The top-ranked Tech women’s tennis team got the season off to a quick start this week when they swept No. 27 Auburn on the road. This was the Jackets No. 22 win in a row spanning back to the middle of last season.
Tech started with a sweep of the three doubles matches. Kirsten Flower and Kristi Miller defeated Alex Haney and Melissa Koning, 8-2. The clinching point in doubles came when Noelle Hickey and Christy Striplin beat Gabrielle Beelen and Whitney Chappell 8-4. The third doubles match went in the favor of the Jackets as well. Whitney McCray and Amanda McDowell defeated Fani Chifchieva and Jil Hastenrath 8-7 (6).
Tech only needed three singles games to win the match. Despite this, the Jackets won all of their individual matches, taking all six. Flower defeated Beelen in straight sets 6-0, 6-2. No. 22 McCray beat Koning, 6-1, 6-4. No. 56 Hickey clinched the match when she beat Hastenrath in straight sets, 6-3, 6-1. At the No. 2 singles spot, No. 3 McDowell beat Chifchieva 6-4, 6-1. No. 7 Miller beat No. 86 Haney 7-5, 6-3. No. 38 Striplin beat Chappell in three sets, rallying back to take the match, 2-6, 6-3, 1-0 (8).
Last weekend, four Tech players took part in the National Collegiate Tennis Classic on the campus of Indian Wells Tennis Center in California.
Maya Johansson and Striplin opened the tournament with a bye in the first round. Among other action, Hickey beat Isa Marie Perez of Stanford, 6-3, 6-2. Sasha Krupina was bounced in the first round by USC’s Christala Andrews, 6-2, 6-3.
In the second round, Johansson won a long match against USC’s Eleyla Entekhabi, 6-7 (3), 7-6 (3), 6-0. Striplin also won her match against Amanda Fink of USC, 6-4, 6-2.
Hickey, unfortunately, dropped her match to Tech’s third second round match against a USC opponent, 6-4, 6-2.
On the second day of play, Tech split their singles matches.
Krupina beat UCLA’s Wetmore, 6-2, 6-2. Hickey beat Entekhabi, 6-4, 2-6, 6-2. Johansson dropped her match to Stanford’s Carolyn McVeigh, 6-4, 6-2, while Striplin also lost her match in the quarterfinals to UCLA’s Andrea Remynse, 6-4, 6-3.
In the doubles bracket’s quarterfinals, Striplin and Hickey beat Lindsey Nelson and Maria Sanches of USC ,9-8 (5). Krupina and Johansson were swept by UCLA’s Tracy Lin and Riza Zalameda, 8-0.
Tech dropped both matches they played on the final day. Krupina lost her singles match to UCLA’s Elizabeth Lumpkin, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4. On the doubles side, Hickey and Striplin dropped their match to Fink and Niculescu of USC, 8-3.
Tech will play the University of South Florida this Saturday at the Bill Moore Tennis Center at 1 p.m and Northwestern the next week, which is also being played at home. They spend the next two weeks in Atlanta before traveling to Madison, Wis. to defend their ITA National Team Indoor Championship.