GAINESVILLE, Ga. – The Georgia College Women's Tennis team (1-0) started its 2018 season on the right foot Saturday, taking down NAIA powerhouse Brenau University (0-1) 7-2 on the road.
The Bobcats held a 2-1 advantage after doubles, thanks to wins in the first and second slots. Georgia College started in a 1-0 hole after the third doubles pairing of junior Paula Garriga (Centelles, Spain) and freshman Emilia Richter (Berlin, Germany) stumbled against Paula Rives Palau and Patricia Recalde Pacua by an 8-5 finish. Things evened out right away with a win in second doubles, as seniors Emma Niemi (Cumming) and Kristen Jones (Marietta) teamed for an 8-5 win over Maya Mammetgulyyeva and Valentina Pabon. Senior Jena Kelly (Lawrenceville) and junior Valeria Lopez (Galicia, Spain) put the Bobcats in front for good with a hard-fought 9-7 win in the first slot over Peeraya Charoensirisutthikul and Rebecca Pijls.
Garriga got singles play rolling with a convincing 6-1, 6-1 effort in the fifth slot over Rives Palau. Next came Lopez in the second slot, making short work of Mammetgulyyeva with a 6-0, 6-2 score. Niemi provided the team victory with a clinching point in sixth singles, topping Pabon 6-1, 6-2. 10
Jones continued the singles run for the Bobcats by beating Pijls 6-3, 6-2 in the fourth slot. No. 33 Kelly dropped a hard-fought 6-3, 3-6, 10-4 battle in the top slot with Charoensirisutthikul, then Richter edged Recalde in a 4-6, 7-5, 10-2 marathon to close the day.
The Bobcats continue their dominance on opening day, a now-12 match winning streak in the first match of the spring.
The Bobcats return to action Sunday, Feb. 11 at 1 p.m., traveling to No. 12 Valdosta State University.
The Georgia College Department of Athletics, two-time winners of the PBC Commissioner's Cup, sponsors 11 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, Bobcat Athletics prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the teams' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at @GCBobcats on social media for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit GCBobcats.PhotoReflect.com to purchase photo prints from home athletic contests.