May 28, 2010
ATHENS, Ga. – Georgia Tech sophomore Irina Falconi continued her run at the 2010 NCAA Singles Tournament with a 6-1, 6-4 Round of 16 victory over Venise Chan of Washington Friday at the University of Georgia’s Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
Falconi, who is the tournament’s No. 1 seed, sped through the first set but quickly went down 3-0 to Chan in the second frame. Behind 4-1, Falconi staged a furious second-set comeback for the second straight day by winning the final five games to take the match.
“Yesterday was pretty much the same,” Falconi said. “I was down 4-1 in the second set after winning the first. I just felt like everything started to click and a switch came on. I figured I had nothing to lose at that point. I took some chances and started to be much more aggressive. I kept that plan through the end of the set because it was working so well.”
Falconi has now won 23 straight matches and is 40-2 in singles this year. She is just the third Yellow Jacket in the history of the program to reach the 40-win plateau, joining Kristi Miller, who accomplished the feat twice, and 2008 NCAA singles champion Amanda McDowell.
“She just kept her composure well,” head coach Bryan Shelton said. “This was her third match of the tournament, and she has found herself down in a set in each match, so I think you can draw from that. When you get further down the road in the tournament, you can draw from your previous experiences. She was able to keep her composure and just steady the ship, then come out and play solidly.
Falconi will move on to face Chelsey Gullickson of host Georgia Saturday in the quarterfinals. Falconi and Gullickson will face off for the third time this season, while Falconi has won the first two meetings in straight sets.
“It’s always nice to have some information on your opponent, and we have a lot of respect for the things that Chelsey does,” Shelton said. “She’s a very good player, obviously, to get to this stage. But Irina is starting to play better with each match, and tomorrow I’m confident she can come out and execute her game plan.”
For more tournament information, please visit NCAA website.