Jan. 6, 2012
ATLANTA – Coming off its seventh straight NCAA Championships appearance and sixth trip to the NCAA Round of 16 or better, the Georgia Tech women’s tennis team will begin its 2012 spring season ranked 13th in the initial Campbell’s/ITA Division I College Tennis Rankings.
The Yellow Jackets will open the spring at the Michigan Invitational January 14-16 in Ann Arbor, Mich., and open dual play January 21 against the Georgia Bulldogs at home in the Bill Moore Tennis Center at 1 p.m.
“We never read too much into rankings heading into the season, but it is nice to be recognized as one of the top teams in the country,” head coach Bryan Shelton said. “Our goals this year are lofty and it’s all about trying to get better and improve.
“This is a good starting point and we’ll use it as motivation going forward,” Shelton added. “We’re more worried about where we finish than where we begin. We want to be better in May than we are in January.”
Senior Jillian O’Neill begins the spring season ranked No. 45 after finishing the fall with an 11-3 singles record, including a three-set win over then-37th-ranked Olivia Janowicz of Florida. In her first year on The Flats, O’Neill finished 24-14, including a 10-4 mark from the No. 1 singles position. O’Neill clinched three team wins in 2011, defeated two Top-20 opponents and advanced to the NCAA Singles Championship.
Fellow senior Viet Ha Ngo begins her final campaign ranked No. 106 after posting an 8-3 singles record in the fall. Ngo finished last season with a 22-16 overall singles record, beat 20th ranked Brynn Boren from Tennessee to open last year and clinched a 6-1 win at Wake Forest.
The Yellow Jackets’ doubles team of senior Caroline Lilley and Jasmine Minor is ranked No. 33 to begin the spring season. The duo only played two matches together in the fall, winning both matches, including an 8-5 win over Vanderbilt’s 30th-ranked team of Ashleigh Antal and Chelsea Preeg.
“We have some student-athletes who have some lofty individual goals as well,” Shelton said. “They want to be All-Americans or make it to the NCAA Championships. In order to move up, they have to do the things to get ranked and qualify. There is no doubt they are capable of achieving those goals.”
This year’s NCAA Championships will be held May 17-28 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga., the site of Georgia Tech’s 2007 NCAA Title.
Fans are encouraged to follow Georgia Tech women’s tennis on Twitter, @GT_WTEN, and like the Yellow Jackets on Facebook, GTWomensTennis, for an inside look at the program.
— RamblinWreck.com —