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:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Lady Jackets Slide Past #16 Vanderbilt

It came down to a third set at line # 3 singles, but Caroline Lilley rose up to the challenge and provided the Lady Jackets with a 4-3 victory over the Vanderbilt Commodores on March 19th in Nashville at the Currey Tennis Center.  She outlasted Jackie Wu with a nail biting 6-4, 0-6, 7-6 victory over the Commodore junior.

The Jackets had two weeks off of competition from their 4-3 loss to Miami on March 5th and were hungry for a win.  Their hard work over the past few weeks showed that they can compete with anyone in the country, since Vandy was ranked four spots above them in the national polls.
Lilley clinched the match for the Jackets.

Tech got the day started off on the right foot, taking the doubles point by winning at lines 2 and 3.  Caroline Lilley and Lynn Blau quickly earned a convincing 8-3 win at the third doubles slot over Laura Mira and Keilly Ulery.  Jillian O'Neill and Viet Ha Ngo lost a tough 9-7 match at line 1, but Sasha Krupina and Elizabeth Kilborn fired back to win a 9-7 battle of their own at # 2 doubles.

The Lady Jackets was able to squeak out the win with victories at lines 1,3, and 5 in singles action.  Jillian O'Neill shined at #1 with a 7-6, 7-6 triumph over # 91 ranked Alex Leatu.  Elizabeth Kilborn was able to slide past Rachael Dillion at # 5 with a 1-6, 6-3, 7-5 victory.  Caroline Lilley was finally able to finish off Jackie Wu at the 3rd spot, which clinched the 4-3 win for the Lady Jackets.

Georgia Tech returns back to action on Thursday, March 24th at home in Atlanta to face the # 17 Notre Dame Fighting Irish.  Come watch the Jackets compete to add another win to their overall record and show they are one of the best women's tennis teams in the country!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Men's Tennis Opens ACC Play With Pouncing of Florida State

The Georgia Tech Men proved to be the stronger team against Florida State in their ACC home-opener as the Jackets pounced on the Seminoles by a 6-1 margin. The match was played on Sunday, March 6th at the Bill Moore Tennis Center.

Senior Elliot Potvin.
Ignoring the wind and the overall cold temperatures, the Jackets got off to a strong start by winning the doubles point. The first tandem to finish off a Seminoles pair was Guillermo Gomez and Dean O'Brien at the #3 slot. They pulled away with an 8-4 win. Following in their footsteps were Tech athletes Juan Spir and Kevin King, who got passed their opponents at the #1 position with another 8-4 performance. Ryan Smith and Elliot Potvin also secured a win at the #2 spot with an 8-5 result.

Florida State didn't let the loss of the double's point phase them at first. At # 5 singles, Seminole Jordan Kelly-Houston quickly passed through Magin Ortiga 6-1, 6-0. However, that is as close as Florida State would get to making the match any closer in the overall team score. Kevin King quickly finished his opponent of at the # 4 slot with an identical 6-1, 6-0 score over FSU's Blake Davis. Senior Dean O'Brien, who provided the clinching point for Tech's win over the University of Georgia a couple weeks ago, edged Anderson Reed 7-5, 6-2 at # 6 to put Tech up 3-1.

The final 3 matches proved to be tougher contests, as Elliot Potvin pulled out a 6-4, 7-4 win at line 3 over Seminole Connor Smith. He clinched the match for the Jackets. #12 ranked Guillermo Gomez and # 50 Juan Spir provided tight victories at #1 and 2 as well, with Gomez winning in a third set 6-2 and Spir winning his second set in a tiebreaker.

The Yellow Jackets will face William and Mary in their next contest on Wednesday at the Bill Moore Tennis Center. The team is seeking their 9th win of the season against the Tribe.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Women's Team Falls to #20 Florida State

The Lady Jackets faced Florida State in their ACC opener at the Bill Moore Tennis Center on February 26th in their outdoor facility. Tech fought hard, but the Seminoles proved to be too strong of a team and defeated the Lady Jackets by a 5-2 margin. Tech falls to 5-4 on the season, while Florida State ups their mark to 4-2.

All the matches were close, but Florida State was able to come out as the victor more often than Tech. The Seminoles were able to grab the doubles point, winning at lines #1 and #3. The #1 Tech tandem of Sasha Krupina and Elizabeth Kilborn had a convincing lead, jumping out to 5-0, but Florida State's Noemie Scharle and Federica Suess fired back, clinching the match by an 8-6 score. However, Tech's #2 pair Jillian O'Neill and Viet Ha Ngo did have an impressive win over the #47 ranked doubles team in the country, defeating FSU's Francesca Segarelli and Ruth Seaborne with an easy 8-2 win.
Jillian O'Neill won in singles and doubles against FSU.

Florida State prevailed at lines 1,2,5, and 6 in singles. However, 2 of the 4 matches FSU won were in 3 sets. #61 nationally ranked Jillian O'Neill had a strong win at #3 singles, defeating #32 Noemie Scharle 6-4, 6-1. Senior Sasha Krupina also came out victorious in singles, winning 6-1, 5-7, 6-0 at #4 over Federica Suess.

The Jackets are looking to shake off this loss and even their ACC mark by upending Clemson on Wednesday, March 2nd. The Jackets will travel to Clemson, South Carolina and will be competing at the Hoke Sloan Tennis Center.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Georgia Tech Men FINALLY beat Georgia!!

Wow, a wonderful feat has occurred! For the first time in 23 years, the Georgia Tech men's tennis team has earned a win over in-state rival University of Georgia on February 12th, 2011 at the Bill Moore Tennis Center.

Clinching the match for the # 21 ranked Jackets was Dean O'Brien, a senior from Benmore, South Africa, playing at # 6 singles. After losing the first set, O'Brien pushed himself to another level to take the next two from Ignacio Toboada in front of a large crowd in Atlanta, GA. His victory made Tech come out on top with a 4-3 dual match score over the Bulldogs.
O'Brien after winning his match.

Imagine all the emotions Dean was feeling after clinching the huge upset over the #11 ranked team in the nation!

"I cannot explain the feeling that I have right now," said O'Brien. "It is indescribable. This team has been through a lot of stuff and to be the person to get the win, this was for the alumni, the old boys, for everyone, my teammates and my coach."

Georgia Tech's Head Coach Kenny Thorne was quite pleased with his team's success on the court that day as well.

"These seniors deserve it. They have put so much time and effort into their games and getting this team to gel and this is the fruition of it. All of the seniors need to hold their heads high. They took out Georgia in their senior year and that is something to be said. Georgia has a good team, you have to give them credit, and they fought. That was not a weak Georgia team that was a good Georgia team that we just beat."

After getting this huge upset over the Bulldogs, positive momentum has stuck with the Jackets, which was shown with their 4-3 victory over the Auburn Tigers. Hopefully this win will keep the Jackets in their winning ways and give them inspiration to dominate the ACC conference for the spring 2011 season!

                                        See Dean O'Brien after his thrilling performance:


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Women Take Down #30 Iowa

The Lady Jackets continued their strong start on the young 2011 season, taking a 5-2 decision from the Iowa Lady Hawkeyes. The Lady Jackets improve to 2-0 on the season, while Iowa falls to 1-1.

Viet Ha Ngo had a stellar day for the Jackets, winning easily at #1 singles with a 6-1, 6-0 score. She also helped Tech grab the doubles point, winning at #2 with Jillian O'Neill by posting an 8-2 result.
Sasha Krupina striking a backhand.
Other winners for the Lady Jackets in singles were Caroline Lilley at #2, Jillian O'Neill at the 3rd position, and Lynn Blau at the 4th spot. All three of Tech's doubles teams won their matches, the closest score being at the first slot with Sasha Krupina and Caroline Lilley notching an 8-6 triumph over Sonja Molnar and Jessica Young.

The Lady Jackets will face #28 ranked South Florida in their next contest at home in Atlanta. Hopefully they will continue to succeed and conquer the Bulls to stay undefeated!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Lady Jackets Upset #9 Ranked Northwestern, Men Demolish USC Upstate

For their season opener, the #16 ranked Lady Yellow Jackets earned a huge upset win over the 9th ranked team in the country. Northwestern fought hard, but it was ultimately the Lady Jackets who proved to be the stronger team on the 23rd of January at the Bill Moore Tennis Center.

Junior Caroline Lilley.
Sasha Krupina and Caroline Lilley got the ball rolling with an 8-4 win over Linda Abu Mushrefova and Nida Hamilton at the #1 spot. Viet Ha Ngo and Jillian O’Neill followed in their footsteps and conquered in a tight 8-5 battle at the #2 doubles position to clinch the doubles point.

Winners in singles for the Lady Jackets were Caroline Lilley at #2, Jillian O’Neill at #3, Sasha Krupina at #5, and Elizabeth Kilborn at #6.

Coach Bryan Shelton seemed pleased with his team’s performance with the following quote:

“Overall, I am happy for the whole team. We did some things better than we did last weekend and we executed better. This is a good sign that we improved just over this past week.”

The men also had a strong opening day, winning in true fashion with a 7-0 score against USC Upstate.

All of the Jackets won their matches against the Spartans, only losing 21 games combined in the 9 matches played.
Senior Guillermo Gomez dominated at #1 singles.

Head Coach Kenny Thor appeared happy with the team’s success:

“I get excited when we do the fundamentals very well and I felt like that is what we did today.”

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Welcome to My Blog!

Hello everyone! Welcome to my blog on the Georgia Tech Women's and Men's Tennis teams. I hope you enjoy reading my updates each week on each team's results throughout the 2011 spring season. Feel free to comment if you feel inspired!

For readers who are not familiar with college tennis, I will provide some basic facts to help you comprehend the sport and rules better.

Georgia Tech is a member of the powerhouse Atlantic Coast Conference, commonly known as the ACC. The ACC is affiliated with the Division 1 sector of the NCAA, or the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Other institutions part of the conference include The University of North Carolina, Vanderbilt University, and Boston College.

In Division 1 tennis, there are 7 points possible for a team to receive during each match. 4 points must be obtained for a team to defeat their opponent. 3 doubles matches are played to start the competition. One team must win 2 out of 3 of those matches to earn the 1 doubles point possible. All doubles matches in the college format are played to 8 games, the winner being whoever gets to 8 and wins by at least 2 games. If the teams reach a tie at 8 all, a tie-breaker is played to determine the winning tandem.

After doubles play is completed, the singles competition begins. The team that won the doubles point has to win 3 out of the 6 matches to be victorious. The team that lost the doubles point has to work a bit harder and win 4 out of the 6 matches to come out on top.

Tennis is a sport played using sets. The first player to get to 6 and ahead by at least 2 games (two different times, or in two different sets), is the winner. If the score gets to 6 all in a set, a tie-breaker is played to determine the winner of that particular set. Set tie-breakers go up to 7 points. The winner of the set tie-breaker is the player who reaches 7 first and wins by at least 2 points. If the score ends up being 7 all in the tie-breaker, the series will continue until someone is ahead by 2 points. Some set tie-breakers have lasted very long, with some scores being 22-20 for the person with 22 points to win the set by a 7-6 margin.

Each game starts out at love, which is another word for 0. If a player wins the first point, their score goes up to 15. If they win the second point, their score is doubled and goes to 30. If they win the next point after that, they have a score of 40. If they are lucky enough to win the next point, they have won the game. If the score in a game gets tied to 40 all, the score is called deuce. If a player wins the deuce point, they have an advantage point, commonly known as "ad-in". The player must win their advantage point to win the game. If they don't, the score goes back to deuce. The first player to win the point when the have reached an advantage point for themselves wins the game.

I hope these explanations are clear and help explain the sport better. If you have any questions, feel free to comment or email me!