DURHAM, N.C. – Junior Kenya Jones took home a singles victory on Friday at No. 3 Duke, but No. 35 Georgia Tech fell to the Blue Devils at the Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center, 6-1. With the loss, Tech fell to 4-5 overall and 1-1 in ACC play.
DOUBLES ACTION: Duke took the 1-0 match lead winning a competitive doubles point that came down to the final game. After Duke took court one, 6-0, Georgia Tech evened the doubles field with a 6-3 triumph on court three. Leading 3-2 on court three, the Jackets’ tandem of Kenya Jones and Nadia Gizdova pulled out with a 4-3 advantage. The doubles pair pocketed the match 6-3, leaving the doubles point to be decided on court two where Gia Cohen and Nami Otsuka were battling Margaryta Bilokin and Meible Chi. The Jackets trailed early in the match, 2-1, but knotted it at 4-all. Duke won the next game to go up 5-4, but Cohen and Otsuka fought back, forcing a 6-all tiebreak. The Blue Devils raced out to a 5-0 lead in the tiebreak, but the Yellow Jackets climbed back to 5-4. The foes traded points until Duke led 7-6 and sealed the doubles point with an 8-6 win in the tiebreak.
SINGLES ACTION: Duke carried the momentum into singles play, clinching the match with three straight-set victories. The Blue Devils took a 3-0 lead with victories from Ellyse Hamlin on court six and No. 18 Meible Chi on court three. Duke dropped just two games en route to the pair of victories before the match was clinched from court five where No. 108 Kaitlyn McCarthy defeated Gia Cohen, 6-4, 6-2, sealing the 4-0 victory. McCarthy went up 4-2 in the first set, but Cohen worked her way to knot the set at 4-4. McCarthy captured the set, 6-4, and took the second set, 6-2, to clinch the win for Duke.
Duke added another victory from court two as No. 26 Kelly Chen notched a 6-4, 6-3 win over Otsuka. On the final two courts, No. 24 Kenya Jones and Victoria Flores split sets with their opponents to force super tiebreaks. Jones pocketed Tech’s only singles win of the afternoon from court one. The junior rebounded from dropping the first set, 6-1, to force a super tiebreak with a 6-4 second set victory. Jones controlled the super tiebreak, winning 10-5 to put Georgia Tech on the scoreboard. Duke rounded out play with a 6-2, 4-6, 1-0 (10-8) on court four for the final 6-1 tally.
QUOTABLE: “Today was a tough match and we fought hard. I’m happy for Kenya [Jones]. She had a great win over Maria Mateas who has one of the highest WTA rankings in college tennis. So that was a good win for her. We fought really hard in doubles that lasted over an hour. I thought we competed hard and played well. We need to keep building on the successes we’ve had recently. We’ve had a tough stretch playing the No. 1 [Georgia] and No. 3 teams and we need to just keep building and keep working.” – Head coach Rodney Harmon
UP NEXT: Georgia Tech returns to the Ken Byers Tennis Complex on Sunday to host No. 27 Syracuse. First serve is slated for noon.
1-No. 18 Ellyse Hamlin/Kaitlyn McCarthy (Duke) def. Valeriya Deminova/Victoria Flores (GT) 6-0
2-Margaryta Bilokin/Meible Chi (Duke) def. Gia Cohen/Nami Otsuka (GT) 7-6 (8-6)
3-Nadia Gizdova/Kenya Jones (GT) def. Kelly Chen/Maria Mateas (Duke) 6-3
Order of finish: 1,3,2
1-No. 24 Kenya Jones (GT) def. No. 22 Maria Mateas (Duke) 1-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-5)
2- No. 26 Kelly Chen (Duke) def. Nami Otsuka (GT) 6-4, 6-3
3- No. 18 Meible Chi (Duke) def. Valeriya Deminova (GT) 6-1, 6-0
4- Margaryta Bilokin (Duke) def. Victoria Flores (GT) 6-2, 4-6, 1-0 (10-8)
5- No. 108 Kaitlyn McCarthy (Duke) def. Gia Cohen (GT) 6-4, 6-2
6- No. 124 Ellyse Hamlin (Duke) def. Nadia Gizdova (GT) 6-0, 6-1
Order of finish: 6,3,5,2,1,4