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No. 24 Tennis Tops Illinois, 4-1

AUSTIN, TEXAS – Behind the doubles point and three singles victories, No. 24 Georgia Tech women’s tennis cruised in the opening round of the NCAA Championship on Saturday, collecting a 4-1 win over Illinois. The Yellow Jackets advanced to the second round for the 23rd time in program history with the win.

Georgia Tech (14-9) clinched the early match lead in doubles play, pocketing a pair of wins on courts one and two. At the top spot, Tech’s duo of Carol Lee and Kate Sharabura took control early against Megan Heuser and Kate Duong, opening with a 5-1 lead. The pair took the match, 6-2, to give the Jackets the advantage in doubles play.

Illinois came out with leads on courts two and three, but the Yellow Jackets rallied back. On court two, Alejandra Cruz and Given Roach fell into a 3-1 deficit to Kasia Treiber and McKenna Schaefbauer, but would regroup and rattle off the next five games to clinch the doubles point with a 6-3 victory. Doubles play was suspended after the clinch as Kylie Bilchev and Scarlett Nicholson were erasing a 5-1 deficit and held game point to move to 5-4 on court three.

Georgia Tech and Illinois split the first sets, but the Yellow Jackets claimed the first two singles matches to finish, cushioning the lead to 3-0. On court three, Cruz made quick work of Violeta Martinez as the Jacket broke a 2-all standstill in the first set, winning the next four games to pocket the opener, 6-2. Cruz took the second set by the same margin to finish first.

Nicholson gave Tech a 3-0 match lead, collecting a straight-set win on court four over Josie Frazier. Nicholson jumped out with a 3-1 edge in the first set and took the set lead, 6-2. She led 5-2 in the second set before Frazier started to rally back, closing the set to 5-4. But Nicholson came up big in the next game and held three match points before closing out the win at deuce, 6-2, 6-4.

Illinois got on the scoreboard with a win on court six as Kida Ferrari pocketed a 6-0, 6-4 win over Roach, setting up a 3-1 match score.

Georgia Tech clinched the win from court two where Bilchev upended Schaefbauer in a pair of sets. Bilchev held a 4-2 lead in the first set before Schaefbauer worked back to 5-all. Bilchev dominated the tiebreak to decide the first set, pocketing the set lead, 7-6 (7-2). After exchanging the first four games to open the second, Bilchev won three-straight games to gain a 5-2 lead. The Jacket sealed the win, 7-6 (2), 6-3, punching Tech’s ticket to the second round.

Georgia Tech will face the winner of the Harvard versus No. 9 Texas match in NCAA Championship second round action on Sunday. First serve is slated for 2 p.m. EST at the Texas Tennis Center.

1. No. 21 Carol Lee/Kate Sharabura (GT) def. No. 82 Megan Heuser/Kate Duong (ILL) 6-2
2. No. 63 Alejandra Cruz/Given Roach (GT) def. Kasia Treiber/McKenna Schaefbauer (ILL) 6-3*
3. Kylie Bilchev/Scarlett Nicholson (GT) vs. Josie Frazier/Kida Ferrari (ILL) 3-5, DNF
Order of finish: 1,2*

1. No. 38 Carol Lee (GT) vs. Megan Heuser (ILL) 3-6,6-2,4-1, DNF
2. Kylie Bilchev (GT) def. McKenna Schaefbauer (ILL) 7-6 (7-2), 6-3*
3. Alejandra Cruz (GT) def. Violeta Martinez (ILL) 6-2, 6-2
4. Scarlett Nicholson (GT) def. Josie Frazier (ILL) 6-2, 6-4
5. Kate Sharabura (GT) vs. Kasia Treiber (ILL) 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 4-1, DNF
6. Kida Ferrari (ILL) def. Given Roach (GT) 6-0, 6-4
Order of finish: 3,4,6,2*


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