Oct. 26, 2008
ATHENS, Ga. – Georgia Tech’s Christy Striplin and Noelle Hickey won their lone doubles match Sunday to advance to the ITA South Region Championships doubles final at the University of Georgia’s Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
Striplin and Hickey, the tournament’s No. 4 seed, outlasted Miami’s Bianca Eichkorn and Michaela Kissell, 9-8 (10), in one of the tournament’s most closely contested matches. The Yellow Jacket duo faced five match points before prevailing. Striplin and Hickey will next face Marrit Boonstra and Megan Alexander of Florida in Monday’s final. The winner will earn an automatic spot in the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships field.
“If you want a match that has you at the edge of your seat this was it,” head coach Bryan Shelton said. “The tennis was outstanding on both sides of the net. You can’t imagine a more exciting match and for them to come out on top after facing elimination so many times, it was great.”
This is the second straight year the Yellow Jackets have placed a doubles team into the South Region Championship finals. Last season, All-Americans Kristi Miller and Whitney McCray won the double’s title.
In the singles draw, Hickey and Striplin each reached the quarterfinals before running out of steam. Hickey opened the day with a 7-5, 6-2 win over Lauren Macfarlane of Florida State. She would drop her quarterfinal match to Auburn’s Melissa Koning. Striplin defeated Alex Haney of Auburn, 6-4, 6-4, in the round of 16 before losing to Florida State’s Katie Rybakova.
“Noelle played at level so much higher than we have seen in the past,” Shelton said. “She was able to sustain it into the quarterfinals in one of the best regionals in the country. She will gain a lot of confidence from it.
“Christy was able to win matches even when she wasn’t playing her best. It speaks to her competitive spirit. This is going to be a season that she really breaks out.”
Freshman Irina Falconi dropped her lone singles match of the day to Boonstra, 7-5, 6-2.
Play is scheduled to begin Monday at 10:00 a.m. with singles to the doubles final round. For more information, please click here.
– RamblinWreck.com –
Georgia Tech’s Sunday Results
R16: (7) Christy Striplin (Georgia Tech) def. Alex Haney (Auburn), 6-4, 6-4
R16: Noelle Hickey (Georgia Tech) def. (9-16) Lauren Macfarlane (Florida State), 7-5, 6-2
R16: (9-16) Marrit Boonstra (Florida) def. (2) Irina Falconi (Georgia Tech), 7-5, 6-2
QF: (3) Katie Rybakova (Florida State) def. (7) Christy Striplin (Georgia Tech), 7-6(4), 6-4
QF: Melissa Koning (Auburn) def. Noelle Hickey (Georgia Tech), 7-6(6), 6-0
SF: (4) Striplin/Hickey (Georgia Tech) def. (5-8) Eichkorn/Kissel (Miami), 9-8(10)