April 7, 2005
ATLANTA – The eighth-ranked Georgia Tech women’s tennis team will wrap up the regular season with a four-match homestand beginning this weekend at the Bill Moore Tennis Center. The Yellow Jackets (13-2, 6-0 ACC) will play host to No. 34 Florida State (9-8, 4-4 ACC) Saturday at 11 a.m. before facing the ninth-ranked Miami Hurricanes Sunday at 12 p.m.
Miami enters the weekend with a 17-2 record while standing 8-0 in conference play and will play at Clemson Saturday before traveling to Atlanta for Sunday’s match.
“This weekend we are definitely going to have our hands full with to strong opponents,” said Georgia Tech head coach Bryan Shelton, “but we are on a good stretch right now, and we really want to finish strong in the regular season.”
“We are excited about the opportunity that we have to finish at home and we are certainly excited about the number of fans that are going to come out and support us this weekend because that support is vital for us to continue to have the success that we’ve had up until now.”
Yellow Jacket rookie Kristi Miller is currently ranked 14th in singles and 15th with partner Alison Silverio in doubles according to the latest polls, while the team is ranked eighth and is riding a eight-match win streak entering this weekend’s matches. Dasha Potapova has cracked the top-125 in singles for the second time this season, appearing at No. 115 this week. Georgia Tech is 1-1 on the season against teams ranked in the top-10 and has a stellar 7-2 record against teams in the top-50, with its only losses coming to No. 6 Vanderbilt and No. 18 Harvard.
With Georgia Tech’s 5-2 victory at Maryland a week ago, the Yellow Jackets won their sixth conference match of the season, a feat that has never before been accomplished by a Georgia Tech women’s tennis team. Under current head coach Bryan Shelton, the Yellow Jackets are 26-20 in ACC matches after owning a 21-98 mark against their conference opponents prior to his return to the Flats.
Florida State enters Saturday’s match on a three-match losing skid after facing No. 36 Wake Forest, No. 14 UNC and No. 12 Duke in the last week. The Seminoles are led this season by senior Mihaela Moldovan, ranked 17th in the nation in singles action and 11th with Lindsay Deason in doubles play. FSU holds a 16-3 lead in the series with the Yellow Jackets, however Tech has recorded two of its three victories against the Seminoles under Shelton.
“With Florida State, it seems like we’ve had a long rivalry with them, going back and forth, since I’ve been here,” said Shelton. “They are always a tough opponent for us, so we’ll be fired up and ready to go on Saturday because we know that they are capable of playing great tennis.”
Miami is currently one of the hottest teams in the nation, entering Saturday’s match at Clemson with a 15-match winning streak. The Hurricanes have the nation’s top singles player on their roster in Megan Bradley, while Emily Mowery (84), Patricia Starzyk (107) and Melissa Applebaum (124) are also ranked among the top-125 singles players. Bradley and Audrey Banada also combine to form the fifth-ranked duo in the nation. While the Hurricanes have never faced Tech as a member of the ACC, they still hold a 3-1 edge in the series, with Tech winning the last meeting, 4-3, in Miami in 2001.
“I think Miami has obviously shown that they came into the conference and have taken it by storm this year with wins over Duke and UNC,” Shelton said. “I think it helps having the No. 1 player in the country in Megan Bradley. She’s just a great competitor and I’m looking forward to a great match with Kristi (Miller) this weekend.”
Following this weekend’s matches, the Yellow Jackets will conclude the regular season by hosting No. 12 Duke and No. 14 North Carolina next weekend at the Bill Moore Tennis Center.