YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. – The Georgia College Women's Tennis team (2-1, 1-1 PBC) dropped their first match of the 2018 season Friday, getting edged 5-4 at Young Harris College (4-1, 1-0 PBC).
The Bobcats were down 2-1 after doubles. The lone victory came in the first slot, as the national No. 16 doubles pairing of Jena Kelly (Lawrenceville) and Valeria Lopez (Galicia, Spain) teamed for an 8-5 win over Oriana Labaqui and Ana Rodriguez.
In second doubles, Emma Niemi (Cumming) and Kristen Jones (Marietta) came up short 8-2 to Maria Puerta and Carol Quevedo. Third doubles was an 8-3 loss as Emilia Richter (Berlin, Germany) and Paula Garriga (Barcelona, Spain) fell to Elin Rundcrantz and Laura Sanchez.
The nation's No. 33 singles player Kelly was dominant in the start to singles play, cleaning up Rundcrantz 6-1, 6-0 in the first line. YHC pushed back in front with a win in sixth singles next, as Niemi lost to Puerta in two 6-1 sets. Garriga pulled the team score even at 3-3 by beating Quevedo 6-4, 6-2 in fifth singles.
Richter put the Bobcats one victory away with a 6-4, 6-4 win in the third line over Rodriguez. The Mountain Lions needed to sweep the final two matches and did just that, starting with a win in the fourth slot. Sanchez out-lasted Jones 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 in the match's only three-set bout. With the match knotted at 4-4, Lopez gave Labaqui everything she could handle in the second slot, falling 6-1, 7-6 (8-6).
The Bobcats are back in action Sunday, Feb. 25 at 1 p.m., traveling to Lander University.
The Georgia College Department of Athletics, two-time winners of the PBC Commissioner's Cup and the 2017 PBC Sportsmanship Institution of the Year, 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 Twitter and Facebook for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit GCBobcats.PhotoReflect.com to purchase photo prints from home athletic contests.