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Dedaj Clinches Victory Over Miami, 4-3

THE FLATS – It all came down to the final match in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for No. 12 Georgia Tech Saturday afternoon at the Ken Byers Tennis Complex. The Yellow Jackets took a 3-1 lead over Miami, but the Hurricanes knotted the match at 3-all. Monika Dedaj clinched the win from court five, moving Tech to 8-4 overall and 1-0 in ACC play.

DOUBLES –  Miami took the doubles point after a lengthy delay to start the match. Isabella Pfenning and Estela Perez-Somarriba took the first match, rolling to a 6-0 decision on court two over Gia Cohen and Sophia Sassoli. Tech leveled the doubles field, picking up court one where Victoria Flores and Kenya Jones pocketed a 6-2 decision over Daevenia Achong and Maya Tahan, 6-2. The Hurricanes clinched the point from the three spot where Florencia Urrutia and Diana Khodan defeated Carol Lee and Monika Dedaj, 6-2.

SINGLES –
Georgia Tech evened the match in singles play as Lee took a straight-set win on court six. The freshman Yellow Jacket won the first set over Nada Dimovska, 6-2, and grabbed a 4-2 lead in the second. Lee put Tech on the scoreboard, taking the second set, 6-3, to even the match at 1-1. Flores gave Tech its first lead of the match, taking court two over Achong. Knotted at 4-all in the first set, Flores won the next two games to win the opener, 6-4. The Jacket held a 3-2 lead in the second set and was able to grab a 5-3 advantage before Achong forced a tiebreak at 6-all. Flores won the tiebreak, 7-4, to secure the win and give Tech a 2-1 lead.

Jones extended Tech’s lead at the top spot, winning a hard-fought, three-set battle against No. 2 Somarriba. After dropping the first set, 6-3, Jones regrouped and cruised to a 6-4 second set, forcing a deciding third. Somarriba took a 3-1 lead in the final set, but No. 13 Jones rebounded to take the set, 6-4, giving the Jackets a 3-1 match lead and handing Somarriba her first loss of the season.

Miami knotted the match at 3-all, winning the next two matches in third set tiebreaks, leaving the match to be decided on court five where Dedaj faced Urrutia. The foes split the first two sets and stood tied at 3-3 in the third. Dedaj pocketed the next two games to take a 5-3 lead, but Urrutia looked on track to hold serve, leading 40-15 in the next game. Dedaj battled back to take the game and the match, 7-5, 3-6, 6-3, clinching the 4-3 victory for Georgia Tech.

“I’m very happy for our team,” commented head coach Rodney Harmon. “It was a very tough match. We didn’t play well in doubles, but I thought we competed very hard on every court in singles. Congratulations to Kenya [Jones], who beat the reigning NCAA singles champion with a great match, and Monika [Dedaj] who clinched the match today. Monika played exceptionally well. Also proud of Carol [Lee] who put us on the scoreboard, and Victoria [Flores] who continues to play great tennis. We have another tough match tomorrow, so we’ve got to come ready to play.”

UP NEXT – Georgia Tech returns to action on Sunday, welcoming No. 6 Florida State to the Ken Byers Tennis Complex. First serve is slated for noon.

RESULTS
DOUBLES

1. No. 5 Kenya Jones/Victoria Flores (GT) def. Daevenia Achong/Maya Tahan (MIA) 6-2
2. Isabella Pfenning/Estela Perez-Somarriba (MIA) def. Gia Cohen/Sophia Sassoli (GT) 6-0
3. Florencia Urrutia/Diana Khodan (MIA) def. Carol Lee/Monika Dedaj (GT) 6-2
Order of finish: 2, 1, 3

SINGLES
1. No. 13 Kenya Jones (GT) def. No. 2 Estela Perez-Somarriba (MIA) 3-6, 6-4, 6-4
2. No. 56 Victoria Flores (GT) def. No. 87 Daevenia Achong (MIA) 6-4, 7-6 (4)
3. Isabella Pfenning (MIA) def. No. 123 Gia Cohen (GT) 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (5)
4. Maya Tahan (MIA) def. Rosie Garcia Gross (GT) 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (6)
5. Monika Dedaj (GT) def. Florencia Urrutia (MIA) 7-5, 3-6, 6-3
6. Carol Lee (GT) def. Nada Dimovska (MIA) 6-2, 6-3
Order of finish: 6, 2, 1, 3, 4, 5

Alexander-Tharpe Fund
The Alexander-Tharpe Fund is the fundraising arm of Georgia Tech athletics, providing scholarship, operations and facilities support for Georgia Tech’s 400-plus student-athletes. Be a part of developing Georgia Tech’s Everyday Champions and helping the Yellow Jackets compete for championships at the highest levels of college athletics by supporting the A-T Fund’s Annual Athletic Scholarship Fund, which directly provides scholarships for Georgia Tech student-athletes, and Athletics Initiative 2020, Georgia Tech athletics’ ongoing $125 million initiative to allow Tech to recruit the nation’s most elite student-athletes, build a better student-athlete once they arrive on The Flats and, ultimately, win! To learn more about supporting the Yellow Jackets, visit atfund.org.

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