FLORENCE, S.C. – The No. 25 Georgia College Women's Tennis team (15-6) came back to upset the No. 24 University of North Georgia Nighthawks (14-7) Saturday afternoon in the semifinals of the Peach Belt Conference (PBC) Tournament, hosted by Francis Marion University.
The No. 2-seed Bobcats' win over No. 3-seed UNG advances Georgia College to the Finals for the first time since 2003 to take on No. 1-seed Columbus State University. The Cougars beat No. 5-seed Flagler College 6-0 today.
This was a great win for the Bobcats after trailing the Nighthawks 2-1 after the round of doubles. In the one slot, the team of No. 19 Felicia Baratta and Holly Bennett beat the All-PBC Second Team pairing Jena Kelly (Lawrenceville, Georgia) and Valeria Lopez (Galicia, Spain) 8-1. The Bobcats also fell in the number two position as the pairing of Lexa Loden and Vaishali Jorge defeated Emilia Richter (Berlin, Germany) and Kristen Jones (Marietta, Georgia), 8-6.
Fortunately for the Bobcats, the pairing of Emma Niemi (Cumming, Georgia) and Paula Garriga (Centelles, Spain) came up with a big win in the three-spot taking down the team of Adrienne Bofinger and Cibeles Zuddy 8-4 to keep Georgia College in it heading into the singles round.
Singles round was next, as Richter started things on a positive note as she made easy work of Bennett in the third spot 6-1, 6-0 to even the match 2-2. Garriga then grabbed the lead for Georgia College when she took down Zuddy in the fifth slot 6-0, 6-3. The Nighthawks tied it back up at 3-3 in the fourth spot as Jorge beat Jones in a hard-fought match 3-6, 6-2, 6-1.
The first slot came next for the Bobcats and Kelly managed to defeat Baratta 6-1, 7-5 to put Georgia College ahead 4-3. UNG kept fighting as Bofinger captured the equalizer in the two-spot after beating Lopez 6-1, 7-6 (7-3).
The match ultimately came down to the sixth slot with Niemi taking care of business and sending Georgia College to the finals by defeating Loden in three sets 6-2, 4-6, 7-5.
The Bobcats are back in action when they take on Columbus State in the PBC Championship Sunday, April 21 at 9 a.m.
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.