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No. 5 Virginia Edges Women’s Tennis, 5-2

THE FLATS – Georgia Tech women’s tennis won the doubles point for the early lead, but No. 5 Virginia answered in singles play to capture a 5-2 victory Friday afternoon at the Ken Byers Tennis Complex. Georgia Tech dropped to 6-5 overall and 2-1 in Atlantic Coast Conference play.

In an exciting doubles point, Georgia Tech clinched the early match lead with victories on courts one and three. Competing on court one, Tech’s No. 18 doubles team of Carol Lee and Kate Sharabura dominated Virginia’s No. 17 Hibah Shaikh and Natasha Subhash, grabbing an early break to take a 3-2 lead. The Jackets pushed their advantage out to 5-2 and sealed the win, 6-3.

Kylie Bilchev and Alejandra Cruz clinched the doubles point on court three, topping Annabelle Xu and Sara Ziodato. On serve at 3-all, the Jackets earned a break to take a 4-3 lead and carried momentum into a 6-3 victory to give Tech an 1-0 match lead entering singles play. Court two was abandoned after the point was clinched, but Scarlett Nicholson and Given Roach rallied back from a 1-3 deficit to 4-5.

Virginia responded in singles action, winning the first five matches to erase its deficit and seal the win. Ziodato evened the match score from four, collecting a straight-set win before the Cavaliers gained their first lead of the match from court two. Shaikh maintained control over Bilchev for a 6-1, 6-2 decision.

Subhash cushioned Virginia’s lead on court three. After dropping the first set, 6-2, Cruz battled back to grab a 4-1 lead in the second set. But the Cavalier answered rattling off five-straight games to pocket the match, 6-2, 6-4, setting up a 3-1 lead for Virginia.

Virginia clinched the win from court five where Elaine Chervinsky topped Nicholson in straight-sets. The two worked to a first set tiebreak at 6-6 and Chervinsky grabbed a 3-0 lead in the breaker, but Nicholson fought back to 3-3. Knotted at 5-all, Chervinsky won the next two points to take the first set, 7-6 (5) and did not drop a game in the second, to seal the win for the Cavaliers.

Melodie Collard extended Virginia’s lead, holding on for a three-set win on six over Sharabura. After dropping the first set, Sharabura cruised in the second to split the first two sets, 2-6, 6-3. But Collard jumped out with the lead in the final set and took the win, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.

Play concluded on court one where Lee faced Xu. In a 3-3 standstill in the first set, Lee broke the exchange and won three straight games to take the opening set, 6-3. Lee and Xu were on serve at 5-5 in the second set before Lee earned a break to go up 6-5 and served out the match, 7-5.

Georgia Tech returns to action on Sunday, March 3, welcoming Virginia Tech. First serve is slated for noon at the Ken Byers Tennis Complex.

1. No. 18 Carol Lee/Kate Sharabura (GT) def. No. 17 Hibah Shaikh/Natasha Subhash (UVA) 6-3
2. Scarlett Nicholson/Given Roach (GT) vs. No. 20 Elaine Chervinsky/Melodie Collard (UVA) 4-5, DNF
3. Kylie Bilchev/Alejandra Cruz (GT) def. Annabelle Xu/Sara Ziodato (UVA) 6-3*
Order of finish: 1,3*

1. No. 39 Carol Lee (GT) def. No. 113 Annabelle Xu (UVA) 6-3, 7-5
2. No. 20 Hibah Shaikh (UVA) def. Kylie Bilchev (GT) 6-1, 6-2
3. Natasha Subhash (UVA) def. Alejandra Cruz (GT) 6-2, 6-4
4. No. 72 Sara Ziodato (UVA) def. Mahak Jain (GT) 6-2, 6-2
5. No. 65 Elaine Chervinsky (UVA) def. Scarlett Nicholson (GT) 7-6 (7-5), 6-0*
6. No. 92 Melodie Collard (UVA) def. Kate Sharabura (GT) 6-2, 3-6, 6-3
Order of finish: 4,2,3,5*,6,1


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