Yellow Jacket Tennis Earns ACC Win, 4-3, Over Wolfpack

March 26, 2011

RALEIGH, N.C. – The 20th-ranked Georgia Tech women’s tennis team earned its second ACC win of the season with a tough 4-3 win at 32nd-ranked NC State on Saturday afternoon. With the win, the Yellow Jackets improve to 9-5 overall and 2-1 in conference play while the Wolfpack drop to 10-4 and 1-3 in the ACC.

“Overall I thought we played fairly well and we’re certainly happy to get a win,” head coach Bryan Shelton said. “We’re on the road against a very good NC State team, who is ranked 32nd, but is every bit as good as Vanderbilt and Notre Dame who we just played and are ranked in the top 20.”

The Yellow Jackets again got an early advantage in doubles play with a quick 8-1 victory by Sasha Krupina and Elizabeth Kilborn on court two over NC State’s Sanaa Bhambri and Tatiana Illova. The Wolfpack evened the doubles score with an 8-4 win on court three by Joelle Kissell and Ashley Miller over the Yellow Jackets’ Lynn Blau and Caroline Lilley.

Tech won the doubles point for the ninth time this year after Jillian O’Neill and Viet Ha Ngo defeated NC State’s Sandhya Nagaraj and Lenka Hojckova, 8-4, on court one to take a 1-0 lead into singles play.

“We did a good job of putting ourselves in a good position early in the match by winning the doubles point,” Shelton said. “Today the doubles point was the difference. We can’t overlook that. We have to come out, and play smart and hard from the beginning.”

Lynn Blau extended the Yellow Jackets’ lead to 2-0 with a 6-0, 6-0 blanking of NC State’s Christy Sipes in the sixth spot of the lineup. The Wolfpack earned their first point of the day with a 6-3, 6-2 win by Joelle Kissell over Tech’s Elizabeth Kilborn on court five. Junior Jillian O’Neill put the Jackets within one point of the win with her 6-4, 6-3 victory at the top of the lineup.

With three matches still in action and the Jackets holding a 3-1 lead, the Wolfpack earned wins in the next two matches to even the score at 3-3. NC State’s 24th ranked Sanaa Bhambri defeated Georgia Tech’s Viet Ha Ngo, 6-3, 6-2 on court two and the Pack’s Tatiana Illova beat the Jackets’ Sasha Krupina 6-2, 7-5.

The match came down to the singles match between Tech’s 83rd-ranked Caroline Lilley and NCSU’s Lenka Hojckova on court three. Lilley, a junior from Portland, Ore., came through for her team with a 6-3, 7-5 win to give the Jackets a 4-3 team victory.

“Caroline did a great job in singles,” Shelton added. “She’s clinched a number of matches for us this year and she’s starting to get comfortable doing that. NC State is a good team and they competed hard. We had to fight all the way until the end to get the win.”

The Yellow Jackets complete a two game road trip at noon on Sunday when they travel to Winston-Salem, N.C., to face the No. 48th ranked Wake Forest Demon Deacons.

Fans can follow Tech tennis on Twitter, @GT_WTEN, for instant updates and live scoring will be available through RamblinWreck.com.

Match Results
Georgia Tech at NC State
March 26, 2011 in Raleigh, N.C.
#20 Georgia Tech 4, #32 NC State 3

Singles competition:
1. #49 Jillian O’Neill (GT) def. #73 Sandhya Nagaraj (NCSU), 6-4, 6-3
2. #24 Sanaa Bhambri (NCSU) def. #82 Viet Ha Ngo (GT), 6-3, 6-2
3. #83 Caroline Lilley (GT) def. Lenka Hojckova (NCSU), 6-3, 7-5
4. Tatiana Illova (NCSU) def. Sasha Krupina (GT), 6-2, 7-5
5. Joelle Kissell (NCSU) def. Elizabeth Kilborn (GT), 6-3, 6-2
6. Lynn Blau (GT) def. Christy Sipes (NCSU), 6-0, 6-0

Doubles competition:
1. Jillian O’Neill/Viet Ha Ngo (GT) def. Sandhya Nagaraj/Lenka Hojckova (NCSU), 8-4
2. Sasha Krupina/Elizabeth Kilborn (GT) def. Sanaa Bhambri/Tatiana Illova (NCSU), 8-1
3. Joelle Kissell/Ashley Miller (NCSU) def. Lynn Blau/Caroline Lilley (GT), 8-4

Match Notes:
Georgia Tech 9-5, 2-1 ACC; National ranking #20
NC State 10-4, 1-3 ACC; National ranking #32
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (6,5,1,2,4,3)

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