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Tech Women's Tennis Falls In Season Opener to No. 4 Vanderbilt

Jan. 25, 2002

ATLANTA — The Georgia Tech women’s tennis team battled in each of its matches on Friday afternoon, but was unable to rally to defeat Vanderbilt, falling by a 6-1 score in its opening dual match of the year at the Bill Moore Tennis Center.

“I think that Vanderbilt is a very good team and they showed that today,” said Tech head coach Bryan Shelton. “They had five matches under their belts this year whereas this was our first dual match of the year. I’m very pleased with the effort, hustle and attitudes of our team and I think the only difference in the match was that Vanderbilt came in believing they would win and we were just trying to find a way to win.”

The Commodores (6-0) took control of the match early on, as they won a pair of doubles matches to open the day. The first win came in the No. 3 spot, as the team of Kelly Schmandt and Jenny Miller downed Tech’s duo of Sekita Grant and Laura Ozolins by an 8-1 score.

The Yellow Jackets (0-1) evened things on the doubles ledger at one apiece in the No. 2 match, as junior Mason Miller and freshman Catherine Gunn claimed an impressive 8-5 win over Vanderbilt’s Kate Burson and Annie Menees. The Commodores claimed the doubles’ point when the team of Sarah Riske and Aleke Tsoubanos defeated the Jackets’ team of Mysti Morris and Jaime Wong by an 8-6 score.

Following a doubles win with partner Miller, Gunn would keep her career dual-match record perfect on the day in singles action, as she claimed Tech’s lone win with a hard-fought 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-2 decision over No. 82 Katie Blaszak. After cruising in the first set, Gunn battled in the second set tiebreaker, falling just short, before once again finding her momentum in the third set, winning that frame decisively.

“Catherine was great for us today,” said Shelton. “She been playing very well and playing with a lot of confidence. Even though she’s a freshman, she’s not too scared on the court and I know she’s excited about the way she’s been playing and I’m excited for her as well.”

Another newcomer to the Tech lineup, sophomore transfer Sekita Grant, showed promise in her match-up at No. 4 singles, as she won the first set from Vandy’s Kelly Schmandt by a 7-5 score. Grant was unable to hold on in the second set, falling 6-4, before Schmandt rolled in the third set, 6-2.

Perhaps the tightest match of the day came at No. 2 singles, as Tech junior Mysti Morris dueled with Vanderbilt’s Jenny Miller, in a two-set match. Miller won the first set 7-6 in a tiebreak, as she took control in the breaker, winning 7-2. The second set proved to be equally as close, with Miller once again taking the upper hand by a 6-4 margin.

The Yellow Jackets will not get much time to rest before returning to action, as they will host a pair of dual matches on Sunday, beginning with Georgia State at 10 a.m. and following that with Chattanooga at 3 p.m. Both matches will be played at the Bill Moore Tennis Center on the Tech campus.

VANDERBILT 6, GEORGIA TECH

SINGLES Sarah Riske (V) d. Jaime Wong (GT), 6-2, 6-3 Jenny Miller (V) d. Mysti Morris (GT), 7-6 (2), 6-4 Catherine Gunn (GT) d. Katie Blaszak (V), 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-2 Kate Burson (V) d. Sekita Grant (GT), 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 Kelly Schmandt (V) d. Laura Ozolins (GT), 6-2, 7-5 Annie Menees (V) d. Mason Miller (GT), 6-1, 6-1

DOUBLES Riske/Tsoubanos (V) d. Wong/Morris (GT), 8-6 Gunn/Miller (GT) d. Burson/Menees (V), 8-5 Schmandt/Miller (V) d. Grant/Ozolins (GT), 8-1

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