May 15, 2010
ATLANTA – The Georgia Tech Women’s Tennis team (19-10) will not be making a sixth-consecutive trip to the NCAA Round of 16 thanks to a relentless group of Rebels from the University of Mississippi (17-5), who topped the host Yellow Jackets, 4-0 at the Bill Moore Tennis Center Saturday.
“It was a tough match,” head coach Bryan Shelton said. “I give Ole Miss a lot of credit. Whenever we seemed to get our nose out in front a little bit, they just didn’t go away.”
The second of Mississippi’s two nationally-ranked players, Karen Nijssen, finished off Georgia Tech’s Viet Ha Ngo, 6-2, 6-2, to clinch the match for the SEC Western Division champions.
The day’s premier match featuring top-ranked Irina Falconi and Mississippi’s 44th-ranked Kristi Boxx was called with Falconi having won the first set, 6-3, and leading the second, 5-3.
“Today we didn’t do as good a job of finishing at the net,” said Shelton. “I think we were a little hesitant to pull the trigger and move forward and make our plays. That’s certainly not what we want to be doing out there is just kind of waiting for the opportunities. We’ve got to seize them. We’ll learn from this. We’re a young team.”
A hotly contested doubles point loomed large in the decision.
“[The team is] upset,” Shelton said. “Our goal certainly wasn’t to lose here at home in this round. We certainly weren’t overlooking Ole Miss. But we’re disappointed, just disappointed that we’re not advancing and moving forward, because our goal was to win a national championship. But in order to do that, you’ve got to hold serve at home, and we weren’t able to do that today.”
Mississippi will play the winner of third-seeded Florida and Washington at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, next Thursday.
Georgia Tech will be represented by Falconi and Sasha Krupina in the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships, which will also be held in Athens, May 26-31.