Jan. 22, 2011
ATLANTA – The Georgia Tech women’s tennis team will open its dual match season at home against the ninth-ranked Northwestern Wildcats on Sunday at the Bill Moore Tennis Center. Play against the Wildcats will begin at Noon with doubles action.
The Jackets and Wildcats have become quite familiar with each other, having faced off at least once each season for six consecutive years, including this year’s match, with Northwestern holding a 5-2 advantage in the all-time series.
“Northwestern is a great squad and well coached,” head coach Bryan Shelton said. “We’ve had some great matches with them in the past. We’ve got a little history together now. Most importantly, I think we’re ready to begin our season at home. We’ve been working hard, smart and I’m excited to see our team out there on the court competing. We had a great weekend last weekend. We learned some things that we do well and saw some things that we need to improve on. Hopefully those will show up Sunday.”
While the Wildcats will come into Sunday’s match ranked in the Top 10, the Jackets should not be intimated by the Wildcats’ ranking. Tech brings its own ranking to the match, sitting 16th in the initial poll of the year, and has already faced No. 8 Michigan, No. 13 Tennessee and No. 23 Washington in the Michigan Invitational.
“We have a few returners from last year’s squad and for all these newcomers, to come in and see that we can go out and compete against the top teams in the country, I think that is a little boost,” Shelton added. “Now we have to focus on going out and playing the right way. If we do focus and go out and execute, we have a chance. We’re starting a new season and for everyone to buy in to getting better and developing, that will help us continue to get better for every match.”
The Jackets will look to get on track early against the Wildcats and Shelton believes one of the keys to this year’s team lies in its strength of doubles play.
“We’d like doubles to be a catalyst for the team this year,” Shelton said. “I think we have not only three, but four solid doubles teams. Winning the doubles’ point, really gives us a great feeling going into singles. Any time we win the doubles’ point, I think we’ll come out of the lockerroom for singles confident.
“I think the main thing for us is that we want to use this match to test ourselves, and go out there and compete,” Shelton said. “We need to put it on the line because Northwestern competes very well and puts it on the line. They’ll be a good barometer for us. It’s going to be a great test, but we’ve got a lot of great tests on our schedule. It’s an opportunity to go out and get better.”
Admission is free to all regular-season Georgia Tech tennis matches. For more information and live stats, visit RamblinWreck.com or follow us on Twitter, @GT_WTEN, for instant updates.
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