May 14, 2010
ATLANTA – Senior Amanda McDowell had a triumphant return to the court as the 14th-seeded Georgia Tech Women’s Tennis team (19-9) defeated Austin Peay (18-4), 4-0, Friday afternoon in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at the Bill Moore Tennis Center.
“I thought we came out ready to play today,” head coach Bryan Shelton said. “I was happy to see us start so well in the doubles, with a good focus. We’re excited about the postseason. We had a good run at the ACC tournament, and we want to keep that going, so it was nice to get on the board today early and to finish it out at No. 6 singles.”
McDowell, who has been sidelined most of dual-match season due to a lingering back injury, returned to the court in doubles and teamed with Lynn Blau to clinch the doubles point for the Yellow Jackets. After Elizabeth Kilborn and Viet Ha Ngo upended Demi Georgiakopoulos and Michelle Liew, 8-3, on court three, McDowell and Blau finished off Carolin Weikard and Yuki Nakamura, 8-3, for the point at No. 2 doubles.
“[Amanda’s] a senior, so she wants to finish this thing out on the courts, so it was good to see her out, and not only was she out there, but she played really well,” Shelton said. “It was nice to see her and Lynn finish at the end and get it done and clinch the doubles point for us.”
Kilborn pushed the Jackets lead to 2-0 with a solid 6-0, 6-0 victory over Georgiakopoulos at the fifth spot in the lineup. Kilborn earned her sixth straight victory and 19th singles win during the dual-match season.
“She’s just been a buzz saw the second half of the season, playing with a lot of confidence, and she can hurt you a lot of different ways, with her serve, with her forehand, and now she can finish at the net,” said Shelton about Kilborn’s play. “It’s fun to see her develop and continue to get better each day.”
Tech’s lead increased to 3-0 after Blau finished off Liew, 6-0, 6-2, on court four. She also captured her sixth straight singles match.
Sophomore Hillary Davis, who had lost four straight matches coming in to the day, clinched the match with a solid 6-3, 6-1 win over Nakamura at No. 6 singles.
The Yellow Jackets will meet Mississippi Saturday at 1 p.m., in the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the right to move on to the Round of 16, which will be held at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex on the University of Georgia campus in Athens, Ga., May 20-25.
Live stats for Saturday’s match will be available on RamblinWreck.com, Georgia Tech’s official athletic website.