Jackets drop three against top-10 foes

On Friday, Feb. 10, the women’s tennis team headed to the Boar’s Head Tennis Club in Charlottesville, Va., to compete in the ITA National Team Indoor Tennis Tournament. Tech headed into the weekend ranked No. 13 in the nation and was set to take on the  No. 4 UCLA Bruins, the No. 8 North Carolina Tar Heels, and the No. 9 Virginia Cavaliers.

In the 2007 season, the Jackets won the tournament over the Bruins, and with past success in mind they were looking to put up similar results.

The Jackets took on the Bruins from UCLA first and started out strong in doubles play, with the top pair of senior Jillian O’Neill and sophomore Alex Anghelescu coming out on top, 8-3. Tech’s doubles team of senior Viet Ha Ngo and sophomore Muriel Wacker defeated UCLA’s Carling Seguso and McCall Jones 8-6 to secure the doubles point on the day and take an early 1-0 lead.

In singles play, junior Elizabeth Kilborn won her match 6-4, 6-4 over Jones, the No. 62 player in the singles rankings, putting Tech head of UCLA 2-0. However, these victories were short lived as UCLA rattled off four straight wins to come back and top the Jackets, 4-2.

Next up for the Jackets were the Cavaliers. Virginia’s Emily Frasier and Li Xi  topped O’Neill and Anghelescu at the top doubles spot to take an early lead on the day. Then Virginia’s Erin Vierra and Hana Tomljanovic served up a victory over the Tech duo of senior Lynn Blau and junior Elizabeth Kilborn, the first loss for the pair this season.

O’Neill managed to pull out a victory for the Jackets over Fraser in singles play on Saturday evening. However, the Jackets were ultimately unable to overcome the Cavaliers and ended the day with a 4-1 loss.

On Sunday, Feb. 12, Tech took on the Tar Heels from University of North Carolina. The pair of Blau and Kilborn took down Zoe De Bruycker and Laura Slater from North Carolina 8-6 in doubles play. But that was the only early success of the day, with the Jackets trailing 1-0 behind the Tar Heels after doubles play.

Singles play looked more promising for Tech as Ngo won her match 6-1, 6-4 over Shinann Featherson and Blau won her singles match as well with a 6-4, 7-6 win over Gina Suarez-Malaguti. Blau’s win allowed the team to come within one team point of UNC, with O’Neill’s match going into a third and final set against No. 44 Bruycker.

However, O’Neill could not pull out the victory, dropping a break point, and losing the match  5-7, 6-2, 6-4. With three losses in singles play, the Jackets dropped the team match, 4-2.

The Jackets had a tough weekend, dropping all three matches against top-10 opponents. Next for the Jackets is a trip to Northwestern to take on the No. 12 Wildcats on Friday, Feb. 24. Shortly after they face the Wildcats, the team will head over to South Bend, Ind. on Sunday, Feb. 26, to take on the No. 24 Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.