No. 24 Yellow Jackets Fall To No. 8 UNC 4-3
Seniors Jillian O'Neill and Lynn Blau, plus freshman Jasmine Minor earn singles wins
March 30, 2012
Atlanta - The 24th-ranked Georgia Tech women's tennis team (9-8, 3-3 ACC) knew it would be in for a battle against the No. 8 North Carolina Tar Heels (15-4, 5-0 ACC) on Friday afternoon at the Bill Moore Tennis Center. The sides battled back-and-forth, but the Jackets upset bid came up just short as UNC claimed a 4-3 victory.
"North Carolina is a well-coached team," Tech head coach Bryan Shelton said. "They did a great job of competing today. They competed really hard, we did too, but they gained the momentum at the right time on a couple of key courts. We weren't able to grab that momentum back from them. I thought that was the difference in the overall match today."
Court one doubles was a battle between Tech's 10th-ranked team of Jillian O'Neill and Alex Anghelescu and UNC's fourth-ranked side of Shinann Featherston and Lauren McHale. After the doubles point was decided, the match was stopped with the score tied 5-5.
O'Neill got Georgia Tech on the board and leveled the team score when she cruised past No. 30 Zoe DeBruycker 6-2, 6-3 on court one. The Tar Heels edged back ahead when Saurez-Malaguti defeated Ngo, 6-3, 6-0 on court four. No. 100 Shinann Featherston extended UNC's lead to 3-1 with a three-set win over Caroline Lilley, 6-1, 6-7, 6-1, on court three.
"I thought our team, after doubles, really came back and got off to a good start in singles," Shelton said. "We got off quickly on court one and four, and pretty much held our own everywhere else. I thought we made a statement that we weren't going anywhere. I was proud of our players for keeping their composure and continuing to dig in and make adjustments and find things that were working. We found a few answers, but ultimately not enough."
After losing her first set 6-3, Tech freshman Jasmine Minor rallied to win the next two sets, 6-2, 6-2, and defeat the Tar Heels' 98th-ranked Caroline Price on court five. Carolina clinched the team win on court two when the 33rd-ranked McHale edged Tech's Kilborn, ranked No. 108, 7-5, 2-6, 6-1.
Blau also earned a tough three-set win of her own as she downed Lyons 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 on court six.
Tech hosts No. 3 Duke at noon on Sunday in the Yellow Jackets' annual `Ace for the Cure' match in which the Jackets will be wearing pink shirts, giving away pink shirts for a $5 donation and selling pink hats and visors. Tech will also be accepting donations for each game won, beginning at just 25 cents per game, for the Amy Hosier Foundation. Hosier is a former Yellow Jacket softball player who is battling breast cancer. For more on Hosier, visit www.amysangels21.com.
Fans are encouraged to follow Georgia Tech women's tennis on Twitter, @GT_WTEN, and like the Yellow Jackets on Facebook, GTWomensTennis, for an inside look at the program.
#8 North Carolina at #24 Georgia Tech
March 30, 2012
#8 North Carolina 4, #24 Georgia Tech 3
Doubles (3, 2)
1. #10 Jillian O'Neill / Alex Anghelescu (GT) vs. #4 Shinann Featherston / Lauren McHale (UNC), 5-5, unfinished
2. #71 Haley Hemm / Tessa Lyons (UNC) def. Lynn Blau / Elizabeth Kilborn (GT), 8-5
3. Caroline Price / Gina Saurez-Malaguti (UNC) def. Viet Ha Ngo / Muriel Wacker (GT) 8-3
Singles (1, 4, 3, 5, 2, 6)
1. #17 Jillian O'Neill (GT) def. #30 Zoe DeBruycker (UNC), 6-2, 6-3
2. #33 Lauren McHale (UNC) def. #108 Elizabeth Kilborn (GT), 7-5, 2-6, 6-1
3. #100 Shinann Featherston (UNC) def. Caroline Lilley (GT), 6-1, 6-7, 6-1
4. Gina Saurez-Malaguti (UNC) def. Viet Ha Ngo (GT), 6-3, 6-0
5. Jasmine Minor (GT) def. #98 Caroline Price (UNC), 3-6, 6-2, 6-2
6. Lynn Blau (GT) def. Tessa Lyons (UNC), 7-5, 3-6, 6-3
Georgia Tech 9-8, 3-3 ACC, national ranking No. 24
North Carolina 15-4, 5-0 ACC, national ranking No. 8
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