LUBBOCK, Texas – The No. 6 Georgia Tech women’s tennis team completed a 2-0 sweep of the weekend, holding on for a 4-3 victory over a competitive No. 9 Texas Tech squad on Sunday. In a match that came down to the final set, the Jackets used the doubles point and three singles wins to clinch the match. Due to weather in the area, the match was played at the Lubbock Country Club.
DOUBLES ACTION: Tech grabbed the early lead in the match, claiming the doubles point with wins at the No. 1 and No. 3 seeds, despite Texas Tech taking the first match off the court. The Red Raiders grabbed the win at No. 2, leaving the Jackets needing both remaining doubles matches to clinch the point. Tech’s 4th-ranked tandem of Paige Hourigan and Kenya Jones evened the doubles field, claiming a 6-4 victory over the 14th-ranked duo of Sarah Dvorak/Sabrina Federici, pushing the duo’s record to 4-1 when competing against a nationally-ranked tandem. The doubles point would be decided at No. 3 where Johnnise Renaud teamed up with Nami Otsuka. The tandem trailed 4-3 against Lana Rush/Alex Valenstein, but battled back to pocket a 6-4 triumph to clinch the doubles point for the Jackets.
SINGLES ACTION: Texas Tech got on the scoreboard quickly in singles play, pocketing a win at the top seed as No. 9 Gabriela Talaba defeated Renaud, 6-3, 6-3. But the Jackets retook the lead from No. 2 where No. 25 Hourigan won the first set against No. 42 Felicity Maltby. Hourigan trailed in the second set 4-3, but won three of the next four points to take the match with a 6-4 second set win.
Jones handed the Jackets a 3-1 match lead, walking away with a triumph over No. 82 Federici. The sophomore led 5-3 in the first set, but Federici battled back to force a tiebreak. Jones took the tiebreak, 7-4, and reversed a 5-4 deficit in the second set into a 7-5 set win to take the match.
The Red Raiders, however, won the next two matches to even the score at 3-all. Dvorak was first to finish for Texas Tech, winning a three-set battle at the four seed over Otsuka. Otsuka won the first set in a tiebreak, but No. 73 Dvorak responded winning the next two sets to pocket the win for Texas Tech. Valenstein finished the Red Raiders’ comeback, locking down a win at the five seed over Nadia Gizdova in straight sets.
All eyes turned to court six for the deciding match where freshman Victoria Flores was battling Texas Tech’s Lana Rush. Flores grabbed the first set, 7-5, but Rush claimed the second to force a deciding final set. Flores came out in the third set with a 2-1 lead and extended her advantage to 4-2. Rush made it 4-3, but Flores won the next two points to clinch the match with a 6-4 third set win.
QUOTABLE: “It was a great match today for the team! After losing a tough match at home against Miami, the team showed so much resilience and fight against an excellent Texas Tech team. I am very proud of Vicky [Flores]. She clinched the match and played great in the third set. Also, Kenya [Jones] and Paige [Hourigan] played great in both singles and doubles today. It is time for a bit of rest before a trip this weekend to No. 1 North Carolina and NC State.” – Head Coach Rodney Harmon
UP NEXT: The Jackets continue this four-match road trip and head to North Carolina where they will face the No. 1 Tar Heels on Saturday, March 24 at 11 a.m. before visiting No. 46 NC State on Sunday at noon.
No. 6 GEORGIA TECH vs. No. 9 TEXAS TECH RESULTS
Match Score: Georgia Tech 4, Texas Tech 3
1. No. 4 Paige Hourigan/Kenya Jones (GT) def. No. 14 Sarah Dvorak/Sabrina Federici (TTU) 6-4
2. No. 54 Felicity Maltby/Gabriela Talaba (TTU) def. Victoria Flores/Nadia Gizdova (GT) 6-2
3. Johnnise Renaud/Nami Otsuka (GT) def. Lana Rush/Alex Valenstein (TTU) 6-4
Order of finish: 2, 1, 3
1. No. 9 Gabriela Talaba (TTU) def. Johnnise Renaud (GT) 6-3, 6-3
2. No. 25 Paige Hourigan (GT) def. No. 42 Felicity Maltby (TTU) 6-3, 6-4
3. Kenya Jones (GT) def. No. 82 Sabrina Federici (TTU) 7-6 (4), 7-5
4. No. 73 Sarah Dvorak (TTU) def. Nami Otsuka (GT) 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-4
5. Alex Valenstein (TTU) def. Nadia Gizdova (GT) 7-5, 6-3
6. Victoria Flores (GT) def. Lana Rush (TTU) 7-5, 3-6, 6-3
Order of finish: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Records: Georgia Tech (11-3, 3-1 ACC); Texas Tech (10-3)