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Women’s Tennis Tops Virginia Tech, 4-3

THE FLATS – Georgia Tech women’s tennis won four singles matches to overcome dropping the doubles point on Sunday against Virginia Tech and pocket a 4-3 victory at the Ken Byers Tennis Complex. Alejandra Cruz clinched the match to move the Yellow Jackets to 7-5 overall and 3-1 in Atlantic Coast Conference play.

Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech split the first two doubles matches to finish, leaving the point to be decided on court two. Carol Lee and Kate Sharabura made quick work of Katie Andreini and Dariya Radulova on court one, pocketing a 6-0 victory in less than 30 minutes.

But the Hokies took court three, 6-1, as all eyes turned to court two where Given Roach and Scarlett Nicholson faced Semra Aksu and Erika Cheng. Knotted at 4-4, the Jackets held serve for a 5-4 lead, but the Hokies fought off two match points to make it 5-all. Back-to-back breaks from both teams left the match at a 6-all tie, forcing a tiebreak for the decision. Roach and Nicholson trailed 4-2 in the breaker before fighting back to 4-all. But Aksu and Cheng held to take the match, 7-6 (7-5) and give the Hokies the early match lead.

Lee and Kylie Bilchev erased Georgia Tech’s deficit, quickly collecting a pair of straight-set wins to open singles play. At the top spot, Lee finished Andreini in just over an hour, capturing a 6-1, 6-3 decision. Lee dominated the first set and never looked back for her eighth singles win of the season.

Bilchev jumped out with a 3-0 lead over Ozlem Uslu on court two and pushed her lead out to 5-2 before the Hokie rallied back to 5-4. But Bilchev held strong to take the first set, 7-5, and cruised in the second set, 6-1, to give Georgia Tech its first lead of the match, 2-1.

Sharabura cushioned the Jackets’ lead, downing Cheng on court six. Sharabura pushed out with a 5-2 edge in the first set, and gained the set lead, 6-3. She battled in the second set to take the win, 6-3, 6-4, setting up a 3-1 match lead in favor of Georgia Tech.

Virginia Tech narrowed its deficit as Aksu took a three-set win from Mahak Jain on court four. After Jain won the first set, 7-5, Aksu battled back to take the final two, 6-3, 6-1, setting up a 3-2 match score in favor of the Jackets. The Hokies erased its deficit winning on court five as Radulova topped Scarlett Nicholson, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, to leave the decision on court three with the match tied at 3-all.

The final remaining match left, Cruz faced Tamara Barad Itzhaki on court three. The Yellow Jacket took the first set, 6-3, and battled back from a 3-5 deficit in the second to gain a 6-5 advantage. Cruz had match point in the second set, but Itzhaki fought it off to force a tiebreak at 6-6. The Hokie took control in the tiebreak, 7-3, to force a deciding third set, but Cruz regrouped and jumped out in control. The Jacket held an early 4-1 lead and took the final set, 6-2, to clinch the victory, 4-3, for Georgia Tech.

Georgia Tech opens a four-match road swing at North Carolina on Friday, March 8. First serve in Chapel Hill is slated for 2 p.m.

1. No. 18 Carol Lee/Kate Sharabura (GT) def. Katie Andreini/Dariya Radulova (VT) 6-0
2. Semra Aksu/Erika Cheng (VT) def. Scarlett Nicholson/Given Roach (GT) 7-6 (5)*
3. Ozlem Uslu/Charlotte Cartledge (VT) def. Kylie Bilchev/Alejandra Cruz (GT) 6-1
Order of finish: 1,3,2*

1. No. 39 Carol Lee (GT) def. Katie Andreini (VT) 6-1, 6-3
2. Kylie Bilchev (GT) def. Ozlem Uslu (VT) 7-5, 6-1
3. Alejandra Cruz (GT) def. Tamara Barad Itzhaki (VT) 6-3, 6-7 (3), 6-2*
4. Semra Aksu (VT) def. Mahak Jain (GT) 5-7, 6-3, 6-1
5. Dariya Radulova (VT) def. Scarlett Nicholson (GT) 2-6, 6-4, 6-4
6. Kate Sharabura (GT) def. Laima Frosch (VT) 6-3, 6-4
Order of finish: 1,2,6,4,5,3*


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