March 7, 2009
ATLANTA – Junior Amanda McDowell clinched the match with a three-set singles victory over Michaela Kissell to lead the No. 8 Georgia Tech women’s tennis team to a 5-2 win over No. 6 Miami (11-3, 1-1 ACC) Saturday afternoon at the Bill Moore Tennis Center.
The Yellow Jackets moved to 6-4 on the season and 1-1 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. This is Tech’s second win over a top 10 opponent this season.
“This was a big win for us today,” head coach Bryan Shelton said. “I liked the way our team responded after losing a few matches and then facing the No. 6 team in the country in our first outdoor match. It is particular nice to see Amanda get a big win in a tough spot to clinch the match for us. I think it was the sign we were looking for. We need to comeback and consolidate it with a strong showing tomorrow against Florida State.”
McDowell and Kissell battled for over two hours before a third-set tiebreaker was needed to decide the match. McDowell, playing at No. 3 singles, clinched with a 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (3) win to give the Jackets the victory.
Shelton opened the day by mixing up the Jackets doubles lineup and his team responded by winning two of three matches to give Tech an early 1-0 lead. Tech’s McDowell teamed with Lynn Blau for an 8-3 win over Gabriela Meija and Alessa Waibel at No. 3 doubles. No. 16 Christy Striplin and Noelle Hickey would then hold off Julia Cohen and Bianca Eichkorn in the second flight to clinch the doubles point with an 8-6 win.
Hickey, who was moved the No. 2 singles position in the lineup, earned a 7-5, 6-3 straight-set victory over No. 39 Laura Vallverdu to push Tech’s lead to 2-0. Hickey is now 8-2 in singles play during the dual-match season.
The Jackets lead expanded to 3-0 behind a three-set 2-6, 6-4, 6-1 win by Blau in the sixth flight over Claudia Wasilewski.
“I can’t say enough about Noelle Hickey,” Shelton added. “She is playing so big for us this year. It was also great to see Lynn in her first college singles dual match come through in a clutch match.”
Miami began its comeback attempt with a 5-7, 6-3, 6-1 triumph by No. 13 Cohen over Tech’s fifth-ranked Irina Falconi in the top spot of the lineup but the Hurricanes rally abruptly ended with McDowell’s win.
Striplin earned Tech’s fifth point of the day behind a hard fought 2-6, 6-2, 7-6 (4) come from behind win over Eichkorn in the fourth singles flight.
The Jackets will return to action tomorrow afternoon when they host No. 17 Florida State at the Bill Moore Tennis Center beginning at noon.
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