ATHENS, Ga. – The Georgia Tech doubles tandem of Paige Hourigan and Kenya Jones fought a close match against Alabama in the NCAA Doubles Championship Round of 16 on Friday, but fell in a deciding tiebreak. No. 29 Hourigan/Jones took the second set from the fifth-ranked duo in the country of Maddie Pothott and Erin Routliffe to force the tiebreak.
“Today was a very tough match,” commented head coach Rodney Harmon. “I want to congratulate Kenya and Paige on a great season this year.”
DOUBLES UPDATE: On serve in the first set at 4-4 following a pair of breaks, the Jackets held serve to move the set to 5-4, fighting off a break point after leading 40-0. With Alabama hoping to stay on serve, the Crimson Tide erased break point from the Jackets to hold serve and shift the set to 5-5. Alabama broke in the next service game to take the 6-5 lead and served out the first set, 7-5.
The Jackets and Crimson Tide were on serve early in the second set before Tech broke to take a 3-1 edge. The Jackets couldn’t hold serve in the next game as the tandems moved back on serve at 3-2. Alabama broke at 4-4 to take a 5-4 lead, but the Jackets held triple break point on Alabama’s serve and broke back to tie the set at 5-5. Tech held serve on a gutsy play from Hourigan to setup a 6-5 score and broke to take the second set, 7-5, and force a tiebreak.
Tech fell behind 3-0 in the tiebreak before winning the next three points to even the score at 3-3. Hourigan erased a 6-4 deficit with a slicing return and overhead winner to make it 6-6, but Alabama won the next four points to take the match.
Doubles Results – Second Round
No. 5 Maddie Pothoff/Erin Routliffe (Alabama)def. No. 29 Paige Hourigan/Kenya Jones (GT) 7-5, 5-7, 10-6