s not a group of girls that we constantly have to motivate. They are self-motivated.”