Yellow Jacket Tennis Battle Past No. 16 Vanderbilt

March 19, 2011


NASHVILLE, TENN. – Georgia Tech head women’s tennis coach Bryan Shelton often talks about the need to compete and bring your best every day in order to be the best. After a two-week hiatus, his team needed every bit of competitiveness and drive today when they earned a tough 4-3 win at No. 16 Vanderbilt in Nashville.

Heading into the match, Shelton knew the doubles point would be an important way to build momentum early in a tough test with a nationally ranked Vanderbilt team on their home court. In fact, the Yellow Jackets are 6-0 this season when winning the doubles point and 0-5 when losing the doubles point.

And the Jackets got off to the right start in doubles play. Juniors Lynn Blau and Caroline Lilley gave Tech an early advantage with an 8-3 win over VU’s Lauren Mira and Keilly Ulery 8-3 at the No. 3 spot of the lineup.

The Commodores evened the score up with a tough 9-7 win by 63rd ranked Rachael Dillon and Alex Leatu over the Yellow Jackets’ Viet Ha Ngo and Jillian O’Neill at the top doubles spot.

With the crucial doubles point coming down to the No. 2 teams, the Jackets team of senior Sasha Krupina and sophomore Elizabeth Kilborn earned a huge 9-7 win over Vanderbilt’s Chelsea Preeg and Jackie Wu, 9-7.

Vanderbilt’s Mira landed the first blow in singles play with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Tech’s Krupina. Kilborn gave the Yellow Jackets a slim advantage back by fighting off a 6-1 first set loss. Kilborn took the next two sets, 6-3, 7-5 over Vanderbilt’s Dillon to put the Jackets back up 2-1.

O’Neill extended Tech’s lead to 3-1 with a hard-fought 7-6, 7-6 win at the top spot over VU’s Leatue, but the Commodores pulled back within one, 3-2 with a win at the sixth spot of the order. Keilly Ulery defeated the Yellow Jackets’ Lynn Blau 6-3, 4-6, 7-6.

A 6-3,7-6 win by Vanderbilt’s Preeg over Tech’s Ngo at the second spot of the lineup tied the match up at three with only the No. 3 singles players still on the court.

Lilley posted a 6-4 first set win over Vanderbilt’s Wu, but the Commodores’ junior earned a quick 6-0 win in the second set facing a decisive third set. In a set that was indicative of the entire match, the Yellow Jackets’ Lilley grinded out a 7-6 win to clinch the match.

The Yellow Jackets will return home to face the No. 17 ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Thursday, March 24 at 3 p.m. at the Bill Moore Tennis Center in Atlanta.

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Match Results
Georgia Tech at Vanderbilt
March 19, 2011 at Nashville, Tenn.
#20 Georgia Tech 4, #16 Vanderbilt 3

Singles competition:
1. #49 Jillian O’Neill (GT) def. #91 Alex Leatu (VU), 7-6, 7-6
2. #69 Chelsea Preeg (VU) def. #82 Viet Ha Ngo (GT), 6-3, 7-6
3. #83 Caroline Lilley (GT) def. Jackie Wu (VU), 6-4, 0-6, 7-6
4. Lauren Mira (VU) def. Sasha Krupina (GT), 6-3, 6-4
5. Elizabeth Kilborn (GT) def. #97 Rachael Dillon (VU), 1-6, 6-3, 7-5
6. Keilly Ulery (VU) def. Lynn Blau (GT), 6-3, 4-6, 7-6

Doubles competition:
1. #63 Rachael Dillon/Alex Leatu (VU) def. Viet Ha Ngo/Jillian O’Neill (GT), 9-7
2. Sasha Krupina/Elizabeth Kilborn (GT) def. Chelsea Preeg/Jackie Wu (VU), 9-7
3. Lynn Blau/Caroline Lilley (GT) def. Lauren Mira/Keilly Ulery, 8-3

Match Notes:
Georgia Tech 7-5; National ranking #20
Vanderbilt: 8-5; National ranking #16
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (4,5,1,6,2,3)

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