April 21, 2007
CARY, NC –
Freshman Amanda McDowell earned one of the biggest wins of her young career with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over the Tar Heels’ Sara Anundsen for match point in fifth-ranked Georgia Tech’s 4-2 victory over No. 10 North Carolina in the semifinals of the ACC Championships, which are being contested at the Cary Tennis Complex in Cary, NC.
“Amanda McDowell has developed some thick skin and handled pressure very well lately,” said Georgia Tech head coach Bryan Shelton. “She’s come a long way from being thumped by UNC at No. 6 singles in the ITA National Indoors to helping us advance to the ACC Championship match, and was big with a solid singles performance today.”
With the win the Yellow Jackets (22-4) advanced to the finals of the ACC Championships for the third-straight season, and will face a familiar foe: the Miami Hurricanes, who earlier in the day knocked off top-seeded Clemson, 4-3. Georgia Tech has faced Miami in each of the last two ACC Championship matches.
“Miami is one of the most competitive teams in the country,” said Shelton. “They come out with a lot of energy and fight, and we have to do the same tomorrow to come away with a win.”
Georgia Tech used tiebreaker wins at both the No. 2 and No. 3 doubles positions to take an early 1-0 lead in the match. After fifth-ranked Sara Anundsen and Jenna Long stopped the Jackets’ third-ranked Whitney McCray and Kristi Miller, 9-7, atop the doubles lineup, the Tech duo of Kirsten Flower and Tarryn Rudman fought off a Tar Heel comeback by Meg Fanjoy and Austin Smith to win, 9-8 (1), before 58th-ranked Amanda Craddock and Alison Silverio battled for a 9-8 (4) victory over Caitlin Collins and Sanaz Marand to clinch the doubles point.
“Doubles was an emotional rollercoaster,” said Shelton. “We got into position to win fairly confidently, but they kept battling back. They have a lot of confidence with their doubles, and I have to give them credit for battling like they did. I also have to give our team the credit though, because they got it done in the end and really proved to be the difference in the match.”
The Tar Heels responded by winning the first two singles matches, but 74th-ranked Craddock tied the match at 2-2 with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Collins at the third singles line.
“A.C. has been pretty much unstoppable all year and has brought an attitude of `getting it done’ to the court,” said Shelton. “I’m really proud of her for coming out with the same attitude today, especially because she wasn’t feeling 100 percent before the match.”
Eighth-ranked Kristi Miller broke the tied match by dropping fourth-ranked Jenna Long, 7-5, 6-3, at the top of the singles lineup before McDowell captured match point at the fourth singles spot.
“It was nice to see Kristi come through today against Jenna, one of the premier players in the nation,” added Shelton. “Kristi came out and was mentally tough today, and I just let her play her game.”
Live stats for the championship match will be available at www.ramblinwreck.com.
Tennis Match ResultsNorth Carolina vs Georgia TechApr 21, 2007 at Cary, NC
#5 Georgia Tech 4, #10 North Carolina 2
Singles competition1. #8 Kristi Miller (GT) def. #4 Jenna Long (NC) 7-5, 6-32. #48 Katrina Tsang (NC) vs. #87 Alison Silverio (GT) no result3. #74 Amanda Craddock (GT) def. Caitlin Collins (NC) 6-4, 6-44. Amanda McDowell (GT) def. Sara Anundsen (NC) 6-3, 6-25. #102 Austin Smith (NC) def. #54 Christy Striplin (GT) 6-0, 6-46. #56 Sanaz Marand (NC) def. #31 Kirsten Flower (GT) 6-4, 6-1
Doubles competition1. #5 Anundsen/Long (NC) def. #3 Whitney McCray/Miller (GT) 9-72. Craddock/Silverio (GT) def. Collins/Marand (NC) 9-8 (7-4)3. Kirsten Flower/Rudman (GT) def. Meg Fanjoy/Smith (NC) 9-8 (7-1)
Match Notes:North Carolina 21-8, No. 3 Seed; National ranking #10Georgia Tech 22-4, No. 2 Seed; National ranking #5Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (5,6,3,1,4)No. 2 Seed Georgia Tech will face No. 4 Seed Miami in the 2007 ACC ChampionshipSunday at 11 a.m. at the Cary Tennis Complex in Cary, N.C. It will mark thethird-straight year the two teams have squared off in the title game.