May 10, 2002
LEXINGTON, KY – On the strength of a win at No. 1 doubles by juniors Jaime Wong and Mason Miller, the 22nd-ranked Georgia Tech women’s tennis team held on for a 4-2 win over 34th-ranked Michigan in the first round of the NCAA Women’s Tennis Championships in Lexington, Ky. The regional is being held at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Center on the campus of the University of Kentucky.
“This was a very tough match today and I’m very proud of our team for hanging in there and getting a win,” said Tech head coach Bryan Shelton. “We knew that winning the doubles point would be a key for us today and we were able to do that and it proved to be the difference in the match.”
The Yellow Jackets (15-9) got a key point in the match early on by capturing two of three doubles matches and the doubles point. With each team holding a doubles win, the point came down to the No. 1 match. Wong and Miller were able to break serve to take an 8-7 lead in the match and then had to rally once again to earn the win. The Wolverines’ (14-11) Michelle DaCosta and Leanne Rutherford grabbed 30-0 lead in the deciding game, but Tech rallied to force three deuces before claiming the game and the match by a 9-7 score. Tech’s first doubles win of the match came at No. 2, as junior Mysti Morris and Sekita Grant rallied from being down 3-1 to Michigan’s Kim Plaushines and Jen Duprez, winning seven of the next nine games and the match an 8-5 count.
In singles action, Grant was a force at No. 6 singles as she claimed the first of the Jackets’ three wins, rolling past Joanne Musgrove in straight sets. The sophomore lost only one game en route to an impressive 6-1, 6-0 victory. Jaime Wong was Tech’s next singles victor, as she disposed of the Wolverines’ Kavitha Tipirneni in straight sets at No. 1. Wong won the first set with ease by a 6-2 score, but fell behind in the second set by a 4-2 count before winning four-straight games to claim the second set by a 6-4 count.
A three-set match at No. 2 singles would be the deciding match as the Jackets’ Mysti Morris was a winner over Michigan’s Michelle DaCosta. Morris won the first set with ease, claiming a 6-2 decision, but struggled in the second set, dropping the frame by a 6-2 count. In the third, Morris once again found her groove, rolling to a 6-2 win.
“Sekita played very well today and got us started,” said Shelton. “All of the other matches were very close and Jaime and Mysti did a great job of getting their wins at No. 1 and No. 2 as the overall match was getting to be very tight. We look forward to playing in the regional final tomorrow and we know that it will be tough match no matter who we play.”
The Yellow Jackets will now play in a regional final for the second time in school history, facing the winner of the afternoon match between top-seeded Kentucky and fourth-seeded Boston University at 4 p.m on Saturday. Full tournament results are available at www.ncaachampionships.com, with live scoring of Tech’s matches available at www.ramblinwreck.com.
#22 GEORGIA TECH 4, #34 MICHIGAN 2DOUBLES1. Wong/Miller (GT) d. DaCosta/Rutherford (M), 9-72. Morris/Grant (GT) d. Duprez/Kim Plaushines (M), 8-53. Tipirneni/Nolan (M) d. Ozolins/Fallon Koon (GT), 8-2
SINGLES 1. Jaime Wong (GT) d. Kavitha Tipirneni (M), 6-2, 6-4 2. Mysti Morris (GT) d. Michelle DaCosta (M), 6-2, 2-6, 6-2 3. Christine Nolan (M) d. Catherine Gunn (GT), 6-4, 6-4 4. Leanne Rutherford (M) d. Mason Miller (GT), 6-2, 7-6 (6) 5. Laura Ozolins (GT) vs. Jen Duprez (M), DNF 6. Sekita Grant (GT) d. Joanne Musgrove (M), 6-1, 6-0