THE FLATS – In a nearly four-hour match that came down to the final court, Georgia Tech rallied from a 3-1 deficit to tie the match at 3-3, but could not pull out the victory, falling 4-3 to Florida State Friday afternoon. The Yellow Jackets pocketed three singles victories in a match that dropped them to 6-7 overall this season and 3-3 in league play.
DOUBLES ACTION: The Seminoles grabbed the 1-0 match lead taking the doubles point with wins on courts one and two. Trailing 3-1 on court one, Tech’s Victoria Flores and Valeriya Deminova moved back on serve winning the next two games for a 3-3 tally. On serve at 4-all, Florida State’s Ana Oparenovic and Emmanuelle Salas broke to take a 5-4 lead and served out the match for a 6-4 win. The Seminoles clinched the point on court two where Petra Hule and Andrea Garcia defeated Gia Cohen and Nami Otsuka, 6-4. On serve at 4-4, the Seminoles broke the Jackets to take a 5-4 edge and sealed the win, 6-4.
Kenya Jones and Nadia Gizdova’s match went unfinished on court three after the point was clinched after a valiant effort from the Jackets. The duo trailed Nandini Das and Ariana Rahmanparast, 4-1, but won four of the next five games to knot the match at 5-5. The Seminoles held a 6-5 lead when the doubles point was clinched.
SINGLES ACTION: Florida State took a 2-0 lead when Salas defeated Jeanette Lin on court two, 6-3, 6-0, before Cohen put the Yellow Jackets on the scoreboard. The freshman dominated Rahmanparast, quickly taking a 4-2 lead in the first set on court six before pocketing the next two games to win the set, 6-2. Cohen trailed 2-1 in the early going of the second set, but responded winning the next five games to defeat Rahmanparast, 6-2, 6-2, to setup a 2-1 score.
The Seminoles cushioned their lead to 3-1 capturing court five, 6-4, 6-2. Flores and Hule stood tied at 4-4 in the first set, but Hule won the set, 6-4, and raced out to a 4-2 lead in the second. The Seminole sealed the win with a 6-2 second set victory.
The Jackets rallied to collect the next two matches in three-set battles to tie the match at 3-3. Competing on court one, Jones dropped the first set in a close tiebreak, 7-6 (5), but ran away in the second set, 6-0. The junior grabbed a 4-1 lead in the deciding third set and secured the match with a 6-2 third set win. After splitting sets on court three, the Seminoles looked on track to clinch the match with Oparenovic leading, 5-1, in the third set. Holding serve in the next game, Otsuka staged a comeback, winning the next six games and fought off a match point at 5-4 to win the match, 4-6, 6-4, 7-5.
All eyes turned to court four where Deminova and Julia Mikulski were in a three-set battle. The Seminole took the first set, 6-2, but Deminova forced a deciding third set, winning the second, 7-5. Mikulski held a 4-1 lead in the final set, but Deminova broke the Seminole in the next game to make it 4-2 and pulled within 5-4. Despite double-faulting twice in the final game, Mikulski served out the match, 6-4, to clinch the victory for Florida State.
QUOTABLE: “It was a very tough match today. I think both teams competed really hard. I was really pleased with Kenya [Jones], Nami [Otsuka] and Gia [Cohen] in singles. I thought they did an excellent job. Valeriya [Deminova] fought valiantly, but lost a tight match at the finish. We have to take the positives and try to prepare and get ready for Miami.” – head coach Rodney Harmon
UP NEXT: Georgia Tech hits the road for Sunday’s matchup, visiting Miami for a 10 a.m. first serve.
1-Ana Oparenovic/Emmanuelle Salas (FSU) def. Victoria Flores/Valeriya Deminova (GT) 6-4
2- Petra Hule/Andrea Garcia (FSU) def. Gia Cohen/Nami Otsuka (GT) 6-4
3-Kenya Jones/Nadia Gizdova (GT) vs. Nandini Das/Ariana Rahmanparast (FSU) 5-6 DNF
Order of finish: 1,2
1- No. 11 Kenya Jones (GT) def. No. 30 Carla Touly (FSU) 6-7 (5-7), 6-0, 6-2
2-Emmanuelle Salas (FSU) def. Jeanette Lin (GT) 6-3, 6-0
3-Nami Otsuka (GT) def. Ana Oparenovic (FSU) 4-6, 6-4, 7-5
4- Julia Mikulski (FSU) def. Valeriya Deminova (GT) 6-2, 5-7, 6-4
5- Petra Hule (FSU) def. Victoria Flores (GT) 6-4, 6-2
6-Gia Cohen (GT) def. Ariana Rahmanparast (FSU) 6-2, 6-2
Order of finish: 2,6,5,1,3,4