May 14, 2004
Athens, Ga. – Freshmen Lindsey Stauss and Alison Silverio won in singles and doubles to lead the Georgia Tech women’s tennis team to a 4-0 victory over Alabama in the first round of the NCAA Tennis Championships Friday at the Dan Magill Tennis Center in Athens, Ga.
The Yellow Jackets (12-10) advanced to the regional finals, scheduled for Saturday at 5 p.m., where Tech will face the winner of Friday’s semifinal between host Georgia, the No. 6 national seed, and Samford. The 16 regional winners move on to next week’s NCAA Championships, also in Athens.
Tech captured the doubles point, then got straight-set singles wins from Stauss at No. 3, Silverio at No. 4 and senior Sekita Grant at No. 5 singles.
“It was a great team effort, starting with doubles,” said Tech head coach Bryan Shelton, the former Tech all-America and professional standout. “We didn’t end the regular season and ACC tournament the we wanted to, so this was definitely the way to turn things around.”
After Tech dropped the No. 1 doubles flight, Stauss, filling in for injured Lyndsay Shosho, teamed with senior Maria Nieto at No. 2 doubles for an 8-6 victory over Melissa Minor and Nathalie Koppelle. Stauss held serve in a marathon game to clinch the match.
Silverio and sophomore Kacie Anson then earned a 9-7 win at No. 3 doubles, downing Mari Muller and Sonja Nikolic to secure the doubles point.
“We got a huge win at No. 3 doubles, and that really set the tone for the match,” said Shelton, who has guided the Jackets to the NCAA Tournament each of the last five years. “It was a freshman (Silverio) and a sophomore (Anson) who really stepped up and came up with big service breaks when they needed them.”
In singles play, Grant quickly dispensed of Muller, 6-2, 6-0, at No. 5. Stauss defeated Koppelle, 6-2, 6-3, at the No. 3 flight, and moments later, Silverio clinched the victory with her 6-4, 6-3 win over Minor at No. 4 singles.
Nieto was leading by a set at No. 6 singles, but Shosho, whose leg injury prevented her from playing doubles, dropped the first set at No. 1 singles, as did Kelly Anderson at No. 2 singles.
“Lindsey [Stauss] is on a roll,” said Shelton. “She thinks she can beat anyone she plays, and today that confidence translated into two great matches. We’ve always seen how talented she is, and now she is putting the mental aspect of her game together.”
Tech, ranked 40th nationally and seeded third in the regional, won is first-round NCAA match for the fourth time in five years, improving to 4-4 in NCAA play.
The Crimson Tide, ranked 28th, finished the season at 13-11.
Saturday’s NCAA match can be followed live on www.ramblinwreck.com.
GEORGIA TECH 4, ALABAMA 0DOUBLES1. Bentley/Stephenson (UA) def. Anderson/Grant (GT), 8-42. Nieto/Stauss (GT) def. Minor/Kopelle (UA), 8-63. Kacie Anson/Silverio (GT) def. Muller/Nikolic (UA), 9-7*
SINGLES 1. Robinson Stephenson (UA) vs. Lyndsay Shosho (GT), DNF 2. Ashley Bentley (UA) vs. Kelly Anderson, DNF 3. Lindsey Stauss (GT) d. Nathalie Koppell (UA), 6-2, 6-3 4. Alison Silverio (GT) d. Melissa Minor (UA), 6-3, 6-4** 5. Sekita Grant (GT) def. Mari Muller (UA), 6-2, 6-0 6. Sonja Nikolic (UA) vs. Maria Nieto (GT), DNF
*Clinched Doubles Point Order of Doubles Finish: 1, 2, 3. **Clinched Match Point Order of Singles Finish: 5, 3, 4