April 20, 2012
CARY, N.C. – With a decisive backhand, Elizabeth Kilborn recorded the match point on court three as the Georgia Tech women’s tennis team earned a comeback, upset victory over Miami 4-3 at the Cary Tennis Center Friday.
Kilborn (4-6, 6-3, 6-3) came back from a 1-3 deficit, breaking her opponent, 64th ranked Lina Lilekite twice to earn the next five points and give Tech the win. The Yellow Jackets (14-10) will move on to the ACC Semifinals for the third-straight season where they will face off against North Carolina at 1 p.m. Saturday. Miami earns just its fourth loss of the season (17-4) making an early exit from the tournament.
“It was exciting, I think when Elizabeth realized it came down to her, she just grabbed a hold of it and wasn’t going to let go,” said head coach Bryan Shelton. “It means so much to her you can just see it. I think she relished the moment. She certainly played her very best tennis at the end, you could see a surge of energy come through her and she just would not be denied. She knows what this means and has great feelings playing here at Cary and I am just happy that she was the one on the court at the end clinching the match for us.”
Miami earned the early 1-0 lead after gaining the doubles point with 8-4 and 8-6 victories at No. 2 doubles and No. 3 doubles respectively. The duo of Lynn Blau and Elizabeth Kilborn fell at No. 2 doubles to 84th ranked Lina Lilekite and Gabriela Mejia, while Caroline Lilley and Muriel Wacker, playing together for just the third time ever, dropped a tough 8-6 decision after battling back to even things up at six-all.
The Jackets went down 2-0 after Jasmine Minor fell at No. 5 singles in straight sets 6-0, 6-0. But Tech notched its first point of the day as No. 1 seeded and 14th ranked Jillian O’Neill downed her opponent, 25th ranked Gabriela Mejia, 6-2, 6-2.
Tech evened things up at two-all as Blau did away with her Miami opponent Brittany Dubins on court six, 6-2, 6-2, but just as soon as everything was square, Miami regained the lead after 16th ranked Anna Bartenstein beat Lilley 6-1, 6-2 on court two.
“I thought Jill and Lynn really did a good job of getting us into the match today,” continued Shelton. “I thought we played well in the doubles, they just played a little better, and Jill and Lynn did a great job of evening it up for us and giving us hope that we could win this. This team has stuck together and we have been waiting and working and trying to get over the hump. I felt so good yesterday about how we played and I knew that we were going to come out and play well today and we had to because Miami is a great team.”
Alex Anghelescu, who earned the first set victory 6-3, came back from being down 0-3 in the second set to go on and take the match-evening point with a 7-5 win. Her victory brought the momentum Tech needed to upset the Hurricanes. Just minutes later, Kilborn clinched the victory and helped Tech earn a spot in the ACC Semifinals for the third straight season.
The Jackets will be back in action at 1 p.m. tomorrow for a meeting with North Carolina in the ACC Semifinals. Play will begin at 1 p.m.