May 9, 2008
ATLANTA – Noelle Hickey, Whitney McCray and Christy Striplin all swept 6-0, 6-0 singles matches as No. 3 Georgia Tech (20-5) defeated Alcorn State (13-13), 4-0, in the first match of the NCAA Atlanta Regional, which is being played at the Bill Moore Tennis Center on Georgia Tech’s campus.
“I was very pleased with our team today,” said Georgia Tech head coach Bryan Shelton. “They came out and were all business. It’s always tough playing the first match of the tournament because you are excited and nervous at the same time. But I thought that we did a good job of managing that on the court today by coming out and getting off to a great start.
The Jackets’ third doubles tandem of Striplin and Kirsten Flower made quick work of the Lady Braves’ Martina Garda and Avernelle Holder, breezing to an 8-0 win to start the match, before Tech’s top two doubles lines finished within seconds of each other to pick up the first point of the match.
McCray and Hickey clinched the doubles point with an 8-1 victory over Stefania Guzman and Katherine Hoepelman before Kristi Miller and Sasha Krupina finished off the sweep with an 8-5 win against Swetha Devaraj and Sarah Jo Peters just seconds later.
“I think both teams felt tension because both wanted to get the job done on the court,” Shelton said when asked about the two teams so close to finishing together. “They kept the pressure on themselves, which I think will help us in the later rounds. We really didn’t take anything for granted today, and certainly weren’t taking Alcorn State lightly.”
Hickey pushed the score to 2-0 with her sweep of Felicia Chien at the No. 6 singles spot before McCray pulled the Jackets to 3-0 with her straight-set win over Hoepelman at the No. 3 spot.
“Everyone played really well today, but it was nice to see Noelle play with such confidence on court six,” Shelton added. “She was swinging away but maintaining consistency, which is what we were wanting to see from her. Whitney also did a great job staying focused and on task, and Christy seems to be gaining more confidence as the season goes along.
Striplin finished off the sweep with her 6-0, 6-0 win at the No. 4 position.
The Jackets now await the winner of Friday afternoon’s match between Tennessee and Illinois to see who they will face in the second round match Saturday at 1 p.m. Gates at the Bill Moore Tennis Center will open at 12 noon.
Tennis Match Results Alcorn State vs Georgia Tech May 09, 2008 at Atlanta, Ga
#3 Georgia Tech 4, Alcorn State 0
Singles competition 1. #10 Kristi Miller (GT) vs. Swetha Devaraj (AS) 6-1, 3-1, unfinished 2. #7 Amanda McDowell (GT) vs. Stefania Guzman (AS) 6-0, 5-2, unfinished 3. #51 Whitney McCray (GT) def. Katherine Hoepelman (AS) 6-0, 6-0 4. #77 Christy Striplin (GT) def. Claudia Gonzales (AS) 6-0, 6-0 5. #46 Kirsten Flower (GT) vs. Sarah Jo Peters (AS) 6-1, 4-0, unfinished 6. Noelle Hickey (GT) def. Felicia Chien (AS) 6-0, 6-0
Doubles competition 1. Miller/Sasha Krupina (GT) def. Devaraj/Peters (AS) 8-5 2. McCray/Hickey (GT) def. Guzman/Hoepelman (AS) 8-1 3. Kirsten Flower/Striplin (GT) def. Martina Garda/Avernelle Holder (AS) 8-0
Match Notes: Alcorn State 13-13 Georgia Tech 20-5; National ranking #3 Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (6,3,4) T-2:06 A-443