April 30, 2013
THE FLATS – The Georgia Tech women’s tennis team will face the No. 37 Yale Bulldogs in the NCAA Championship first round May 11 at Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex on the University of Florida campus in Gainesville, Fla.
This will be the 14th overall and 14th consecutive NCAA tournament appearance for the 22nd-ranked Yellow Jackets (14-9). Tech has advanced to the Sweet 16 seven times and won the 2007 national title. The NCAA Championships will begin May 16 in Urbana, Ill., at the University of Illinois.
“We’re excited about being selected for the NCAA Tournament and we know we have a major challenge ahead of us,” head coach Rodney Harmon said. “Yale has a really good team and has been successful this season. We’re focused on finishing out finals week strong and getting ready to go to Florida.” Yale enters the NCAA Tournament with a 17-3 overall record and won its third straight Ivy League championship. In singles, the Bulldogs are led by Elizabeth Epstein, No. 75, and Blair Seideman, No. 114.
The Yellow Jackets and Bulldogs have never met in a dual match but Yale came to the 2010 and 2011 fall Georgia Tech Invitational.
Also in the Gainesville regional are the host Florida Gators and the Marist Red Foxes. Florida enters the NCAA Tournament ranked No. 1 and is the tournament’s No. 1 overall seed with a 22-2 record. The Gators won their fourth straight SEC tournament title and are the two-time defending NCAA champions. Marist is 11-7 on the season and won its fourth overall MAAC championship with a 4-1 win over Fairfield.
Georgia Tech has never played Marist and is 0-1 all-time against Florida when the Gators claimed a 4-2 win in the 2008 Elite Eight in Tulsa, Okla.
Tech heads into the NCAA tournament having won eight of its last 11 matches. The Yellow Jackets defeated Maryland 4-0 in the first round of the ACC Tournament before falling 4-1 to 10th-ranked and eventual ACC champion Miami in the quarterfinals.
Freshman Kendal Woodard is Georgia Tech’s highest ranked singles player at No. 90 and the rookie has tallied a team-best 23 singles wins this year, playing primarily from the second spot of the lineup. Woodard was named to the All-ACC Team last week.
Senior Elizabeth Kilborn enters her final NCAA Tournament ranked No. 94 and with 14 singles wins this year, including five over ranked foes. Kilborn is the captain of the 2013 Yellow Jackets and has played the top spot for Tech all season. The Marietta, Ga., native has 82 career singles wins, which ranks 11th all-time at Georgia Tech. Kilborn enters the NCAA Tournament with 78 career doubles wins, which ranks eighth and is one off of seventh all time in the White and Gold.
Woodard and classmate Megan Kurey have developed into a formidable pair at the top of the Yellow Jackets’ doubles lineup. The rookie duo owns a 23-5 overall record and a 19-2 mark in dual matches. Woodard and Kurey went 9-1 in ACC matches this year and are ranked No. 56. They have won eight straight matches and are 9-1 in their last 10.
Fans are encouraged to follow Georgia Tech women’s tennis on Twitter, @GT_WTEN, and like the Yellow Jackets on Facebook, GTWomensTennis, for an inside look at the program.