March 29, 2006
ATLANTA – In a rematch of last year’s Atlantic Coast Conference Championship, the top two ACC teams of 2006 will be squaring off at 2 p.m. this Friday at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center in Coral Gables, Florida. Livestats for the match will be available at www.ramblinwreck.com.
“This is, by far, our biggest match of the year because it is one of the toughest teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference,” said senior Lyndsay Shosho. “The matches between these two schools have always been a battle, with neither team walking away easily, and there is a lot riding on this match in particular.”
The Jackets (14-3, 5-0 ACC) and Hurricanes (14-3, 6-0 ACC) are the only two ACC teams that remain undefeated in league play this season, as Tech has won nine-straight matches against ACC opponents dating back to last season, while Miami’s only two losses in the last 18 conference matches (including the ACC Tournament) have come at the hands of the Yellow Jackets.
Friday’s match will mark the seventh meeting in history between the two schools, with each team winning three matches. The Jackets hold the edge of late, taking each of the last three from the Hurricanes after Miami began the series with three straight victories in 1985, 1991 and 1999. All three of Tech’s wins have come by a 4-3 margin, with the last coming in the final match of the 2005 ACC Championships.
“It was huge for us to be able to pull out that match,” said 2005 ACC Tournament MVP Alison Silverio. “It came down to the last match in our first appearance in the championship match. We had our fans there, and they had theirs. I think this Friday’s match is another great opportunity for our team, and it is really a stepping stone for us and the goals that we have set for this team this season.”
The Yellow Jackets will play in Miami for the first time since 2001, when Tech defeated the 38th-ranked Hurricanes for their first victory in the series. The Jackets are 1-1 against the Hurricanes in Coral Gables.
“It’s always tougher to get a win on the road because you don’t have as much fan support behind you,” said Shosho. “Miami is ranked almost 10 spots ahead of us, so I think that it’s a pressure match for both teams and a lot is on the line as far as the standings in the conference goes.”
This weekend’s match in Coral Gables will also pit two of the top singles players in the nation against each other, as Tech’s top-ranked Kristi Miller is scheduled to face third-ranked Audra Cohen at the top of the singles lineup. The two have met once before in college, with Cohen eliminating Miller in the quarterfinals of the 2005 NCAA Individual Singles Championships to end the freshman’s stellar season a year ago.
Tech currently has five players that appear in the Fila Singles Rankings while the duo of Miller and Shosho are 12th in the nation in doubles play. Top-ranked Miller leads the team with 28 wins this season, while 76th-ranked Kelly Anderson is second on the squad with 26 singles victories. No. 51 Shosho had 23 wins in singles play and 61st-ranked Alison Silverio has recorded 21 victories. Whitney McCray (20) and rookie Christy Striplin (22) have also recorded at least 20 singles victories this season.
Shosho is pacing the Yellow Jackets with 26 wins in doubles play, while Anderson and Silverio have each recorded 21 doubles victories.
Following the match at Miami, the Yellow Jackets will continue on to Tallahassee to face the Florida State Seminoles Sunday at 10 a.m.