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Former Tennis Star Dies Suddenly at Age 31


Teammates and coaches are mourning the loss of a former collegiate tennis star who died suddenly at the age of 31 over the weekend.

Former University of Georgia standout Lilly Kimbell reportedly died on Sunday, according to her family. Kimbell's family says that she had been experiencing kidney issues that led to a heart attack. CPR was performed at her home and she was transported to the hospital, but her family tragically were forced to make the decision to take her off of life support.

“We were stunned and heartbroken to learn of Lilly passing away,” said Georgia head coach Jeff Wallace. “I will always remember how she helped create a culture of excellence with her attitude and work ethic. Lilly was a fantastic teammate and was always smiling and laughing during practice and matches. She ranks as one of the most successful doubles players in Georgia tennis history. During the spring of her sophomore year, she went undefeated in doubles with Maho (Kowase), and their 22-match winning streak is still a school record. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family.” 

Kimbell, who graduated with a bachelor's degree in Human Development and Family Science in 2014 and a masters in Sport Management in 2016, is one of the most distinguished players to have passed through the university's women's tennis program.

She holds the school record for most consecutive doubles wins in a season, alongside partner Maho Kowase, and she was a part of four teams that made it to the NCAA quarterfinals. She also ranks fourth in career doubles victories with a 109-31 record and seventh in doubles wins in a season with a 32-5 record in 2012.

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