THE FLATS — The 3rd-ranked Georgia Tech women’s tennis team rebounded from dropping the doubles point to No. 24 Virginia to capture a 4-3 win in the ACC home opener for the Jackets. Senior Paige Hourigan clinched the win for the Jackets which pushed Tech to 8-1 on the season and 2-0 in league play.
DOUBLES ACTION: The Jackets dropped the doubles point for the first time in conference play this season, therefore sending Virginia into singles play with a 1-0 lead. The Cavaliers took the first match off the courts at No. 2 as Chloe Gullickson/Cassie Mercer edged Ida Jarlskog/Johnnise Renaud, 6-3. Tech’s Victoria Flores/Nami Otsuka evened the field pocketing a 6-3 decision at No. 3 over Hunter Bleser/Erica Susi, leaving the doubles point to be decided on court one where Tech’s No. 4 duo of Hourigan/Kenya Jones battled back from a 3-1 deficit to go up 5-4 against Meghan Kelley/Rosie Johanson. Virginia held serve to move the match to 5-5 before the teams each broke serve to force a tiebreak at 6-6. Virginia and Tech battled in the tiebreak, but the Cavaliers held for a 9-7 tiebreak win, clinching the doubles point.
SINGLES ACTION: The Jackets needed four singles wins to walk away with a victory and Tech was able to fight off a tough Virginia squad with the match coming down to the final court. Winning the first three singles matches to finish, Tech quickly took a 3-1 lead. Otsuka wrapped up first, downing Gullickson in straight sets before Renaud topped Mercer on court two, 6-4, 6-2, to put Tech in the lead 2-1.
Jones pushed the Jackets to the verge of victory, winning on court four over Radosavljevic, 6-1, 7-6 (3). With the Jackets needing just one match to win, Virginia took the next two matches to finish, setting up a 3-3 score.
All eyes turned to court one where No. 25 Hourigan was battling No. 67 Johanson. The Cavalier captured the first set in a tiebreak, but Hourigan cruised to a 6-1 second set win, forcing a deciding third set. The senior Jacket broke Johanson to go up 4-2, but the Cavalier quickly broke back to setup a 4-3 score. Hourigan broke Johanson again to take a 5-3 lead and served out the match for a 6-3 third set victory to clinch the win for Tech.
QUOTABLE: “Today was a very tough match. I know we can play a lot better than we played and hope we can start playing better. We are going to get back to work and hopefully play better on Sunday. Well done by Virginia today. I thought they came in and played hard. They were hungry and I thought they did a great job. No wonder they are ranked top 25 because they have a good team and they are well coached. I think they are going to do some good things this season.” Head Coach Rodney Harmon
UP NEXT: Tech continues this homestand hosting Louisville on Sunday for a noon first serve at Ken Byers Tennis Complex.
No. 3 GEORGIA TECH VS. No. 24 VIRGINIA RESULTS
Match Score: Georgia Tech 4, Virginia 3
1. No. 14 Meghan Kelley/Rosie Johanson (UVA) def. No. 4 Paige Hourigan/Kenya Jones (GT) 7-6, (9-7)
2. Chloe Gullickson/Cassie Mercer (UVA) def. Ida Jarlskog/Johnnise Renaud (GT) 6-3
3. Victoria Flores/Nami Otsuka (GT) def. Hunter Bleser/Erica Susi (UVA) 6-3
Order of finish: 2, 3, 1
1. No. 25 Paige Hourigan (GT) def. No. 67 Rosie Johanson (UVA) 6-7 (3), 6-1, 6-3
2. Johnnise Renaud (GT) def. Cassie Mercer (UVA) 6-4, 6-2
3. Meghan Kelley (UVA) def. No. 53 Ida Jarlskog (GT) 6-4, 7-6 (6)
4. Kenya Jones (GT) def. T. Radosavljevic (UVA) 6-1, 7-6 (3)
5. Nami Otsuka (GT) def. Chloe Gullickson (UVA) 6-4, 6-1
6. Erica Susi (UVA) def. Victoria Flores (GT) 6-4, 6-4
Order of finish: 5, 2, 4, 6, 3, 1