April 29, 2015
THE FLATS – Freshman Paige Hourigan and junior Kendal Woodard of the #27 Georgia Tech women’s tennis team are headed to the 2015 NCAA Women’s Tennis Championships in Waco, Texas after earning at-large bids to the individual portion of the championships. Hourigan and Woodard have earned an at-large bid to play in the doubles bracket while Hourigan will also compete in the singles competition.
The singles and doubles competition will be conducted May 20-25 at the Hurd Tennis Center in Waco, Texas, following the conclusion of the team championship, which runs from May 15-19. Baylor University will serve as host. All matches shall be the best-of-three sets. Regular scoring and a 12-point tiebreaker at six games-all will be used for all matches.
“I’m really pleased for both Paige and Kendal for qualifying for the NCAA individual championships,” head coach Rodney Harmon said. “We played such a tough schedule during the year and faced so many tough players and they were able to win against some of the top doubles team. Paige was able to win a number of matches against a number of top players.”
Hourigan and Woodard are Tech’s 11th doubles team to earn a bid to the NCAA Doubles Championship, while Hourigan is the 21st Yellow Jacket to earn a bid to the singles championship and the first since Jillian O’Neill earned one in 2012.
“I’m happy they were able to qualify,” Harmon said. “I’m also really pleased for Chris Eubanks to make it from the men’s side. We will have a good representation of Georgia Tech at the NCAA Individual Championships out in Waco, Texas.”
Hourigan and Woodard are currently ranked as the #16 doubles duo in the nation. This is the second-straight year Woodard will compete in the doubles portion of the 2015 NCAA Women’s Tennis Championship. Last season, Woodard and then-doubles partner Megan Kurey were seeded in the tournament and named ITA All-Americans after their 2014 season.
Hourigan and Woodard have been a force on court one for the Jackets this season, going 16-3 in the spring and recording an 8-1 record in conference play. During dual match play, the two are 16-2 and have won 12 out of their past 14 matches. The tandem has defeated six ranked doubles team, including #3 Beatrice Gumulya and Jessy Rompies from Clemson and #21 Cassie Mercer and Skylar Morton of Virginia.
Hourigan is the #53-ranked singles player in the nation and was an All-ACC Second Team honoree this season. The Turakina, New Zealand, native owns a team best 16-7 dual match singles record and went 8-6 in singles during ACC play. Hourigan played mostly at the number two singles spot, going 14-5, and played on court one for four matches, going 2-2.
Hourigan has captured six wins against ranked opponents, including #25 Erin Routliffe from Alabama and #38 Ester Goldfeld from Duke. She has won 10 out of her past 13 matches. During her freshman campaign, Hourigan has clinched five matches for the Jackets, including a 4-3 upset of #3-seed Duke in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament.
Georgia Tech will open the team portion of the NCAA Championships May 8 against the No. 33 Wichita State at the Ring Tennis Center on the University of Florida’s campus in Gainesville, Florida. The winner of each of the 16 first and second round team sites will advance to Baylor University for the final four rounds of the 2015 NCAA Championships, May 14-25.