Tech takes down three, clean sweep on weekend

Sophomore Alejandra Cruz celebrates after a dominant performance versus Clemson in doubles play. She and doubles partner, freshman Given Roach, swept their games against the Tigers, 6-0. // Photo courtesy of GTAA

In a busy weekend for Jackets’ tennis, the men’s team took on the Louisville Cardinals and Notre Dame Fighting Irish while the women’s team faced off against the Clemson Tigers.  Fortunately, neither team had any problem with their opponents and went undefeated over the weekend. The men beat Louisville 4-2 and Notre Dame 4-3. The women swept Clemson 4-0. The men were led by No. 104 senior Keshav Chopra who won all of his completed games. The Lady Jackets were led by No. 53 senior Carol Lee.

The weekend began at home in the Ken Byers Tennis Complex where the No. 22 Lady Jackets took on the Tigers. The match started out with the doubles point. The No. 18 ranked pairing of junior Kate Sharabura and Lee played senior Eleni Louka and junior Jenna Thompson but the game would go unfinished due to Jackets dominating the other two doubles games. Freshman Given Roach and sophomore Alejandra Cruz swept their opponents 6-0 and junior Kylie Bilchev and freshman Scarlett Nicholson breezed through their matchup 6-2 to secure the doubles point for Tech. With the doubles point, the Jackets only needed three singles wins to secure the win. Those wins came quickly — Sharabura eliminated her opponent with a 6-1, 6-3 match win to give Tech the advantage. Nicholson followed up with a win of her own 6-4, 6-0. To finish off the contest, Lee overcame her match 6-0, 7-5. 

The win pushed Tech to 12-7 overall and 8-3 in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). On the road, the men went up to Louisville, Ky. to take on the Cardinals. The match started off well with the No. 19 senior duo of Marcus McDaniel and Chopra defeating their opponent 6-3. The Jackets’ pairings of freshman Krish Arora and senior Andres Martin in conjunction with freshman Richard Biagiotti and junior Rohan Sachdev could not claim victory and put the Jackets at a 1-0 deficit heading into singles’ matches. 

Fortunately, Tech showed new life in the singles’ competition. Sachdev swept his opponent 6-1, 6-3 to tie the match at one. Biagiotti, Sachdev’s doubles partner, gave the Jackets the lead thanks to a 6-4, 6-4 win. McDaniel kept the momentum going with a 6-2, 4-5, 6-3 victory to put Tech within one game of the match win. Louisville would respond with one game win but Chopra clinched the matchup for the Jackets 7-6 (7-3), 6-4. It was the Jackets’ 15th win of the year. 

After clipping the Cardinals’ wings, the Jackets went up to South Bend, Ind. to take on the Fighting Irish. Like the match in Louisville, Tech fell behind early thanks to two swift losses in doubles play to make the score 1-0 Notre Dame. The Jackets came back from the doubles point thanks to a 6-1, 6-4 win by McDaniel. No. 16 Martin gave the Jackets the lead due to a 6-3, 7-5 win. Notre Dame tied the game at two apiece, but Chopra responded immediately with a 7-5, 7-6 win to put the Jackets one win away from clinching the match. Arora stepped up for the Jackets to secure the match win 7-5, 5-7, 6-3. This win gave the men’s team a  16-6 record overall and 6-4 in conference play. 

After a victorious weekend for the Jackets, their next few matchups are all in anticipation of the ACC Championships in Cary, N.C. The Lady Jackets finish off their season at home with two conference matchups against North Carolina rivals. They take on the North Carolina State Wolfpack on April 12 and Wake Forest Demon Deacons on April 14 to conclude their regular season. Currently sitting at the fourth spot in the conference, Tech will look to improve their ranking ahead of the ACC Championship.

The men also finish off their regular season with ACC matchups, but will take on both of the ACC’s Virginia schools at home. They play the Virginia Tech Hokies on April 11 and the Virginia Cavaliers on April 13. The No. 6 Jackets are looking to capitalize on their momentum and prepare for success in ACC tournament play.