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Jackets Come Up Short On First Day Of Michigan Invitational

Jan. 15, 2011

ANN ARBOR, MICH. – The Georgia Tech women’s tennis team opened the 2011 season with a very stiff test at the Michigan Invitational on Saturday. The Jackets began the day winning two singles matches against No. 13 Tennessee and taking two of three doubles matches from No. 23 Washington.

Junior Lynn Blau was the only Jacket to earn wins in both singles against Tennessee and doubles versus Washington on Saturday.

“Overall, I thought it was a good day even though the results weren’t what we wanted,” head coach Bryan Shelton said. “The team played hard, had good attitudes and just tried to work through it. Our doubles’ teams, which we believe will be our strength this year and really start things for us, looked good. They had a lot of energy and really played well.

“I thought we came out a little tight in singles play and maybe had some jitters. Tennessee is a very good team. They have a lot of talent and really played well. We were in position to win games and sets that we just didn’t get.”

Playing from the number five singles position, Blau rebounded from dropping the first set to defeat Tennessee’s Kata Szekely, 4-6, 7-6, 6-4. Blau also teamed with Elizabeth Kilborn to down Washington’s Samantha Smith and Lina Xu, 8-3.

Senior Sasha Krupina claimed the other singles’ win against the Lady Vols when she defeated No. 116 Maria Sorbello, 6-4, 6-2.

“I was really pleased to see both Lynn and Sasha win and get the job done,” Shelton said. “They came out and competed well. Sasha got her nose in front early and closed out sets. To do that is not always easy, but it is definitely a confidence booster. She’s getting better every day. Lynn started off a little slower than she would’ve liked, but finished very well.”

Juniors Viet Ha Ngo and Jillian O’Neill earned the second doubles’ win over the Huskies with an 8-3 victory over Aleksandra Krsljanin and Andjela Nemcevic.

Due to an odd number of players, freshman Rocio Lopez played Michigan’s Kari Wig and the Tech rookie earned a 6-1, 6-3 win over the Wolverine senior. Lopez and Muriel Wacker also earned a doubles win, 8-1, over the unique team of Michigan sophomore Taylor Fournier and Washington senior Vanja Radunovic.

“I thought we did a good job of competing hard until the end,” Shelton added. “The ladies stayed in there and fought. They didn’t find their breaking point, we just didn’t execute as well as we could have. Mentally, we stayed engaged and kept working. We’ll continue to work hard all weekend and hope to establish some momentum going forward.

Tech resumes play in the Michigan Invitational Sunday afternoon when they face Tennessee in doubles play at 1 p.m. The Yellow Jackets will face the Michigan Wolverines in singles play after the conclusion of doubles’ matches.

Live video and stats are available here:

Saturday Results:
Singles vs. Tennessee:

No. 1 – Natalie Pluskota (Tenn) d. Jillian O’Neill (GT), 6-4, 6-1
No. 2 – No. 20 Brynn Boren (Tenn) d. Viet Ha Ngo (GT), 7-5, 6-7, 7-6
No. 3 – No. 87 Rosalia Alda (Tenn) d. Caroline Lilley (GT), 6-3, 7-6
No. 4 — Sasha Krupina (GT) d. No. 116 Maria Sorbello (Tenn), 6-4, 6-2
No. 5 — Lynn Blau (GT) d. Kata Szekely (Tenn), 4-6, 7-6, 6-4
No. 6 — Millie Nichols (Tenn) d. Elizabeth Kilborn (GT), 6-4, 6-4
No. 7 — Whitney Wofford (Tenn) d. Muriel Wacker (GT), 6-3, 0-6, 6-4
No. 8 — Rocio Lopez (GT) d. Kari Wig (U-M), 6-1, 6-3

Doubles vs. Washington:
No. 1 — Dy/Chan (UW) d. Lilley/Krupina (GT), 8-5
No. 2 — Blau/Kilborn (GT) d. Smith/Xu (UW), 8-3
No. 3 — Ngo/O’Neill (GT) d. Krsljanin/Nemcevic (UW), 8-3
Lopez/Wacker (GT) d. Fournier (U-M)/Radunovic (UW), 8-1

The Yellow Jackets’ schedule of play for the weekend is below:

Schedule of Play
Sunday, Jan. 16

10 a.m. Singles – Washington vs. Tennessee
1 p.m. Doubles – Michigan vs. Washington; Georgia Tech vs. Tennessee
Singles to follow – Michigan vs. Georgia Tech

Monday, Jan. 17
10 a.m. Singles – Georgia Tech vs. Washington
1 p.m. Doubles – Michigan vs. Georgia Tech; Tennessee vs. Washington
Singles to follow – Michigan vs. Tennessee

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