THE FLATS – Behind the doubles point and a trio of singles wins, the No. 4 Georgia Tech women’s tennis team upset No. 3 Duke, 4-2, on Friday afternoon at the Ken Byers Tennis Complex. The win pushed Tech to 15-4 overall and 7-2 in league play, while snapping Duke’s 10-match win streak and handing the Blue Devils (16-2, 8-1 ACC) their first ACC loss of the season and just second setback overall.
DOUBLES ACTION: The Jackets grabbed a 1-0 lead clinching an intense doubles point that came down to a pair of matches in tiebreaks. Duke opened taking the edge in doubles play, cruising to a 6-1 victory on court three. The Jackets evened the competition, winning a hard-fought match at No. 2 where Ida Jarlskog and Victoria Flores faced Duke’s No. 5 Kelly Chen/Samantha Harris. The tandems played through a competitive match as the teams stood at a standstill at 6-all heading into a tiebreak. The intensity carried through the tiebreak as the Jackets and Blue Devils stood at 5-5 before Tech went ahead 6-5. The Jackets won the match on the next point for a 7-6 (7-5) victory.
With the win at No. 2, the doubles point would come down to the top seed where No. 2 Paige Hourigan and Kenya Jones led 5-2 over No. 7 Kaitlyn McCarthy/Ellyse Hamlin. The Blue Devils strung together four straight points to take a 6-5 edge, but Tech knotted the match at 6-all to force a deciding tiebreak. The Jackets came out with a 4-2 lead in the tiebreak and held for a 7-6 (7-4) win to clinch the point.
SINGLES ACTION: The teams traded singles wins to open singles play as the score stood tied at 2-all. The Blue Devils picked up wins from the two and three seeds, while Tech’s Flores downed Hannah Zhao at the six seed, 6-3, 6-2, for a 2-2 contest.
Due to a brief rainstorm, play was suspended outside at 2-all and moved indoors. Once inside, Otsuka pushed Tech back in front, 3-2, grabbing a 7-5, 6-4 decision over No. 85 Ellyse Hamlin at the five seed. As Jarlskog forced a deciding third set from No. 4 against No. 79 Kaitlyn McCarthy, teammate Hourigan clinched the match from No. 1.
The senior took the first set over No. 4 Harris, 6-3, but dropped the second set, 6-2. Battling in the third set, Hourigan broke to go up 3-2. Both Hourigan and Harris held serve for a 5-3 tally before Hourigan broke Harris on a double-fault to clinch the match with a 6-3 third set win.
QUOTABLE: “It was a function of fighting. Duke has a great team. I was proud of our team today – proud of their effort, how hard they fought and how they stayed together. The doubles point was key. I’m hoping we can play with a little more consistency because we’ve been up and down this year. We’ve got to rest and get ready for a really big match on Sunday against Wake Forest.” – head coach Rodney Harmon
UP NEXT: Tech continues this homestand on Sunday, welcoming No. 27 Wake Forest. First serve is slated for noon.
No. 4 GEORGIA TECH vs. No. 3 DUKE RESULTS
Match Score: Georgia Tech 4, Duke 2
1. No. 2 Paige Hourigan/Kenya Jones (GT) def. No. 7 Kaitlyn McCarthy/Ellyse Hamlin (DUKE) 7-6 (7-4)
2. Ida Jarlskog/Victoria Flores (GT) def. No. 5 Kelly Chen/Samantha Harris (DUKE) 7-6 (7-5)
3. Meible Chi/Hannah Zhao (DUKE) def. Johnnise Renaud/Nami Otsuka (GT) 6-1
Order of finish: 3,2,1
1. No. 22 Paige Hourigan (GT) def. No. 4 Samantha Harris (DUKE) 6-3, 2-6, 6-3
2. No. 63 Meible Chi (DUKE) def. Johnnise Renaud (GT) 6-3, 6-2
3. No. 26 Kelly Chan (DUKE) def. No. 64 Kenya Jones (GT) 6-3, 6-4
4. Ida Jarlskog (GT) vs. No. 79 Kaitlyn McCarthy (DUKE) 5-7, 7-5, DNF
5. Nami Otsuka (GT) def. No. 85 Ellyse Hamlin (DUKE) 7-5, 6-4
6. Victoria Flores (GT) vs. Hannah Zhao (DUKE) 6-3, 6-2
Order of finish: 2,6,3,5,1
Records: Georgia Tech (15-4, 7-2 ACC); Duke (16-2, 8-1 ACC)