Women’s tennis team climbs to No. 8 nationally

Photo courtesy of Danny Karnik

The women’s tennis team transitioned into March by securing two important victories against Clemson (No. 42) and Wake Forest (No. 12) this past week, beating them 5-2 and 6-1 respectively. These two wins moved up their rank two spots from 10th to eighth nationally, according to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll. The Jackets’ season record now stands at 15 wins and four losses. 

For those not well versed in college tennis scoring or matches, here is a quick rundown: a game is scored from 0, 15, 30, and 40 to win. These games are counted to determine who wins the set. The amount of games needed to win the set is usually six, and the amount of sets needed to win is usually two out of three.

There are two components to a typical college match: the doubles matches and the single matches. The doubles are first. Each team sends out three two-women teams to play against each other on adjacent courts simultaneously. The goal for each matchup is to reach and aggregate of eight winning games across the three matches. The college team that wins two out of three matches wins the point, making the score 1-0 in their favor. 

After a 30 minute break, the single matches begin. There are six singles matches, with each victory earning a point for the winner’s team. Since there are seven points total, the team that scores the best out of seven wins. Singles matches are therefore more important in Collegiate Tennis because there are six possible points that can be won as opposed to only one possible point for doubles. 

The match against Clemson on Friday was fiercely fought and resulted in a 5-2 victory for Tech. In doubles, third-year Victoria Flores and fourth-year Kenya Jones for Tech defeated Sydney Riley and Tate Schroeder from Clemson. Fourth-year Nadia Gizdova and first-year Sophia Sassoli also won their doubles match, securing the doubles point for Tech. The singles matches featured some great Jackets victories that secured another win. Second-year Gia Cohen, fourth-year Nami Otsuka, Flores and first-year Rosie Garcia scored the remaining points needed to defeat the Tigers.

The Jackets then played Wake Forest on Sunday. Tech swept the double matches, winning three out of three matches. They then went on to win five of six singles matches, resulting in a final score of 6-1. Jones, who is ranked No. 23 nationally, took on No. 29 Carolyn Campana from Wake in the headliner match. Jones crushed the competition, winning both sets 6-2 and 6-3. 

Jones has starred for Tech all season and has been a driving force behind their rise into the top 10. Her performance throughout this season has earned her two ACC co-tennis player of the week awards. This is an incredible honor for her and she is expected to perform exceptionally for the rest of the season In doubles, the duo of Jones and Flores is now 19-2 on the season and leaped to the No. 6 ranked pairing in the nation

The ladies’ tennis team plays against the North Carolina Tar Heels on Friday. This will be undoubtedly their most difficult match of the season but contains massive potential for success. The Tar Heels are undefeated in the 2019-2020 season with a 16-0 record. They are ranked first in the nation in ITA polls. In addition, they have the No. 3, 5 and 6 ranked players in NCAA D-1 tennis. 

Tech’s performance against North Carolina will set the tone for the season and for the championship matches later in the season. The team has already proven that they belong as one of the premier title contenders in the ACC, as they have already picked up victories over teams like Virginia and Florida State that also ranked in the top 10 nationally. The team is preparing for ACC championships in mid-April and NCAA championships in early May.