May 23, 2007
Athens, Ga.–Less than 24 hours after helping Georgia Tech win the NCAA women’s tennis team title, Kristi Miller began her quest in the NCAA singles championship with a first-round victory over Nadia Abdala of Arizona State.
Miller, the No. 6 seed in the singles draw, started slowly, falling behind 3-0 in the first set but quickly regained her composure for a 6-3, 6-3 victory. She advances to the Round of 32 and will face Amanda Fish of Vanderbilt Thursday at 12 noon. Miller defeated Fish this season in dual match play, 6-2, 6-2, at No. 1 singles, but the Commodores handed Tech one of their four losses of the year, 5-2, on Feb. 22.
“I started a little tight, but once I got my feet moving and started playing aggressively, I knew I’d be fine,” said Miller, playing in the NCAA Singles Championship for the third straight year.
“I didn’t get much sleep last night, so I was a little sluggish and tired in practice. But after I got through those first three games, I felt good.
“Our team had an amazing performance and I couldn’t be happier, but I can’t forget about my own goals. I can’t accept less than my best effort, even if I’m a little tired.”
Miller, Tech’s career leader in singles wins, improved her overall record on the season to 32-10 and upped her career slate to 114-28. The junior from Marysville, Mich., reached the Round of 16 in the NCAA as a freshman and then advanced to the quarterfinals last year.
Tech freshmen Kirsten Flower also made the NCAA singles field but drew a very tough first round match against No. 3 seed Melanie Gloria of Fresno State. Gloria, who faced Miller in last week’s NCAA quarterfinal match but did not finish, defeated Flower, 6-2, 6-2.
After her second-round singles match tomorrow, Miller and partner Whitney McCray open play in the NCAA Doubles Championship with a first-round match scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Miller and McCray, seeded third, face Elena Gantcheva and Kristina Nedeltcheva of UNLV.
Tech’s Alison Silverio, the MVP of the NCAA Team Championship after winning the clinching match, is also in the doubles field with parter Amanda Craddock. Silverio and Craddock, ranked 26th in then nation, face Alexis Prousis and Georgia Rose of Northwestern at approximately 4 p.m. Thursday.