Jan. 24, 2016
THE FLATS – In a back-and-forth battle between two top-25 teams, No. 24 Georgia Tech was unable to overcome an early deficit as No. 21 LSU prevailed 4-2 on Sunday at the Ken Byers Tennis Complex. Sunday’s meeting was the regional championship of the ITA Kickoff Weekend.
Georgia Tech (2-1) opened Sunday’s match with a fury as Rasheeda McAdoo and Johnnise Renaud quickly defeated LSU’s Skylar Kuykendall and Abby Owens 6-2. LSU’s Ella Taylor and Skylar Holloway knocked off Megan Kurey and Alexa Anton-Ohlmeyer 7-5.
The 21st-ranked Tigers extended their lead to 3-0 with straight-set victories at the No. 5 and No. 1 singles positions. Owens defeated Anton-Ohlmeyer 6-1, 6-0, while No. 23 Vale Costa followed with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Renaud.
“Today was a great college match,” head coach Rodney Harmon said. “LSU played really well. The doubles point was very important. We had chances at Nos. 1 and 3 to get that (point). They out-toughed us and that was the key.
“It’s such an uphill climb against a really good team to win four matches,” Harmon said. “I was really impressed with Alexis (Prokopuik). She switched out at No. 6 and won. Rasheeda (McAdoo) played very well for us and Kendal (Woodard) fought hard.
Tech’s first point of the afternoon came from Alexis Prokopuik, who was a last-minute replacement at the No. 6 spot in the lineup. Prokopuik defeated Taylor in straight sets 6-3, 6-2.
A convincing 6-4, 6-3 win by McAdoo at the No. 3 spot pulled the Yellow Jackets to within one, 3-2.
From there, the final two singles matches still in play – No. 2 and No. 4 – both were in heated third-set battles. After losing the first set 2-6, Hourigan battled back in the second frame 6-4, forcing the match-deciding set. The back-and-forth battle was knotted at 5-5 in the third set before Jessica Golovin won the last two points to win.
“Paige (Hourigan) fought as well. She just couldn’t close it down in the second and she got a little unlucky in the third set,” Harmon said. “We’re going to keep working and use this to build upon for the rest of the season.”
The Yellow Jackets face their first ACC opponent of the spring with a Jan. 29 match against the Miami Hurricanes. The match is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET in Coral Gables, Fla.
#21 LSU 4, #24 GEORGIA TECH 2
Singles (Order of finish: 5, 1, 6, 3, 2)
1. #23 Joana Vale Costa (LSU) def. Johnnise Renaud (GT) 6-4, 6-2
2. #52 Jessica Golovin (LSU) def. Paige Hourigan (GT) 2-6, 6-4, 7-5
3. #92 Rasheeda McAdoo (GT) def. #93 Skylar Kuykendall (LSU) 6-4, 6-3
4. Ryann Foster (LSU) vs. Kendal Woodard (GT) – DNF
5. Abby Owens (LSU) def. Alexa Anton-Ohlmeyer (GT) 6-1, 6-0
6. Alexis Prokopuik (GT) def. Ella Taylor (LSU) 6-3, 6-2
Doubles (Order of finish: 2, 3, 1)
1. Joana Vale Costa / Ryann Foster (LSU) def. #35 Kendal Woodard / Paige Hourigan (GT) 7-6 (7-5)
2. Rasheeda McAdoo / Johnnise Renaud (GT) def. Skylar Kuykendall / Abby Owens (LSU) 6-2
3. Ella Taylor / Skylar Holloway (LSU) def. Megan Kurey / Alexa Anton-Ohlmeyer (GT) 7-5