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Tech Handles No. 17 Notre Dame, 5-2

SOUTH BEND, Ind. –Behind the doubles point and four singles victories, Georgia Tech women’s tennis opened Atlantic Coast Conference play with a 5-2 victory over No. 17 Notre Dame on Friday afternoon in the Eck Tennis Pavilion. The win pushed Tech to 6-2 overall on the season.

Switching up the doubles lineup, Georgia Tech won a hard-fought doubles point to take a 1-0 lead in the match. Coming down to the final court, Georgia Tech and Notre Dame traded the first two matches to leave the decision on court three. The Fighting Irish took court one, 6-3, but the Yellow Jackets won the next two matches in tiebreaks to clinch the early lead.

On court two, Kate Sharabura and Monika Dedaj held match point over Carrie Beckman and Julia Andreach at 5-4, but ND evened the match at 5-5 and forced a tiebreak at 6-6. Tech quickly went up 4-2 in the tiebreak and held for a 7-3 win in the breaker, forcing all eyes to turn to court three.

It was a back-and-forth battle on court three as Carol Lee and Rosie Garcia Gross held a narrow 5-4 lead against Yashna Yellayi and Rylie Hanford. But the opponents traded games to a 6-6 standstill. In the tiebreak, Tech went up 4-2 and extended its lead to 5-3. The Fighting Irish kept it close, but the Jackets won the final two points to clinch the doubles point.

Notre Dame took four first sets of singles play and the first two matches to grab their only lead of the day. The Fighting Irish got on the scoreboard with a straight-set win on court five before Yellayi defeated Mahak Jain on court three, 6-2, 2-6, 6-4, to setup a 2-1 score in favor of the home squad.

The lead was short-lived, though, as Tech quickly took it away when Ruth Marsh captured court six over Akari Matsuno. Marsh trailed early in the first set, 3-1, but regrouped and answered back, knotting the set at 5-5. Marsh took the 6-5 lead, but Matsuno extended the opening set at 6-6. Marsh won the tiebreak and grabbed a 4-3 advantage in the second set. The Jacket held for the win, 7-6 (5), 6-4, to even the match at 2-2.

Tech won the final three singles matches, all in three set fashion, to secure the match. Freshman Alejandra Cruz returned the permanent lead to Georgia Tech from court four. After dropping the first set to Beckman, Cruz battled to the finish line. She quickly gained momentum in the second set, opening with a 5-1 lead, splitting sets with Beckman. Coming down to the wire in the third set, Cruz and Beckman stood tied at 5-5. The Jacket won at deuce to go up 6-5, but Beckman forced a tiebreak, winning the next game. Beckman took a 3-0 lead in the tiebreak, but Cruz rallied back, evening the breaker at 5-5. She won the final two points to take the match, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (5).

Bilchev clinched the match for Georgia Tech from court two. At 5-5 against Andreach in the opening set, Bilchev won the next two games to take the set, 7-5. But Andreach answered with a 6-3 second set win to even the playing field. Notre Dame could not carry momentum over to the third set as Bilchev jumped out with a 5-0 lead and clinched the match, 7-5, 3-6, 6-1, sealing the victory for Tech at 4-2.

Play concluded at the top court where Lee collected a three-set win over Page Freeman, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 7-6 (4). After splitting the first two sets, Freeman looked on track to take the match, opening the final set with a 5-1 lead. But Lee snapped the Irish run and took the next five games, grabbing a 6-5 advantage. Freeman won the next game, setting up the second tiebreaker in three sets. Lee gained control in the tiebreak, sealing the victory, 7-4, and finalizing the 5-2 Georgia Tech win.

The Yellow Jackets continue league play at Louisville on Sunday, Feb. 26. First serve is slated for noon at the Bass-Rudd Tennis Center.


1. Page Freeman/Bojana Pozder (ND) def. Kylie Bilchev/Alejandra Cruz (GT) 6-3
2. Kate Sharabura/Monika Dedaj (GT) def. Carrie Beckman/Julia Andreach (ND) 7-6 (7-3)
3. Carol Lee/Rosie Garcia Gross (GT) def. Yashna Yellayi/Rylie Hanford (ND) 7-6 (7-4)*
Order of finish: 1,2,3*
*Clinched the doubles point


1.No. 14 Carol Lee (GT) def. No. 81 Page Freeman (ND) 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 7-6 (7-4)
2. No. 40 Kylie Bilchev (GT) def. Julia Andreach (ND) 7-5, 3-6, 6-1
3. Yashna Yellayi (ND) def. No. 108 Mahak Jain (GT) 6-2, 2-6, 6-4
4. Alejandra Cruz (GT) def. Carrie Beckman (ND) 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5)^
5. Bojana Pozder (ND) def. Rosie Garcia Gross (GT) 6-3, 6-2
6. Ruth Marsh (GT) def. Akari Matsuno (ND) 7-6 (7-5), 6-4
Order of finish: 5,3,6,4^,2,1
^Clinched the overall match

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