Women’s tennis loses to UNC, Duke

Sophomore Kylie Bilchev swings for the ball in a singles match at Ken Byers Tennis Complex against No. 62 Blue Devil Cameron Morra. The Jackets fell to No. 9 Duke, who clinched a 4-3 victory. // Photo by Joey D’Adamio Student Publications

This past week, Tech women’s tennis had matches against No. 1 North Carolina and No. 9 Duke. Tech fell to UNC 6-1 with the only win of the match coming from freshman Alejandra Cruz. Two days later, the Jackets played a grueling match that ended 4-3 in favor of Duke. Despite the results, the team performed very well against tough opposition. 

No. 26 Tech started off the weekend against UNC. The Tar Heels came into the matchup undefeated in the ACC and looking to continue their excellent run of form. Tech came into the weekend on a two-game losing streak looking to change their tune. In doubles, Tech started off very well with sophomore Kylie Bilchev and Cruz taking an early 3-1 lead and junior Carol Lee and sophomore Kate Sharabura taking the first three points. Bilchev and Cruz closed the match out 6-2, continuing their strong form in doubles. Lee and Sharabura were unable to hold onto their early lead and eventually lost the nail biter 7-6 (8-6). Seniors Monika Dedaj and Rosie Garcia Gross were down early in their doubles match, at one point being at a 4-0 deficit. They eventually came back to make it four a piece, but they ultimately fell 6-4. 

In singles, Cruz was the stand-out, with a win in straight sets against No. 16 Abbey Forbes 6-2, 6-3. Lee fell 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) to No. 1 Fiona Crawley in a grueling two hour match. Junior Mahak Jain, Bilchev, Garcia Gross and Sharabura all fell to their respective opponents. Tech lost the match 6-1 and looked to bounce back against Duke.

The Jackets took the court against the Blue Devils two days later. The day started out with doubles, where Bilchev and Cruz continued their relentless doubles partnership with a 6–2 win. Tech’s other doubles matches were hard-fought, but Dedaj and Garcia Gross fell 6–2 and Lee and Sharabura fell 6–4, allowing Duke to secure the doubles point in the match. 

The Blue Devils pushed their advantage out even further thanks to wins in straight sets over Cruz and Coleman. Jain secured a comfortable 6–2, 6–2 win over No. 24 Emma Jackson to give Tech some hope in the match. Bilchev continued her strong season with a tough win and an emotional celebration 6–3, 7–6 (7–4). Lee, having her second top-three match up in a row, fell 6–4, 7–6 (7–4) securing the match for Duke. Garcia finished off her opponent 6–3, 5–7, 6–4 to make the match score 4–3 Duke.

After losing two matches against top ten opposition, Tech is hoping to bounce back in home matches against Boston College at 4 p.m. on March 17, followed up by Syracuse at 12 p.m. on March 19.