Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tech Gets Revenge Against Terrapins in ACC Tournament

The Lady Jackets scored a victory over the Maryland Terrapins in the first round of the ACC Tournament at the Cary Tennis Park.  Georgia Tech had lost a few weeks back to their ACC foe, so this was a good retaliation win for the team's confidence.   Tech improves to 13-9, while Maryland falls to the same mark on the season.
Kilborn cruised with a 6-2, 6-0 win at #6.

Winning the double's point provided Tech with the momentum it needed.  Jillian O'Neill and Caroline Lilley cruised over the # 22nd ranked Terrapin team of Christina Sanchez-Quintanar and Jordaan Sanford with an 8-2 score, and Sasha Krupina and Viet Ha Ngo had a similar result, dominating 8-3 against Maryland's Cristina Stancu and Jordan Hansbrough. 

Viet Ha Ngo, Lynn Blau, and Elizabeth Kilborn were all able to grab victories in singles.  The entire match was not played out, as Jillian O'Neill and Sasha Krupina's matches were both stopped in third sets.  In collegiate tennis conference tournaments tennis at the Division 1 level, a dual match is halted once a team has gained four points.  Jillian O'Neill was up in her match 4-3 in the third set, while Sasha Krupina was also leading by the same score.

The Lady Jackets will now take on #5 UNC in the quarterfinals of the ACC tourney.  Fans are encouraged to follow the live statistics on Tech's athletic website.
                                      Lynn Blau on Tech's revenge win over the Terrapins:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Jackets Grab 4-3 Thriller Over Virginia Tech

Tech Men's tennis team was able to squeeze by the Virginia Tech Hokies on April 15th in Blacksburg, VA at the Burrows Burleson Tennis Center.  This was another match where winning the doubles point was a crucial part of play since it provided the winning point due to the singles being split 3 and 3 among each team.  Tech improves to 17-3 with a 8-2 ACC mark.  This impressive conference statistic sets a record for the most conference matches won by any Tech Men's Tennis team. Virginia Tech falls to 12-10 with a 4-6 conference record.

Dean O'Brien has a 10-1 ACC mark.
The Jackets not only took the doubles point by winning 2 of the 3 matches played; they were victorious in all of them.  Eliot Potvin and Ryan Smith held on for a 9-8 (7-5) win at the top spot, while Guillermo Gomez and Dean O'Brien fought hard for a 9-8 (7-3) victory at line 2.  Kevin King and Miguel Muguruza had a bit of an easier match at #3, winning 8-5 over the Hokie's pair of Patrick Daciek and Trpimir Kujundzic.  

The Jackets claimed wins in singles at # 1, # 3, and # 5, while the Hokies grabbed lines # 2, # 4, and # 6.  Guillermo Gomez won his match in two tight sets, while Eliot Potvin got a steady 6-2, 6-4 win.  Dean O'Brien moved up a spot in the singles lineup and got a straight set win at # 5 over Lucas Oliviera, prevailing 6-4, 6-3. 

Georgia Tech will wait on the seeding pairs for the ACC Tournament to be announced, which will determine which team they will face in the first round.  The tournament will take place in Cary, NC.  Fans are encouraged to keep up with the live scoring available on the website.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Duke Drops Lady Jackets in Durham

The # 12 ranked Georgia Tech Women's Tennis team was unable to cause an upset over # 4 Duke at Ambler Tennis Stadium on Sunday, April 10th.  The Jackets drop to 11-8 with an overall record of 4-5 in the ACC, while the Blue Devils improve to 20-2 and 9-0 in conference play.

Duke got the early momentum by grabbing the doubles point to start their lead.  Jillian O'Neill and Caroline Lilley did win at flight 1 for Tech, but the Blue Devils immediately answered back by winning 8-6 at line 3 and grabbing the 2nd doubles match by a tight 9-7 margin.

Blau beat both her UNC and Duke singles opponents.
Tech got down in a 0-2 hole once Elizabeth Kilborn was defeated by Mary Clayton at seed 6.  Just a few minutes after, Sasha Krupina was outlasted by Duke's # 72 ranked Rachel Kahan on the 5th court.  The Blue Devils were able to seal the deal once Jillian O'Neill was beaten at the # 1 slot by # 45 Nadine Fahoum 7-6 (7-5), 6-1.

The Lady Jackets were able to get two singles wins.  Junior Lynn Blau picked up a point on court four over # 59 Elizabeth Plotkin after losing the first set 6-3.  She rallied to grab the next set 6-4 and then won 10-3 in the third set tiebreaker.  Caroline Lilley also outlasted her opponent in three sets at the 2 slot, defeating Ellah Nze 4-6, 6-3, 6-1.

The final weekend of the season for Tech will be at home in Atlanta against # 56 Virginia Tech and # 18 University of Virginia.  Fans are encouraged to attend to help support the Lady Jackets in their last regular matches of the season.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Another African Inspiration

Nicholson is standout for Catawba College tennis.
After being pleasantly surprised with South African Dean O'Brien's thriller performance to clinch the win for Tech against UGA (the first win over the Dawgs in 23 years!), I thought of another African player that has inspired me with his play this season.  He is not a Yellow Jacket, but rather an Indian.  He plays for Catawba College, a smaller school in North Carolina, and has shined during his rookie season.  Freshman Matthew Nicholson from Kariba, Zimbabwe took a few minutes out of his day to answer several questions about his team and his overall experience in the States thus far.

Why did you decide to come be a student-athlete at Catawba College and play for Coach Childress?

“I was very impressed with how Coach Childress was quick to respond to my emails. He made me feel as though I was important and wanted.  The admissions department was on the ball as well and notified me right away when I was accepted.  Catawba also looked like it was a good school with a beautiful campus, and it has definitely lived up to my expectations.”

What was your most memorable moment this past season?

“My most memorable moment this season was clinching the match for us over Tusculum.  The score was 4 all, and I had to win my match to pull out the victory for the team.  I had lost the first set and needed to rally to beat the guy in the third.  It was great to get the win for my teammates.”

What are you going to work on for next year?

“I want to work on being more consistent and trying to get into better shape.  There were a couple of matches I think I could of won if I was a bit quicker and had better stamina.  I feel as though we have a very talented team, and if we all step it up a bit for next year, the sky is the limit for us.”

What is your advice for upcoming seniors that want to play collegiate tennis?

“Keep working hard at your game.  Play as many tournaments as you can get in contact with a lot of coaches.  If you work hard and are persistent, you will definitely find a team to be a part of.”  

What is your overall impression of the United States so far?
The culture is quite different than I am used to.  People are very friendly here and talk a lot.  I will be walking to class and people I do not know will smile at me or say hello.  We don't do that in Zimbabwe."

Monday, April 4, 2011

O'Neill Leads Lady Jackets to Shutout Over BC

Jillian O'Neill hitting a forehand.
After losing to # 24 ranked Maryland 3-4 on Friday, April 1st, the Georgia Tech Women's Tennis team needed a confidence booster to avenge their heartbreaking ACC loss to the Terrapins.  Beating Boston College two days later by a dominating 7-0 score definitely helped bring back some confidence to Coach Shelton and his players.

"This is exactly the type of day we were looking for today," head coach Bryan Shelton said. "We wanted to see how we would respond after losing to Maryland on Friday. It was nice for our team to come out, and bring an energy and competitiveness. It's easy after you lose a tough match to feel sorry for yourself. There's just no time, or opponent, where we can go out there and feel sorry for ourselves. I was glad to see our team rise to the occasion and come out ready to play today." 

The Jackets started the day on a positive note by winning the doubles point against BC.  The Eagles # 2 duo of Olga Khmylev and Alex Kelleher did defeat Tech's Elizabeth Kilborn and Lynn Blau, but lines 1 and 3 were able to pull of victories over their opponents.  Caroline Lilley and Jillian O'Neill prevailed with a 8-4 win, while Sasha Krupina and Muriel Wacker also won by an identical score.  

All the Lady Jackets came out on top in their singles matches.  Jillian O'Neill battled back after losing the first set 6-3 to easily take the next two 6-0, 6-1 over BC's # 1 Alex Kelleher, # 2 Caroline Lilley won in a third set tiebreaker over Erina Kikuchi (which is played instead of the 3rd set since Tech had already defeated Boston College as a team), and freshman Muriel Wacker pulled out a third set tiebreaker win over Katharine Attwell at seed 6.

Shelton and his team will travel back to North Carolina this weekend to face # 3 ranked UNC on Saturday, April 9th in Chapel Hill.  They will then drive to Durham to take on the Lady Blue Devils of Duke on Sunday, April 10th.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Men's Tennis Bounces Clemson

King is 13-1 in dual singles matches this year.
Guest Post by Cameron White, author of the blog "The Big Fly".

The Yellow Jacket men’s tennis team secured a convincing 6-1 victory at Clemson on Wednesday. With the win, Georgia Tech improves to 13-2 overall with a 4-1 mark in ACC matches.

A loss in #2 singles by Juan Spir in straight sets was the Yellow Jackets’ only setback on the day. The standout performer was Kevin King in #3 singles, who defeated Clemson’s Gerardo Meza in straight sets. Guillermo Gomez was tested in #1 singles by Clemson’s Derek DiFazio, but pulled out a win by a score of 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.

The Yellow Jackets won their remaining singles matches. #4 Eliot Potvin won in three sets, while #5 Magin Ortiga and #6 Dean O’Brien worked overtime to clinch their wins. They also clinched the doubles point. Spir and King won 8-2 in #1 doubles and Potvin and Ryan Smith won 9-7 in #2 doubles.

This weekend, Georgia Tech travels to face Boston College on Friday and also play at Maryland on Sunday.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Jackets Sting NC State and Wake Forest in Post Spring Break ACC Action

Kevin King clinched the Wake Forest win.
After a hard week of training over Spring Break, the Jackets proved they were ready to compete and capitalize on their competition by beating NC State 7-0 and topping the Demon Deacons by a 6-1 score this past weekend.  Tech improves to 12-2 and 3-1 in Atlantic Coast Conference play.  NC State falls to 8-7 and 0-3 in ACC play, while Wake drops to 7-7 and 1-3 in conference matches.

Each Jacket came out on top against the Wolfpack in doubles and singles action.  The closest match was at #5 singles.  Magin Ortiga was able to pull out the win in a third set tiebreaker over Ivan Sanchez Gomez, grabbing the match by a 4-6, 7-5, 1-0 (11-9) score.  Guillermo Gomez also had a nail biter at the top slot, sliding by Dominic Hodgson with a tight 7-6 (7-2), 7-5 victory. 

The match with Wake Forest was much tougher than the overall 6-1 score.  The Jackets won 2 singles matches in tight 3rd sets, and Kevin King had to rally over Iain Atkinson at the 3rd position to ensure his 7-6 (7-3), 7-5 win to clinch the match for Georgia Tech.

The Jackets will continue with their ACC play when they travel to face Clemson in Clemson, SC on March 30th.  While on the road, Tech will also face-off with Boston College and Maryland within the same week. 

                      Watch Kevin King battle for his singles victory over Wake's Iain Atkinson: