April 24, 2010
CARY, N.C. – The Yellow Jackets unbelievable run through the 2010 Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament will continue after freshman Elizabeth Kilborn clinched the Georgia Tech Women’s Tennis team’s 4-2 upset victory over third-seeded and No. 8 nationally-ranked Clemson (22-5) Saturday afternoon at the Cary (N.C.) Tennis Center.
Kilborn came from behind to defeat Laurianne Henry, 6-4, 7-5, at No. 5 to clinch the win. The Jackets will play for their first ACC title since winning three straight from 2005-07. Tech will face No. 1-seeded North Carolina Sunday at 11:00 a.m.
“I am just really proud of our team effort today,” head coach Bryan Shelton said. “It’s been one of those years where we have faced a lot of obstacles, which makes it that much more special to be in this situation to win a championship. I don’t know if many people believed we could get her but the team believed. “
For the second straight day, the Yellow Jackets were unable to capture the doubles point. No. 9 Josipa Bek and Ina Hadziselimovic held off No. 21 Sasha Krupina and Irina Falconi, 8-3, on court one. The Tigers clinched the point when Laurianne Henry and Keri Wong earned an 8-4 win over Lynn Blau and Hillary Davis in flight two.
Clemson pushed its early lead to 2-0 when Caroline Magnusson defeated Davis, 6-1, 6-1, on court six.
Krupina continued her strong play this weekend when she defeated No. 121 Hadziselimovic, 6-4, 6-3, at No. 3 singles to cut the Tiger lead to 2-1.
Tech knotted the score at 2-2 after No. 1 Irina Falconi notched a hard fought 6-3, 6-3 win over No. 19 Bek on court one. Falconi continued her stellar play this season by earning her 19th straight singles victory and tied the school-record with her 25th victory of the dual-match season.
Blau put her team ahead, 3-2, when she upended Nelly Ciolkowski, 6-4, 7-5, from the fourth flight. Blau has now won eight of her last nine matches, including four straight.
“We probably had one of the best college matches I have seen on court one,” Shelton said. “It was great to see Sasha come back after clinching yesterday and play some great tennis today. For her to be a catalyst today gave us a real shot in the arm. It is also great to see Lynn rolling out there. She is playing smart tennis and executing out there.”
Kilborn would capture the biggest victory of her young career when she sealed the Jackets trip to the finals.
“Our freshman [Kilborn] came up big for us,” Shelton added. “To come through today says a lot about her.”
Live stats for Sunday’s final will be available on RamblinWreck.com. Fans can also watch video coverage of the final around three hours after the conclusion of the match.
– The Jackets will make their fourth appearance in the ACC Tournament final (3-0 all-time).
– Georgia Tech will compete for first ACC Tournament title since 2007.
– Clemson was 17-0 when winning the doubles match before today.
– This was the first time since 2002 that the Georgia Tech men’s and women’s tennis teams played in the semifinals in the same season.
– Irina Falconi has won 19 straight singles matches.
– Falconi is 26-2 against nationally-ranked opponents.
– Tied Amanda McDowell’s school-record with 25 singles wins during the dual-match season.