April 11, 2010
ATLANTA – Sophomore Irina Falconi won her 14th straight singles match but the 20th-ranked Georgia Tech Women’s Tennis team (13-8, 4-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) dropped a 5-2 decision to No. 2 North Carolina (22-3, 9-0) Sunday afternoon at the Bill Moore Tennis Center.
“I am proud of the girls for the way they played and competed,” head coach Bryan Shelton said. “UNC had a lot of talent and played a great match. Irina had a special performance on court one and showed why she is the No. 1 player in the nation.”
Prior to the match, the Yellow Jackets honored their lone senior Amanda McDowell by presenting her a framed jersey. McDowell ranks third all-time in Georgia Tech history with 116 career singles victories.
“It is nice to pay a special tribute to Amanda,” Shelton said. “She is a player that has made a huge impact on what people think about Georgia Tech tennis. She really helped elevate this program to the highest level.”
The Jackets 30th-ranked tandem of Falconi and Sasha Krupina upended Sanaz Marand and Katrina Tsang, 8-7 (5) in doubles to open the day but the Tar Heels captured the other two matches to take an early 1-0 lead in the match.
North Carolina moved ahead 2-0 after Shinann Featherston defeated Hillary Davis, 6-2, 6-2, at No. 6 singles. Jelena Durisic pushed the Tar Heels lead to 3-0 after she defeated Krupina, 6-1, 6-4, on court three.
North Carolina would seal their ninth conference victory of the season when Tsang recorded a 6-1, 6-3 win over Viet Ha Ngo at No. 2 singles.
Lynn Blau got the Jackets on the board with a 6-3, 7-5 victory over Gina Suarez-Malaguti on court four.
“It was so great to see Lynn consolidate her great performance yesterday with an even better one today,” Shelton added. “She is certainly gaining a lot of confidence.”
In the most exciting match of the day, Falconi, who is the top-ranked player in the nation, escaped an upset bid by No. 32 Marand with a 6-1, 5-7, 12-10 victory. Falconi registered her 31st win on the season and won her 14th straight match.
The Yellow Jackets will conclude their regular season next weekend with road matches at Virginia Saturday and Virginia Tech Sunday. Both matches are scheduled to begin at noon.