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Jackets Edge Pepperdine in 2018 NCAAs Thriller

On May 17, 2018, Georgia Tech rallied to defeat No. 12 Pepperdine in the NCAA Championships round of 16 and secured a spot in the elite eight. The Jackets and Waves battled for nearly four hours and stood tied at 3-3 with the decision coming down to the final match on the courts. Then-freshman Victoria Flores clinched the match for Georgia Tech from the No. 6 seed, winning a three-set battle to send the Jackets into the quarterfinals for the second time in program history.

Tech dropped the doubles point for only the seventh time that season, despite fighting off a pair of match points at the No. 2 seed. Pepperdine carried a 1-0 lead entering singles play.

Nami Otsuka quickly tied the match at 1-1, collecting Tech’s first singles win from the No. 5 seed. Otsuka cruised to a 6-1, 6-1 triumph over No. 91 Laura Gulbe.

Despite a hard-fought battle at the No. 3 seed, Johnnise Renaud fell 6-4, 6-4 to Pepperdine’s No. 22 Mayar Sherif Ahmed, as the Waves retook the match lead, 2-1.

Pepperdine’s lead was short-lived as Tech’s No. 14 Paige Hourigan battled back from dropping the first set to capture a three-set win over No. 27 Luisa Stefani, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1, tying the match at 2-2.

Ida Jarlskog gave Tech its first lead of the match, pocketing a 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 win over No. 54 Evgeniya Levashova from No. 4, putting the Jackets in front, 3-2.

Pepperdine evened the match for the final time at 3-all, winning on court two, 6-7 (6-8), 7-6 (7-4), 6-3, leaving the decision on court six.

Court six saw Victoria Flores battle Pepperdine’s Dzina Milovanovic.  After Flores took the first set 7-6 (7-4), Milovanovic forced a deciding third set taking the second set. The foes stood tied at 3-3 in the final set before Flores broke Milovanovic to take a 4-3 lead. Flores held serve to take a 5-3 lead and closed out the match, winning the third set, 6-3, clinching the match for the Jackets and securing a spot in the quarterfinals.

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