Oct. 24, 2010
ATHENS, GA. – A pair of Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket women’s tennis players have faced adversity and overcome it with flying colors in the USTA/ITA Southeast Regional Championship being held in Athens, Ga. Juniors Caroline Lilley and Christina Ngo each dropped their opening match on Friday, but have won four straight decisions in the consolation draw, pitting them against each other in the championship match of the consolation draw.
“I’m really proud of the way that Caroline (Lilley) and Christina (Ngo) played today,” head coach Bryan Shelton said. “We’ve talked a lot about competing hard and finding your opponents’ breaking point, and that’s what both of them did today. As a coach, it was great to see them both bounce back and play well after facing some adversity. It’s tough to lose in the first round and battle back through the consolation draw. Hopefully they will both draw a lot of confidence from these matches. There are a lot of good players here and they had to fight and compete to get every win.”
Lilley was again faced with some adversity in her first match of the day against Stetson’s Carolina de los Santos. Lilley dropped the first set 6-4 to de los Santos and was facing elimination in the second set. The Portland, Ore., native dug deep to force a winner-take-all third set with a 6-4 win in the second set. Lilley capped her morning session with a 6-2 win in the third set, sending her on to the consolation semifinals.
Lilley squared off with Florida International’s Lisa Johnson in the semifinal match and claimed the first set, 7-5, and was one set away from the championship match. This time, Johnson was able to force the third set with a 7-5 win of her own. With the first two sets each going to the tiebreak, it was no surprise that the third set was close and ended with Lilley taking the set, 6-4, and the match.
After rolling through Saturday’s matches without losing a game, Ngo was forced to come from behind quickly on Sunday. She dropped her first set, 6-2, to Miami’s Kayla Rizzolo, but bounced back to win the second set, 6-2, and force a deciding third set, which Ngo won 6-4 to move on to the semifinals.
After advancing to the semifinals, Ngo had to sit back and watch as teammate Lynn Blau squared off with Florida International’s Rita Maisak in the quarterfinals. After winning a tough three-set match on Saturday, Blau fell in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1, to Maisak.
In the semifinals against Maisak, unlike her morning session, Ngo would not fall behind early, winning the first set 6-3, and advancing on to the championship match with a 6-2 win in the second set.
Monday’s consolation championship match at the Dan Magill Tennis complex will begin at 9:30 a.m.
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