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No. 22 Jackets Edge No. 24 UCF, 4-3

THE FLATS – It all came down to the final match as No. 22 Georgia Tech women’s tennis gutted out a 4-3 victory over No. 24 UCF on Thursday afternoon to conclude non-conference play. The Yellow Jackets won the doubles point and three singles matches to improve to 10-6 overall this season.

DOUBLES
A short-staffed UCF squad began doubles play without a No. 3 doubles team, but quickly jumped out to a 4-0 lead on court one. However, Georgia Tech opened with a 5-0 advantage on court two where Monika Dedaj and Kate Sharabura faced Jaleesa Leslie and Anique Kattenberg. The Knights fought off three match points to win the next two games, but the Jackets held for a 6-2 victory to clinch the doubles point. Meanwhile, play was suspended on court one after the point was clinched where Kylie Bilchev and Alejandra Cruz rallied back to knot the score at 4-all after an early deficit.

SINGLES
After conceding court six in singles, UCF got on the scoreboard with a straight-set victory on court three, setting up a 2-1 match score in favor of the Jackets.

Carol Lee extended Tech’s lead from court one, collecting her third consecutive victory. The Yellow Jacket won a hard-fought battle against Stefani Webb in straight-sets. Trailing 3-1 in the first set, Lee rallied back to knot the match at 5-all. The opponents traded games to force a tiebreak at 6-6, which proved to be a battle until the last point. Knotted at 5-apiece, Lee won the next two points to take the first set, 7-6 (5). The Jacket cruised in the second set, jumping out with a 4-0 advantage and pocketing the set, 6-1, to give the Jackets a 3-1 match lead.

With all three remaining matches in third sets, the Knights captured the next two matches to finish, knotting the match at 3-3. Court five wrapped up first as Anique Kattenberg squeaked out a 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 victory over Rosie Garcia Gross before Jaleesa Leslie held on for a 7-6 (3), 1-6, 6-2 decision over Cruz on court four.

All eyes turned to court two where Bilchev faced Sophia Biolay. The Jacket trailed 2-5 in the first set, but battled back, winning the next five games to take the opener, 7-5. But Biolay regrouped and won the second set, 6-2, to force a deciding third set. Bilchev held serve to take a 4-3 lead and went up a break at 5-3. The sophomore served out the match, 6-3, to clinch the 4-3 victory for Georgia Tech.

Georgia Tech returns to action, traveling to Virginia on Friday, March 31. First serve is slated for 4 p.m.

RESULTS

DOUBLES
1. No. 69 Kylie Bilchev/Alejandra Cruz (GT) vs. No. 57 Nandini Sharma/Stefani Webb (UCF) 4-4, DNF
2. Monika Dedaj/Kate Sharabura (GT) def. Jaleesa Leslie/Anique Kattenberg (UCF) 6-2*
3. Carol Lee/Rosie Garcia Gross (GT) vs. UCF, walkover
Order of finish: 3,2*
*Clinched the doubles point

 

SINGLES
1. No. 7 Carol Lee (GT) def. Stefani Webb (UCF) 7-6 (7-5), 6-1
2. No. 26 Kylie Bilchev (GT) def. Sophia Biolay (UCF) 7-5, 2-6, 6-3
3. Nandini Sharma (UCF) def. No. 65 Mahak Jain (GT) 6-3, 6-1
4. Jaleesa Leslie (UCF) def. No. 105 Alejandra Cruz (GT) 7-6 (7-3), 1-6, 6-2
5. Anique Kattenberg (UCF) def. Rosie Garcia Gross (GT) 6-4, 5-7, 6-4
6. Kate Sharabura (GT) vs. UCF, walkover
Order of finish: 6,3,1,5,4,2^
^Clinched the overall match

Alexander-Tharpe Fund

The Alexander-Tharpe Fund is the fundraising arm of Georgia Tech athletics, providing scholarship, operations and facilities support for Georgia Tech’s 400-plus student-athletes. Be a part of developing Georgia Tech’s Everyday Champions and helping the Yellow Jackets compete for championships at the highest levels of college athletics by supporting the Annual Athletic Scholarship Fund, which directly provides scholarships for Georgia Tech student-athletes. To learn more about supporting the Yellow Jackets, visit atfund.org.

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