EVANSTON, Ill. – Georgia Tech’s 4th-ranked doubles team of Paige Hourigan and Kenya Jones upset the top-ranked doubles pair in the country, Maddie Lipp and Erin Larner, to clinch the doubles point, but it wasn’t enough on Friday as the Jackets suffered just their second setback of the season, falling at No. 8 Northwestern, 4-2.
DOUBLES ACTION: Tied at 4-all on court three, Tech’s Nami Otsuka and Victoria Flores broke Inci Ogut/Julie Byrne to take a 5-4 edge. Tech served out the match to capture the first doubles match, 6-4. Northwestern quickly evened the field, winning on court two as the 23rd-ranked pair of Alex Chatt and Lee Or defeated Tech’s No. 62 Ida Jarlskog/Johnnise Renaud, 6-4, forcing all eyes to turn to court one for the deciding match.
It was a top-five matchup on court one as Tech’s No. 4 ranked tandem of Hourigan/Jones was battling the nation’s No. 1 pair of Lipp/Larner. The Wildcats opened with a 3-1 lead, but the Jackets quickly pulled back and knotted the match at 3-3. Tied at 4-all, Tech broke Northwestern to take a 5-4 edge, but the Wildcats got back on serve at 5-5. Both teams held serve to force a tiebreak at 6-all. Tech took the first three points in the tiebreak before Northwestern got on the board. Leading 3-2, the Jackets claimed the next four points to clinch the doubles point.
SINGLES ACTION: Trailing 1-0 after doubles, Northwestern opened singles play claiming first sets on five courts against the Jackets. The Wildcats got on the scoreboard from No. 5 where Ogut defeated Otsuka, 6-2, 6-1, before grabbing their first lead of the match with a 6-1, 6-3 triumph at No. 3. Northwestern took a 3-1 match lead when No. 85 Or topped Renaud at the two seed, 6-2, 6-3.
Tech needed the remaining three singles matches to win the match and picked up its first singles win from court four where No. 116 Jarlskog edged Chatt, 7-5, 6-4. But it would be Tech’s only singles win of the afternoon as Northwestern clinched the match at No. 6 despite Flores forcing a third set against Byrne. After dropping the first set 6-2, Flores cruised in the second, winning the set 6-0 to force a deciding third set. Byrne proved victorious, winning 6-3, and clinched the match for Northwestern.
UP NEXT: Georgia Tech returns to Atlanta and ACC action welcoming Miami on Wednesday, March 14. First serve at the Ken Byers Tennis Complex is slated for 3 p.m.
No. 5 GEORGIA TECH at No. 8 NORTHWESTERN RESULTS
Match Score: Northwestern 4, Georgia Tech 2
1. No. 4 Paige Hourigan/Kenya Jones (GT) def. No. 1 Maddie Lipp/Erin Larner (NU) 7-6 (7-2)
2. No. 23 Alex Chatt/Lee Or (NU) def. No. 62 Ida Jarlskog/Johnnise Renaud (GT) 6-4
3. Nami Otsuka/Victoria Flores (GT) def. Inci Ogut/Julie Byrne (NU) 6-4
Order of finish: 3,2,1
1. No. 25 Paige Hourigan (GT) vs. No. 50 Erin Larner (NU) 4-6, 6-3, 2-2, DNF
2. No. 85 Lee Orr (GT) def. Johnnise Renaud (GT) 6-2, 6-3
3. No. 58 Maddie Lipp (NU) def. Kenya Jones (GT) 6-1, 6-3
4. No. 116 Ida Jarlskog (GT) def. Alex Chatt (NU) 7-5, 6-4
5. Inci Ogut (NU) def. Nami Otsuka (GT) 6-2, 6-1
6. Julie Byrne (NU) def. Victoria Flores (GT) 6-2, 0-6, 6-3
Order of finish: 5, 3, 2, 4, 6