THE FLATS – Georgia Tech women’s tennis punched a ticket to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships next month with a 4-2 victory over No. 24 UCLA Sunday afternoon. The Jackets went 2-0 in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend at Ken Byers Tennis Complex.
DOUBLES ACTION: Tech clinched a hard-fought doubles point that came down to a battle on court one. After UCLA grabbed the first doubles match from court three in a 7-5 victory from Gabby Andrews/Kristin Wiley over Nami Otsuka/Nadia Gizdova, the Jackets evened the playing field winning the tiebreak on court two. Both remaining doubles matches went down to the wire as the Yellow Jacket duo of Paige Hourigan and Kenya Jones battled UCLA’s Terri Fleming and Alaina Miller to the end at No. 2. After the Jackets grabbed an early set lead, the Bruins climbed back and tied the match at 4-4. The tandems worked to a 6-6 tie, forcing a tiebreak that the Jackets claimed 7-4, leaving the doubles point on court one.
In an epic battle for the doubles point on court one, Rasheeda McAdoo and Johnnise Renaud stood tied at 4-4 with UCLA’s Jada Hart and Ena Shibahara. The doubles pairs each held serve, forcing the point to come down to a tiebreak. The Jackets proved victorious in a tight tiebreaker, coming away with the win 12-10 to put Tech ahead 1-0 entering singles play.
SINGLES PLAY: Otsuka put the Jackets up 2-0 from the No. 6 spot as the freshman broke serve to go up 5-2 in the first set and closed it out 6-3. The freshman cruised in the second set, 6-0, to claim a straight set victory over Wiley. UCLA moved the score to 2-1 as Hart defeated Jones from the No. 4 spot in three sets. Jones took the first set easily, 6-0, but Hart evened the surface with a 6-1 second set win. The Bruin captured the win claiming the third set 6-3. Strong singles play from Renaud gave Tech a 3-1 match advantage. After dropping the first set to Miller at the No. 3 spot, Renaud dropped only three games in the next two sets to walk away with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 win and leave Tech just one point away from securing the match.
The Jackets would have to wait as UCLA continued to fight and moved the score to 3-2 with a victory at the No. 2 spot. Tech junior Hourigan, battled hard, but dropped a 7-6 (7), 7-5 decision to Fleming. All eyes turned to court No. 5 where Tech’s Gizdova was contesting UCLA’s Andrews in the third set. Gizdova took the first set 6-2, but dropped the second set 7-5, to force a third set. Gizdova took the first two games and went ahead 5-3 in the third set before closing it out and clinching the match with a 6-3 third set victory.
QUOTABLE: “The team played so well against a very good UCLA team. The doubles point took over an hour and each match went down to the wire. In singles, we started out strong, but UCLA fought back. Nadia Gizdova was able to close out the match at No. 5. Nami Otsuka played great today in both singles and doubles. I’m extremely proud of our performance today.” – Head Coach Rodney Harmon
UP NEXT: The Jackets return to action on Sunday, Feb. 5, welcoming Tennessee for a 3 p.m. match at Ken Byers Tennis Complex.
No. 11 Georgia Tech vs. No. 24 UCLA Results
Match Score: No. 11 Georgia Tech 4, No. 24 UCLA 2
1. (GT) Rasheeda McAdoo/Johnnise Renaud def. (UCLA) Jada Hart/Ena Shibahara, 7-6 (12-10)
2. (GT) Paige Hourigan/Kenya Jones vs. (UCLA) Terri Fleming/Alaina Miller, 7-6 (7-4)
3. (UCLA) Gabby Andrews/Kristin Wiley def. (GT) Nami Otsuka/Nadia Gizdova, 7-5
Order of finish: 3, 2, 1
Point: Georgia Tech
1. (GT) No. 42 Rasheeda McAdoo vs. (UCLA) No. 4 Ena Shibahara, 7-5, 3-6, 2-5, DNF
2. (UCLA) Terri Fleming def. (GT) Paige Hourigan, 7-6 (9-7), 7-5
3. (GT) Johnnise Renaud def. (UCLA) Alaina Miller, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1
4. (UCLA) Jada Hart def. (GT) Kenya Jones, 0-6, 6-1, 6-3
5. (GT) Nadia Gizdova def. (UCLA) Gabby Andrews, 6-2, 5-7, 6-3
6. (GT) Nami Otsuka def. (UCLA) Kristin Wiley, 6-3, 6-0
Order of Finish: 6, 4, 3, 2, 5