Jan. 17, 2013
THE FLATS – The 20th-ranked Georgia Tech women’s tennis team christened its new Ken Byers Tennis Complex with a 4-3 victory over Syracuse Thursday afternoon in Atlanta. The match was the spring season opener for the Yellow Jackets.
After sweeping to the doubles point to take a 1-0 lead, the Jackets (1-0) won two of the first three singles matches from the 72nd-ranked Orange, who dropped to 0-2 on the season.
“We’re so glad to be here in this phenomenal new facility,” said first-year head coach Rodney Harmon. “This is great for our program. We had a tough opponent today, but we played well and we were happy have won the matches we won.”
Before the match, Tech president G.P. “Bud” Peterson and his wife Val were on hand to put the ceremonial first ball in play, along with the tennis center’s primary benefactor, Ken Byers and his wife Trish. Nearly 100 special guests and former players attended the dedication.
Tech senior Elizabeth Kilborn teamed with junior Alex Anghelescu for an 8-6 victory over Sophia Dzulynsky and Maddie Kobelt in No. 1 doubles, then Kilborn pulled out a come-from-behind win in No. 1 singles over the Orange’s Kobelt.
Kilborn opened her singles match down 4-0 in the first set, but rallied for a thrilling 6-4, 6-3 victory over Kobelt to electrify the near-capacity crowd at the Jackets’ new indoor complex.
“That was a great bounce back by Elizabeth,” said Harmon. “Kobelt played great and was lights out the first four games. I just told Elizabeth to elevate her shots a little, get some spin on the ball and get some first serves in. She’s such a seasoned competitor for us, and that was obviously a point we really needed.”
Also in doubles, Tech’s Megan Kurey and Kendall Woodard dispatched Syracuse’s Amanda Rodgers and Jimena Wu, 8-4, in No. 2 doubles, while Muriel Wacker and Natasha Prokhnevska took care of Aleah Marrow and Komal Safdar, 8-3.
Anghelescu got things rolling for Tech in singles play from the No. 6 position, as her easy 6-2, 6-1 win over Alex Aiello gave the hosts a 2-0 advantage. Kilborn’s singles victory increased Tech’s margin to 3-0.
After the Orange got on the board with a No. 3 singles victory by Safdar over Kurey (6-2, 6-3), Tech clinched the team victory when Woodard rolled to a straight-sets victory over Rogers (7-5, 7-5) in the No. 2 singles position.
Syracuse claimed the final two singles points as Jimena Wu won over Prokhnevska, 6-2, 6-3. And the most entertaining match of the night closed things out as Sophia Dzulynsky from Syracuse squeaked out a three-setter over Tech’s Jasmine Minor, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (7-4).
The Jackets are back in action this weekend at the Michigan Invitational.
#39 Elizabeth Kilborn (GT) d. Maddie Kobelt (SU), 6-4, 6-3
Kendall Woodard (GT) d. Amanda Rodgers (SU), 7-5, 7-5
Komal Safdar (SU) d. Megan Kurey (GT), 6-2, 6-3
Jimena Wu (SU) d. Natasha Prokhnevska (GT), 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (7-4)
Sophia Dzulynsky (SU) d. Jasmine Minor (GT), 7-5, 3-6, 1-0 (11-9)
Alex Anghelescu (GT) d. Alex Aiello (SU), 6-2, 6-1
Kilborn/Anghelescu (GT) d. Dzulynsky/Kobelt (SU), 8-6
Kurey/Woodard (GT) d. Rodgers/Wu (SU), 8-4
Wacker/Prokhnevska (GT) d. Marrow/Safdar (SU), 8-3