Feb. 22, 2009
ATLANTA – Yellow Jacket freshman Irina Falconi upset the No. 1 player in the nation but it was not enough as the No. 4 Georgia Tech women’s tennis team (5-2) dropped a 5-2 decision to No. 1 Northwestern (8-0) Sunday at the Bill Moore Tennis Center.
The match ends an eight-day stretch that saw the Jackets face the nation’s top-three teams with Tech upsetting then No. 3 UCLA but falling to top-ranked Northwestern and No. 2 California.
“I thought Northwestern played extremely well today,” head coach Bryan Shelton said. “To come in here and beat us on our home court, they had to play well and they did. We played and competed very well today as well. We have to continue to work on our preperation every single day.”
The Wildcats opened the day by sweeping all three doubles matches from the Yellow Jackets. Northwestern’s 31st-ranked duo of Lauren Lui and Georgia Rose upset No. 5 Amanda McDowell and Falconi, 8-2, in the top spot of the lineup to clinch the point for the Wildcats.
Northwestern moved ahead 2-0 with a 6-2, 6-4 win by No. 43 Samantha Murray over 38th-ranked Christy Striplin in the third singles flight.
Falconi, the nation’s 13th-ranked player, pulled the Jackets within one of the Wildcats when she outlasted No. 1 Maria Mosolova, 6-3, 2-6, 6-4, at the top spot in the lineup.
“Irina played like a champ today,” Shelton said. “To get it done against the No. 1 player in the country is not but she used her tools well.”
The Wildcats pushed the lead to 3-1 with a three-set victory by No. 25 Georgia Rose over No. 10 Amanda McDowell. Rose won the first set 7-6 but McDowell came right back with a 6-3 win in the second set. Rose took the third set 6-1.
No. 77 Noelle Hickey brought the Jackets back with a decisive 6-4, 6-0 win over No. 84 Lauren Lui in the fourth position.
Sasha Krupina did everything she could to keep the Jackets in the match but fell in three sets to Nazlie Ghazal at the fifth spot in the lineup. Krupina dropped the first set 6-1 but responded with a 6-4 win in the second set. The two women went back and forth in the third set before Ghazal broke Krupina for a 6-4 win to clinch the match for the Wildcats.
The Yellow Jackets will return to action Wednesday when they open Atlantic Coast Conference play at No. 14 Clemson. The match is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.
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