ATHENS, Ga. The fourth-ranked Georgia womens tennis team (17-4, 11-2) departed this afternoon for the SEC Tournament, occurring on the campus of Vanderbilt at the Currey Tennis Center in Nashville, Tenn.
The Bulldogs earned the No. 2 seed and a first round bye after finishing runner-up in regular season play. Georgia will play its first match on Friday at 1 p.m. ET against the winner of Thursdays match between 10th-seed Auburn and seventh-seed Arkansas.
A balanced and deep Bulldogs team enters the tournament as Georgia holds the best singles records in conference play on two courts (No. 2 and 3), while two other courts (No. 4 and 6) aretied for second.
The depth extends to the doubles lineup with Georgias No. 2 and No. 3 pairs tied for first and second, respectively, for the conferences best records. Meanwhile on the top doubles court, senior Caroline Brinson and junior Ellen Perez jumped up to No. 4 in the ITA doubles rankings due to a four-match win streak highlighted by a top-5 ranked win.
Elena Christofi, the No. 2 singles player, flaunts a team-high 28 wins and her No. 14 ITA singles rankings is the fourth highest in the nation among freshman. Junior Kennedy Shaffer, ranked 61st, concluded SEC play with an unblemished 9-0 singles mark, playing at No. 3. Together, Christofi and Shaffer form the 34th-ranked doubles squad on the No. 2 doubles court. During Georgias 11-match doubles point win streak, Christofi/Shaffer won seven-straight matches including six clinchers.
Prior to Christofi and Shaffer in the top singles spot is Perez, ranked No. 21. The Australian native ended the regular season on a 3-1 run including a win over a top-20 opponent.
Georgias vocal leader and sole senior, Brinson, capped conference play with four wins in a row, all match clinchers. The New Orleans native occupies court No. 4 and is ranked 63rd in the ITA singles rankings.
Freshman Marta Gonzalez and junior Mariana Gould anchor the group on the last two singles courts in addition to the doubles roster.
The Bulldogs aim for the programs eighth SEC Tournament Title with the last one coming in 2014, Brinsons freshman year. Georgia has been to the Championship match in each of the past five years.
For all the latest on Georgia womens tennis, follow the team on Twitter (@UGAWomensTennis), Instagram (@ugawomenstennis) and on Facebook (Georgia Womens Tennis), and keep checking in to georgiadogs.com.