WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The Georgia Tech women’s tennis team battled to the final point, but wasn’t able to rally for a victory Monday morning, falling to top-seeded Vanderbilt, 4-2, in the NCAA Championship semifinals. Tech capped the season with a 25-6 overall record after making only the second trip to the NCAA semifinals in program history.
DOUBLES ACTION: Vanderbilt grabbed wins at the two and three positions to take the early lead over Tech. The Jackets’ Victoria Flores and Ida Jarlskog fell behind 3-0 to Vandy’s Emma Kurtz and Emily Smith, but fought back to a 4-3 tally. The Commodores won the next two points to secure the 6-3 win and give Vandy the edge in doubles.
The point was clinched from the three position. Johnnise Renaud and Nami Otsuka climbed out with a 2-0 advantage, but Christina Rosca and Amanda Meyer evened it at 2-all. The tandems stood tied at 3-3 before Vandy took a 5-4 edge and closed out the match with a 6-4 win to seal the 1-0 lead for the Commodores entering singles play.
SINGLES: Tech produced a late rally, cutting its deficit to 3-2 and putting pressure on Vanderbilt. The Commodores, who had not lost a point in four rounds of the tournament, took a 2-0 lead after winning on court one, 6-0, 6-3. But Otsuka followed winning her match on court five in straight sets over Kurtz, 6-1, 6-3, to setup a 2-1 tally.
Vanderbilt extended its lead with a straight set, 6-4, 6-4 win from court two before Jarlskog cut the score to 3-2, dominating on court four over Meyer, 6-2, 6-4.
Competing at No. 6, Flores forced a third set after dropping the first, 6-2, winning the second set, 7-5 over Summer Dvorak. But Vanderbilt rallied from a set down on court three to also force a deciding third set. The Commodores raced out to a 5-1 lead in each of the third sets and despite Renaud fighting off several match points on court three to draw the score to 5-3, Rosca clinched the match with a 6-3 third set win.
QUOTABLE: “For us, this was an amazing tournament. Today, we weren’t able to have enough comebacks against them [Vanderbilt]. Vanderbilt is a great team. They are well-coached and they played extremely well. We fought as hard as we could fight and I’m really proud of our team. I really proud of our effort each day.
“This was an incredible season. Our schedule was very difficult. When we looked at the teams in the quarterfinals, we had wins over five of the teams. Our schedule being so tough helped us when we played really tough matches. I’m just really proud of my team. They were able to come together, play for each other and fight hard.” – head coach Rodney Harmon
No. 4 GEORGIA TECH vs No. 2 VANDERBILT RESULTS
Match Score: Vanderbilt 4, Georgia Tech 2
1. No. 1 Paige Hourigan/Kenya Jones (GT) vs. No.11 Astra Sharma/Fernanda Contreras (VANDY) 5-5, DNF
2. No. 69 Emma Kurtz/Emily Smith (VANDY) def. No. 48 Ida Jarlskog/Victoria Flores (GT) 6-3
3. Christina Rosca/Amanda Meyer (VANDY) def. Johnnise Renaud/Nami Otsuka (GT) 6-4
Order of finish: 2, 3
1. No. 11 Astra Sharma (VANDY) def. No. 14 Paige Hourigan (GT) 6-0, 6-3
2. No. 10 Fernanda Contreras (VANDY) def. No. 60 Kenya Jones (GT) 6-4, 6-4
3. No. 44 Christina Rosca (VANDY) def. Johnnise Renaud (GT) 2-6, 7-6 (6), 6-3
4. No. 125 Ida Jarlskog (GT) def. Amanda Meyer (VANDY) 6-2, 6-4
5. Nami Otsuka (GT) def. Emma Kurtz (VANDY) 6-1, 6-3
6. Victoria Flores (GT) vs. Summer Dvorak (VANDY) 2-6, 7-5, 2-5 DNF
Order of finish: 1, 5, 2, 4, 3
Records: Georgia Tech (25-5); Vanderbilt (27-3)