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Jackets Upset No. 19 Miami, 4-3

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – No. 24 Georgia Tech gained momentum early in doubles and won three singles matches to take home a 4-3 victory over No. 19 Miami on Sunday at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center. In over a four-hour battle, Kylie Bilchev clinched the road win as the Yellow Jackets improved to 9-7 overall and 5-3 in Atlantic Coast Conference play.

Georgia Tech made quick work of Miami in doubles action, collecting wins at the No. 1 and 2 positions to clinch the early lead. Finishing first, Tech’s No. 12 duo of Carol Lee and Kate Sharabura downed No. 56 Xinyi Nong and Isabella Pfennig on court one, 6-3. The Yellow Jackets jumped out with a 4-2 lead and closed out the victory to give Tech the advantage. Minutes later the point was clinched by Given Roach and Alejandra Cruz on court two as the Jackets collected a 6-3 decision over Leonie Schuknecht and Antonia Balzert. Cruz and Roach raced out with a commanding 5-1 lead before the Hurricanes won the next two games for a 5-3 tally. But the Jackets sealed the win, 6-3, to clinch the doubles point for Georgia Tech.

It was a battle in singles play with three courts going to first set tiebreaks and five courts going to three sets. Miami got on the scoreboard first in singles action as Nong rallied for a three-set win over Sharabura on court six. Sharabura took the first set, 6-4, but Nong fought back to take the match, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 to tie the overall match at 1-1.

Freshman Scarlett Nicholson returned the permanent lead to Georgia Tech, battling out a pair of tiebreak sets on court four over Schuknecht. In the opening set, Nicholson cruised in the tiebreak, 7-2, but Schuknecht gained momentum in the second set. Nicholson rallied back from an early deficit before Schuknecht forced a tiebreak at 6-6. The Hurricane led 4-2 early, but the Jacket persevered and knotted the tiebreaker at 5-5. The opponents exchanged points until Nicholson pulled out the win, 9-7, to give Tech a 2-1 match lead.

Cruz extended Tech’s lead to 3-1, collecting a three-set win on court three. Facing Balzert, the Yellow Jacket dominated the first set, 6-1, but Balzert won a second set tiebreak to force a deciding third set. Cruz quickly gained control in the final set, opening with a 5-0 advantage before Balzert got on the scoreboard. Cruz sealed the win, 6-1, 6-7 (5), 6-2, to push out Tech’s lead.

Miami rallied back to 3-2 when Noel won on court one over Lee. After dropping the first set, 6-3, Lee fought back in the second set. Knotted at 5-5, Lee won the next two games to take the set, 7-5, but Noel responded in the final set, 6-2.

Bilchev clinched the victory for Georgia Tech, 4-2, on court two. The Yellow Jacket, facing Pfennig, battled to a three-set decision after splitting the first two sets. Bilchev captured the first set in a marathon of a tiebreaker, 7-6 (13), but Pfennig answered with a 6-1 second set. In the final set, Bilchev opened with a 4-1 lead before Pfennig came back to 4-3. After back-to-back breaks that left the set at 5-4, Bilchev broke Pfennig at 40-0 to clinch the match, 7-6 (13), 1-6, 6-4.

Play concluded on court five where Audrey Boch-Collins escaped Mahak Jain, 6-7 (8), 6-1, 6-3, accounting for the final 4-3 score. Sunday’s win marked the first for Georgia Tech at Miami since 2008, snapping a six-match skid against the Hurricanes in Coral Gables.

After four matches on the road, Georgia Tech returns home to open a five-match homestand beginning on Thursday, March 28, against Notre Dame. First serve at the Ken Byers Tennis Complex is slated for 5:30 p.m.

1. No. 12 Carol Lee/Kate Sharabura (GT) def. No. 56 Xinyi Nong/Isabella Pfennig (MIA) 6-3
2. Given Roach/Alejandra Cruz (GT) def. Leonie Schuknecht/Antonia Balzert (MIA) 6-3*
3. Kylie Bilchev/Scarlett Nicholson (GT) vs. Audrey Boch-Collins/Alexa Noel (MIA) 4-4, DNF
Order of finish: 1,2*

1. No. 16 Alexa Noel (MIA) def. No. 45 Carol Lee (GT) 6-3, 5-7, 6-2
2. Kylie Bilchev (GT) def. No. 69 Isabella Pfennig (MIA) 7-6 (15-13), 1-6, 6-4*
3. Alejandra Cruz (GT) def. Antonia Balzert (MIA) 6-1, 6-7 (5-7), 6-2
4. Scarlett Nicholson (GT) def. Leonie Schuknecht (MIA) 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (9-7)
5. No. 107 Audrey Boch-Collins (MIA) def. Mahak Jain (GT) 6-7 (8-10) , 6-1, 6-3
6. Xinyi Nong (MIA) def. Kate Sharabura (GT) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
Order of finish: 6,4,3,1,2*,5


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