GAINESVILLE, Fla. – No. 19 Georgia Tech women’s tennis dropped the doubles point, but responded in singles play in the first round of the NCAA Championships against No. 37 UCF. The Yellow Jackets collected a 4-1 victory over the Knights to secure a spot in the second round on Saturday at the Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex.
Georgia Tech jumped out with the advantage on two courts, but UCF battled back to capture the doubles point with a pair of wins. On court one, Kylie Bilchev and Alejandra Cruz faced Marie Mattel and Sophia Biolay and were on serve at 2-all. But the Knights rattled off four straight games to take the match, 6-2. UCF clinched the early match lead on court two where Nandini Sharma and Stefani Webb picked up a 6-3 win over Monika Dedaj and Kate Sharabura. The Jackets took an early 3-1 lead over the Knights, but Sharma and Webb began to rally and won five consecutive games for the victory.
The Yellow Jackets dominated singles play, taking the first four matches to finish in straight-sets, erasing the deficit and clinching the match. Bilchev dominated on court two against Webb. She took the first two games of the opening set before Webb won her only game of the opener. But the Jacket won the next four games for a 6-1 first set win. Bilchev carried momentum into the second set, pocketing the match, 6-1, 6-1.
On court five, Rosie Garcia Gross handed the Jackets their first lead with a straight-set victory over Sharma. The opponents traded the first four games to remain on serve at 2-2 before Garcia Gross took the set, 6-3. She dropped only one game in the second set to collect a 6-3, 6-1 decision, handing Georgia Tech a 2-1 match lead.
Carol Lee put the Yellow Jackets on the verge of victory from court one, defeating Mattel in two sets. Mattel took the first two games of the opening set, but battled back and moved back on serve at 3-3. Lee won the next two games to go up 5-3 and grabbed the first set, 6-4. Lee and Mattel exchanged the first six games of the second set and were knotted at 3-3 before Lee rattled off the next three games to take the match, 6-4. 6-3.
Cruz clinched the match from court four, sealing a 4-1 victory for Georgia Tech. Biolay opened with a quick 3-0 lead in the first set before Cruz got on the scoreboard. Trailing 4-3, Cruz won nine of the next 12 games to win the match, 7-5, 6-2. She won a hard-fought first set, 7-5, and raced out with a 5-1 lead in the second set to clinch the match for Georgia…
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