Women’s Tennis rolls past Auburn

The women’s tennis team, ranked No. 10 in the nation, made its first road trip of the spring season last weekend and emerged with another victory. The Jackets traveled west for a Sunday battle against the No. 35 Auburn Tigers and had a stellar performance, sweeping the contest 7-0. With the win, Tech improved to 2-0 so far this spring with shutouts in both of their contests to date.

Doubles play saw the Jackets’ top two tandems cruise to victories. Sophomores Hillary Davis and Viet Ha Ngo, playing the second flight, took down Auburn’s pair of Myrthe Molenveld and Daniela Vukodinovic 8-1 in the first match to finish. Shortly afterward, the first-flight tandem of sophomore Irina Falconi and junior Sasha Krupina won their match by an identical 8-1 score over the Tigers’ Fani Chifchieva and Caroline Thornton.

The wins clinched the doubles point for the Jackets even though freshman Elizabeth Kilborn and sophomore Lynn Blau were defeated in their doubles match. Kilborn and Blau put up a fight but fell 8-7 against Paulina Schippers and Plamena Kurteva.

The victory by Schippers and Kurteva was Auburn’s only one of the day, as the Jackets swept singles play on the afternoon. Senior Amanda McDowell was the first to finish; playing in the No. 4 position, the experienced McDowell rolled past Vukadinovic with a 6-0, 6-1 victory.

The first-flight match between ranked opponents Falconi and Chifchieva was the next to end, with Falconi—the No. 1 player nationally in the ITA women’s rankings—taking down No. 71 Chifchieva 6-1, 6-1. Ngo, playing in the third position for Tech, took down Thornton by an identical 6-1, 6-1 score to clinch the victory for the Jackets.

The other three singles matches eventually ended in Tech’s favor. Krupina, ranked No. 66 in the nation, faced a challenge from Molenveld in their second-flight match, but Krupina was eventually able to put away the senior Molenveld 6-2, 7-5. Blau defeated Schippers 6-4, 6-3 on court five, and Kilborn knocked off Jil Hastenrath 6-2, 6-4 in the final spot.

Sunday’s performance meant that Tech still has not lost a set in singles play so far this spring. The Jackets won all six matches in straight sets in the spring opener against Chattanooga, and that trend continued against Auburn.

The Jackets continue on Saturday as the hosts of one of 15 regional tournaments on ITA Kick-Off Weekend. Tech will serve as the top seed in a field that includes No. 34 Kentucky, No. 24 Alabama and No. 29 Arizona State.

Tech will face Arizona State on Saturday afternoon following a morning contest between Kentucky and Alabama. The losers will play for third place on Sunday morning, while the winners will face off on Sunday afternoon for an invitation to the ITA Indoor National Championships from Feb. 12-15. All matches will be played at the Bill Moore Tennis Center.