THE FLATS – No. 12 Georgia Tech overcame a 3-1 deficit against No. 6 Duke, outlasting the Blue Devils, 4-3, Sunday afternoon to secure a spot in the ITA National Team Indoor Championships. The Yellow Jackets saw singles wins from Gia Cohen, Kenya Jones, Victoria Flores and Ava Hrastar to improve to 3-0 on the young season.
DOUBLES ACTION – Duke took the early lead by claiming the doubles point with wins on courts two and three. Kelly Chen and Georgia Drummy won a quick 6-1 decision on court three to give Duke the early advantage before the Blue Devils clinched the doubles point from court two where Chloe Beck and Karolina Berankova won 6-2.
SINGLES ACTION – The Blue Devils looked in control in singles play, capturing five first sets before the Yellow Jackets began to stage their comeback. Cohen put Tech on the board, pocketing a 6-3, 6-3 rout of No. 29 Beck on court four, but Duke quickly retook the lead, winning straight set matches on courts five and six for a 3-1 advantage.
No. 13 Jones brought the Jackets within one, 3-2, taking home a 4-6, 6-0, 6-4 win over No. 8 Kelly Chen at the top spot. After dropping the first set, Jones cruised in the second and earned a break in the third set, 4-2. She closed out the match to remain undefeated on the weekend.
With two remaining matches on the courts, Duke held advantages on both. On court three, senior Jacket, No. 56 Flores split the first two sets against No. 111 Chi, 4-6, 6-3, and trailed the Blue Devil, 4-1 in the third set. Flores answered strongly, rattling off five straight games to defeat Chi, 6-4, in the third set and knot the match at 3-3.
A berth to ITA National Team Indoors came down to court two where freshman Hrastar faced off against No. 28 Drummy. The Blue Devil picked up the first set, 6-2, and led 5-1 in the second set before Hrastar battled back, winning five of the next six games to force a tiebreak. Hrastar won the tiebreak, 7-5, to force a deciding third set that also came down to the final point. The foes remained on serve in the final set that resulted in another tiebreak to decide the match. Hrastar dominated the tiebreak, opening with a 3-0 lead and pushing her advantage out to 5-2. The freshman Jacket served out the tiebreak, 7-3, to clinch the decision for Georgia Tech, 4-3.
“It was an incredible effort and fight from the team today,” said head coach Rodney Harmon. “We didn’t play as well as we wanted to in doubles, but singles was a battle. Gia [Cohen] did an incredible job of putting one up on the scoreboard early and getting us established. It was an incredible effort for Kenya [Jones], Victoria [Flores] and Ava [Hrastar] to come back from each a set down and clinch the match for us. I’m so proud of the team and the coaching staff, and we’re looking forward to the opportunity to go to Stillwater, Okla., for ITA Indoors and play again.”
UP NEXT – Tech returns to action on Friday, welcoming UAB and Kennesaw State to the Ken Byers Tennis Complex.
1. No. 5 Kenya Jones/Victoria Flores (GT) vs. Meible Chi/Margaryta Bilokin (DUKE) 4-3, DNF
2. Chloe Beck/Karolina Berankova (DUKE) def. Gia Cohen/Carol Lee (GT) 6-2
3. Kelly Chen/Georgia Drummy (DUKE) def. Ava Hrastar/Ruth Marsh (GT) 6-1
Order of finish: 3,2
1. No. 13 Kenya Jones (GT) def. No. 8 Kelly Chen (DUKE) 4-6, 6-0, 6-4
2. Ava Hrastar (GT) def. No. 28 Georgia Drummy (DUKE) 2-6, 7-6 (5), 7-5 (3)
3. No. 56 Victoria Flores (GT) def. No. 111 Meible Chi (DUKE) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
4. No. 123 Gia Cohen (GT) def. No. 29 Chloe Beck (DUKE) 6-3, 6-3
5. No. 44 Margaryta Bilokin (DUKE) def. Carol Lee (GT) 6-2, 7-6 (4)
6. No. 95 Karolina Berankova (DUKE) def. Ruth Marsh (GT) 6-3, 6-2
Order of finish: 4, 6, 5, 1, 3, 2
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