May 31, 2005
ATLANTA – The record-breaking Georgia Tech women’s tennis team concluded the 2005 season as the nation’s sixth-ranked team, which sets a new record for highest final ranking for any women’s athletics team at the Institute.
The previous high for any Yellow Jacket women’s squad was a final ranking of No. 7 in the nation by the 2003 Georgia Tech volleyball team.
The Yellow Jackets’ 21-4 record in 2005 set a new mark for most victories in a singles season, breaking the previous mark of 17, set in 1989 and 1990. The team’s .840 winning percentage also set a new record after the 1981 team’s 13-4 record (.765) held the previous high for more than 20 years. For their effort this season, the Yellow Jackets were named the No. 6 national seed in the NCAA Championships, marking the first time in the history of the program that Georgia Tech were seeded in postseason play.
The sixth-seeded and then-5th-ranked Yellow Jackets then proceeded to defeat Winthrop and Pepperdine in 4-0 contests in the Atlanta Regional, to progress to its first Round of 16 in history, where they fell to eventual national runner-up Texas, 4-3.
Behind the play of one senior, three juniors, a sophomore and three freshmen, the 2005 women’s tennis team captured the first ACC Tournament Championship for any tennis team in Georgia Tech history, and did so by entering the tournament as the top seed after winning the regular season championship with a 9-1 conference record.
The Yellow Jackets also had three players named to the all-conference team in 2005, while also earning Rookie and Coach of the Year honors for the ACC. For the second-straight season, Georgia Tech also earned the ACC Sportsmanship Award, which is voted on by the other teams within the conference.
This season, the team recorded 19 wins over ranked opponents, including seven against teams that finished the season ranked in the top-25. In comparison, the Yellow Jackets recorded just eight wins over ranked opponents a season ago, and only four over teams that were ranked in the top-50.
Georgia Tech’s No. 4 ranking on April 26th was the highest ranking ever achieved by a women’s sports team at the Institute, while two Yellow Jacket individuals earned the highest singles and doubles ranking ever achieved in Georgia Tech history.
Kristi Miller, a rookie from Marysville, Mich., was named the ACC Rookie of the Year and the ITA South Region Rookie of the Year and became the first women’s tennis All-American in Georgia Tech history when she earned one of the 16 national seeds in the NCAA Individual Singles Championships in late May.
One of Tech’s three all-conference players, Miller concluded the season with a 42-11 singles record, shattering the previous mark of 30 to set the record for most singles victories in a season. Her .792 winning percentage ranks fourth for highest singles winning percentage in a single season.
The freshman became just the third Yellow Jacket to be selected to the NCAA Individual Singles Championships and the only one to win a match in the tournament, as she advanced to the Round of 16 this year before falling to the runner-up and National Rookie of the Year Audra Cohen of Northwestern in three sets.
Teaming with sophomore Alison Silverio, Miller also set the single-season record for most doubles victories, as the duo both had 29 total doubles wins this season and teamed together for a 26-13 record that earned them a spot in the NCAA Individual Doubles Championships. It marked the first time in the history of the program that a doubles team had earned a spot in the postseason tournament.
Silverio earned all-ACC honors for the first time in her career and recorded 30 singles and 29 doubles victories on the year. Aside from setting the mark for most doubles wins in a season with Miller, she tied for second for most singles victories in a season and tied for fifth for best singles winning percentage in a single season, as she won three-quarters of her singles matches in 2005. Her 44-30 record in doubles play is currently sixth in the Georgia Tech annals for highest doubles winning percentage in a career.
Junior Kelly Anderson is the only current Georgia Tech player that appears in all four career categories, as the junior currently has 60 career singles victories (8th) and 53 doubles wins (T-8th), and holds a career .652 singles winning percentage (5th) and a .582 doubles winning percentage, which stands eighth in the Tech annals. Anderson recorded 26 doubles victories in 2005, placing her third for most doubles wins in a season.
A native of Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, Anderson earned second-team All-Academic District III honors for the second time in her career, as she owns a 3.87 GPA in management in her three years on the Flats.
Also joining Anderson in the top-10 for most singles wins in a season were junior Lyndsay Shosho (27, T-6th) and senior Dasha Potapova (25, T-9th), while Potapova also cracked the top-10 list for most doubles victories in a season, standing tied for 6th with 22 doubles wins in 2005.
Rounding out the record-breaking season for the Yellow Jackets were Whitney McCray and Kacie Anson, both of whom appear in the top-10 for doubles winning percentage in a single-season. Anson’s 16-6 doubles record makes her fourth on the list with a .727 winning percentage, while McCray’s 17-4 mark in doubles action gives her a .810 winning percentage, breaking the previous mark of .792, set in 1988.
Head coach Bryan Shelton has had eight all-ACC recipients in his six-year tenure on the Flats, including the three players from this season, and for his efforts in 2005, was named the ACC Coach of the Year and the ITA South Region Coach of the Year. His 87 career victories in six years is tops all-time in the Georgia Tech annals for most victories by a Yellow Jacket head women’s tennis coach, surpassing Julie Wrege’s mark of 86 career wins, set in eight seasons on the Flats.
Beside Shelton, assistant coach Nannie de Villiers earned the ITA South Region Coach of the Year award for the first time in her career.