Women’s tennis defeats No. 11 Wildcats

Photo courtesy of Danny Karnik

The women’s tennis team came off of an impressive win over No. 11 Northwestern this past Saturday, bringing them to 3-3 on the season.  After losing doubles, Tech quickly recovered by winning five straight singles matches.  The comeback was led by outstanding play from Jeanette Lin and Valeriya Deminova.  

Jeanette Lin defeated No. 72 Julie Byrne in an impressive 7-5, 6-3 performance.  Taking a 3-0 lead in the second set, Lin’s quick start made for an easy finish.  Her win over Byrne not only secured the victory for Tech but topped off an already successful week, with Lin beating Georgia State 6-0, 6-2. 

Valeriya Deminova defeated Northwestern’s Caroline Pozo 6-2, 6-2 helping to build the Jackets’ comeback.  In the second set, Deminova led 4-0, giving up two games before sealing the match. 

The match continued a very good stretch of performances for Deminova, putting her at 4-0 on the week.  With a win in doubles and singles over Georgia State and a win in both over Northwestern, the freshman is currently sitting at 3-1 in singles and 4-2 in doubles. 

 These two stellar performances earned both ACC weekly honors, an impressive feat for such young talent. After all, Lin and Deminova are still freshmen and while both have significant international experience and were key reasons why Tech’s most recent recruiting class was ranked No. 6 nationally. It would not have been unexpected for them to start off slow in conference play. While the team still finds itself in the early goings and fatigue will no doubt set in, Lin and Deminova have shown exactly why Tech searched in Australia and Russia, respectively, to find them. 

Deminova’s background draws particular interest; before coming to Tech, she trained at the Spartak Tennis Club in Moscow, one of the most prestigious facilities in the country. She follows the same path as the likes of former professional star Anna Kournikova and former men’s world No. 1 Marat Safin. Also, she has played at the likes of Roland-Garros and the All-England Lawn Tennis Club, home to Wimbledon and French Open. Deminova is unlikely to find the college venues in which she now competes particularly intimidating, given her experience.

Tech is currently ranked No. 4 for the season and a win this weekend over No. 8 Georgia will push forward an already solid season.  Looking ahead, Tech is scheduled to play Pittsburgh next Sunday, then Duke and Syracuse on back to back road trips over the next two weeks. Conference play will continue until the region tournament, April 17.

As is true in many sports, the ACC brings Tech a tough schedule. Although the team ranks fourth in the country, two ACC teams are ahead of the Jackets: Duke and North Carolina. Miami, Florida State and Virginia are all top 25 teams at this point in the season, which means that all of those teams are capable of upending the Jackets on a good day. And as for the rest of the conference, they should not be disregarded either; the Jackets will need to maintain consistency throughout the season.

If Tech keeps up the sorts of results that it earned against Northwestern, the season could continue for a good while.