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Tech Advances at ITA Southeast Regionals

THE FLATS – On day three of the ITA Southeast Regionals, Georgia Tech advanced two doubles teams into the main draw semifinals, while Carol Lee and Mahak Jain clinched spots in the quarterfinals of singles.

Georgia Tech gained momentum early, pushing two doubles teams into the semifinals. In just under an hour, Tech’s top-ranked doubles team of Lee and Kate Sharabura downed Teodora Ristic and Mary Weston Courville (Mercer), 8-3. Leading 3-2, the Jackets won the next two games to take a 5-2 advantage and held strong to finish, 8-3.

Three courts down, Kylie Bilchev and Alejandra Cruz handled Florida State’s Ellie Schoppe and Anna Arkadiaou, 8-3. The opponents kept it close early on as Bilchev and Cruz held a 4-3 edge before Tech won the next four games to seal the victory.

In the quarterfinal round, Lee and Sharabura challenged Rachel Gailis and Bente Spee of Florida to the final point. It was a back-and-forth battle until the Jackets won a break to take a 5-3 lead. But the advantage was short-lived as Florida rallied back to 5-all. Both teams held serve in their next service games, forcing a tiebreak at 6-6. Lee and Sharabura opened with a 4-0 lead in the breaker, and maintained control, winning 7-3, to seal their place in the semifinals.

Minutes later Bilchev and Cruz solidified their place on Saturday, dominating Maya Tahan and Isabella Pfenning of Miami, 8-3. After the teams traded the first several games, they stood on serve at 3-all before Bilchev and Cruz won the next five games to clinch the match and a spot in the semifinals.

In singles action, Lee and Jain advanced to the quarterfinals with straight set wins on Saturday. Lee dominated Georgia’s Mai Nirundorn, dropping only three games en route to a 6-1, 6-2. Jain joins Lee in the quarterfinals after collecting a hard-fought decision against Mila Saric of Florida State. Trailing 4-5 in the first set, Jain took the next two games to go up 6-5 and took a set lead, winning 7-5. Jain gained the early lead in the second set, coming out with a 3-1 lead, but FSU battled to move it to 5-all. Jain broke Saric for a 6-5 lead and served out the match at 7-5 to clinch a spot in the quarterfinals.

Tech’s final competitor in the main draw, Bilchev battled Georgia’s Anastasiia Lopata into three sets. After dropping the first set, 6-2, Bilchev regrouped and took the second set, 6-4. The Jacket led 4-1 in the final set, but Lopata won three straight games to knot it at 4-4. Despite Bilchev earning a break in the next game for a 5-4 lead, Lopata fought off two match points and erased her deficit for a 7-5 win.

In consolation action, Alejandra Cruz picked up two straight set wins on the day. First, she topped Florida Gulf Coast’s Fanny Norin, 7-6 (3), 6-2. The Jacket trailed 6-5 in the first set before holding serve to force a tiebreak at 6-6. Cruz jumped out with a 3-0 lead in the breaker and extended her lead to 6-2 before closing out the set, 7-3. She carried momentum into the second set, cruising to a 6-2 win for the match victory. Cruz returned to the courts in the afternoon to face Mia Mack of Miami. The Jacket took home a 6-4, 6-1 win to move into the semifinals on Sunday.

Action continues on Sunday with two rounds of singles – quarterfinals and semifinals – followed by the doubles semifinals. Consolation will continue throughout the day. Play begins at 9 a.m.

Round of 16

No. 1 Carol Lee/Kate Sharabura (GT) def. Teodora Ristic/Mary Weston Courville (Mercer) 8-3
Kylie Bilchev/Alejandra Cruz (GT) def. Ellie Schoppe/Anna Arkadianou (FSU) 8-3
Alicia Dudeney/Carly Briggs (UF) def. Mahak Jain/Ruth Marsh (GT) 8-2

No. 1 Carol Lee/Kate Sharabura (GT) def. Rachel Gailis/Bente Spee (UF) 8-7 (3)
Kylie Bilchev/Alejandra Cruz (GT) def. Maya Tahan/Isabella Pfenning (UM) 8-3

Round of 16

No. 16 Carol Lee (GT) vs. Mai Nirundorn (UGA) 6-1, 6-2
Mahak Jain (GT) def. No. 75 Mila Saric (FSU) 7-5, 7-5
Anastasiia Lopata (UGA) def. No. 73 Kylie Bilchev (GT) 6-2, 4-6, 7-5

Alejandra Cruz (GT) def. Fanny Norin (FGCU) 7-6 (3), 6-2
Cliona Walsh (USF) def. Kate Sharabura (GT) 3-6, 7-6 (5), 10-3
Alejandra Cruz (GT) def. Mia Mack (UM) 6-4, 6-1



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