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Jackets Drop Heartbreaker to No. 14 Auburn, 4-3

AUBURN, Ala. – In a battle that came down to the final court and saw four three-set matches, Georgia Tech dropped a heartbreaking 4-3 decision to No. 14 Auburn on Saturday in the NCAA Championships round of 32 at the Yarbrough Tennis Center. The Yellow Jackets held a 3-1 lead after the doubles point and singles victories from Gia Cohen and Carol Lee before Auburn staged a comeback.

Georgia Tech (15-11) won a hard-fought doubles point and fended off a late rally by Auburn (22-5) to clinch the early match lead. Court two paved the way as Kylie Bilchev and Ava Hrastar did not drop a game against Georgie Axon and Adeline Flach, cruising to a 6-0 decision.

The Yellow Jackets held early leads on courts one and three before the Tigers staged a rally, tightening the quest for the doubles point. Court three proved to be the clinching court for the second day in a row. Cohen and Ruth Marsh raced out with a 3-0 lead against Carolyn Ansari and Madeline Meredith, but Auburn closed the gap to 4-3. The Jackets extended their lead to 5-3 before Auburn took the next game, setting up a 5-4 tally. Marsh served out the win, 6-4, to clinch the doubles point for Georgia Tech.

Court one was a battle until it was suspended as No. 4 Carol Lee and Kate Sharabura steadily held a one-game lead over No. 9 Selin Ovunc and Ariana Arseneault. Lee and Sharabura led 5-4 with the Tigers fighting off a match point to 5-all before the match was suspended.


Auburn evened the score with a straight-set match on court two before Cohen returned the lead to the Jackets on court six. Cohen took the first set handedly against Flach, 6-0, but the Tiger forced a deciding third set with a 6-3 win in the second. Cohen led 5-3 in the final set and sealed the win, 6-4, giving Tech a 2-1 lead.

Lee continued her impressive season, winning a battle on court one against No. 34 Selin Ovunc. Auburn took the first set, 6-1, but Lee responded in the second, jumping out with a 3-1 lead. The Jacket evened the match with a 6-2 second set victory to force a final third set. Lee opened with a 3-2 lead in the third set and held strong, pulling out a 6-3 final set to hand the Jackets a 3-1 lead.

But Auburn climbed back, claiming the next two singles matches to knot the match at 3-all. Ansari pulled out a long battle on court three against Bilchev, 6-4, 7-6 (8-6) before Axon evened the field with a three-set win on court four over Mahak Jain, leaving the clinching match on court five.

Rosie Garcia Gross won a tight opening set against Yu Chen, 7-5, before the Tiger rallied back in the second set, 6-3. Chen took a 4-1 lead in the final set, but Garcia Gross won the next two games to earn back a break, 4-3. Both players held serve in the next two games, setting up a 5-4 tally. Chen held serve in the next game for the clinching win, 5-7, 7-3, 6-4, to account for the final 4-3 score.

Georgia Tech will be represented in the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships by Lee and Sharabura, which will take place May 23-28 at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex on the campus of the University of Illinois.


1. No. 4 Carol Lee/Kate Sharabura (GT) vs. No. 9 Selin Ovunc/Ariana Arseneault (AUB) 5-5, DNF
2. No. 36 Ava Hrastar/Kylie Bilchev (GT) def. Georgia Axon/Adeline Flach (AUB) 6-0
3. Gia Cohen/Ruth Marsh (GT) def. Carolyn Ansari/Madeline Meredith (AUB) 6-4
Order of finish: 2,3

1. No. 22 Carol Lee (GT) def. No. 34 Selin Ovunc (AUB) 1-6, 6-2, 6-3
2. No. 75 Ariana Areseneault (AUB) def. Ava Hrastar (GT) 7-5, 6-2
3. No. 114 Carolyn Ansari (AUB) def. No. 90 Kylie Bilchev (GT) 6-4, 7-6 (8-6)
4. Georgie Axon (AUB) def. Mahak Jain (GT) 6-4,2-6,6-2
5. Yu Chen (AUB) def. Rosie Garcia Gross (GT) 5-7, 6-3, 6-4
6. Gia Cohen (GT) def. Adeline Flach (AUB) 6-0, 3-6, 6-4
Order of finish: 2,6,1,3,4,5


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