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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.

DOUBLES
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.

SINGLES

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.

UP NEXT
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.

RESULTS
DOUBLES

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

SINGLES
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

 

Alexander-Tharpe Fund

The Alexander-Tharpe Fund is the fundraising arm of Georgia Tech athletics, providing scholarship, operations and facilities support for Georgia Tech’s 400-plus student-athletes. Be a part of developing Georgia Tech’s Everyday Champions and helping the Yellow Jackets compete for championships at the highest levels of college athletics by supporting the Annual Athletic Scholarship Fund, which directly provides scholarships for Georgia Tech student-athletes. To learn more about supporting the Yellow Jackets, visit atfund.org.

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