ATLANTA (May 8) — Making the first NCAA Championships appearance in school history, the Georgia Tech women’s tennis team faces Washington in a first-round match Friday at 1 p.m. EDT at the Los Angeles Tennis Center in Los Angeles, Calif. The Yellow Jackets (13-7), ranked 37th in the nation by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, are seeded 33-48, while the Huskies (12-9), ranked 25th, are seeded 25-28.
The winner of the Tech-Washington match advances to the regional final Saturday at 6 p.m. EDT against the winner of the first-round match between Boston University and host UCLA. The winners of the 16 regionals advance to the NCAA Finals, May 18-21 at Pepperdine in Malibu, Calif.
Under first-year head coach Bryan Shelton, Tech posted a 13-7 record and tied for fourth place in the Atlantic Coast Conference, its best mark and highest finish since 1990, to earn the first post-season berth in the program’s 22-year history.
“This is an exciting opportunity for the Georgia Tech tennis program,” said Shelton. “Making the NCAA Tournament has been our goal all along, but we are not satisfied just to be there.
“We have a long way to travel and a very tough opponent in Washington, but we want to make the most of the this opportunity.”
The Jackets are led by freshman Jaime Wong (Delray Beach, Fla.), an all-Atlantic Coast Conference honoree and the conference champion at No. 4 singles with a 17-3 record. The Huskies feature the nation’s fourth-ranked singles player in Kristina Kraszewski.
Playing No. 1 singles for the Jackets is the team’s only senior, Sabrina Pardo (Aix En Provence, France), who has a dual match record of 9-11. Freshman Mysti Morris (Cartersville, Ga.), 13-6, will fill the No. 2 spot, with junior Bobbi Guthrie (Raleigh, N.C.), 12-8, at No. 3. Sophomore Laura Ozolins (Toronto, Ontario), with a 15-5 record, will play in the No. 5 spot, while freshman Charlotte Pernet (Dijon, France), with a 13-5 record, rounds out the singles lineup at No. 6.
The Jacket’s doubles lineup will feature ACC flight champions Morris and Wong (12-7) in the No. 2 spot. Pardo and Guthrie, 10-8, will play in the No. 1 spot, with Ozolins and Pernet, 7-9, teaming up in the No. 3 spot.
Tech and Washington have met once before, with the Huskies earning a 6-3 victory on March 24, 1991. The only common opponent between the two schools in 2000 is Duke, which defeated both teams.
Shelton has guided the Yellow Jackets to the NCAA Tournament in his first season as head coach, but he is no stranger to tournament play. The former Tech All-America participated in the NCAA Individual Championships in 1985 and 1988, reaching the quarterfinals as a senior. Shelton also played No. 2 singles for Tech’s first NCAA Tournament team in 1988, when the Yellow Jackets lost to Michigan in the first round.