Jan. 24, 2010
AUBURN, Ala. - The No. 35 Auburn women's tennis team was blanked 7-0 Sunday by No. 10 Georgia Tech in a match held at City of Auburn/Yarbrough Tennis Center Sunday afternoon. The freshman tandem of Paulina Schippers and Plamena Kurteva picked up Auburn's victory in No. 3 doubles.
"I think that we walked out today and gave them too much credit. They are clearly a good team. We gave them too much in terms of that they are No. 10 and we're No. 35, and it showed," said head coach Tim Gray. "There were some bright spots for us, No. 3 doubles was great to see with the two freshman picking up victories."
Auburn opened up doubles play with a pair of defeats, as Fani Chifchieva and Caroline Thornton fell 8-1 to Georgia Tech's Irina Falconi and Sasha Krupina in No. 1 doubles. In second doubles, Yellow Jackets Hilary Davis and Viet Ha Ngo dropped Auburn's Myrthe Molenveld and Daniela Vukadinovic 8-1 to take a 2-0 lead.
No. 3 doubles saw one of the most entertaining matches of the day, as Auburn freshman Paulina Schippers and Plamena Kurteva battled with GT's Lynn Blau and Elizabeth Kilborn. The Tiger freshman came from behind to tie the match, at 7-7. Auburn rallied to capture the tiebreaker 7-5 to win 8-7 (5), giving Auburn their lone victory of the afternoon.
No.1 singles featured one of the nation's top-matchups early in the season, as Auburn's Chifchieva, ranked No. 71 in the country, faced the top-ranked singles player in the nation in Falconi. The meet also served as a rematch of the opening round of the ITA National Indoor Tournament on Nov. 5, a match the Chifchieva dropped 6-0,7-6 (3). Falconi took the matchup on this day as well, downing Chifchieva 6-1, 6-1 in straight sets.
In No. 2 singles, Molenveld drew the 66th-ranked Krupina. After dropping the first set 6-2, Molenveld rallied to tie the second set 5-5, but eventually fell to Krupina, 6-2, 7-5. In third singles, Thornton dropped a straight-set, 6-1, 6-1 decision to Ha Ngo.
Vukadinovic drew the unlucky task of facing the 2008 NCAA Singles Champion in Amanda McDowell, who is working her way back from injury, in No. 4 singles. McDowell took the matchup by a 6-1, 6-0 tally. Schippers fought hard, but was downed by Blau, 6-4, 6-3 in the fifth position. In the sixth spot, senior Jil Hastenrath was defeated by Kilborn 6-2, 6-4.
"We're a better team than we showed today, but it's early in the season. We just have to keep working."
Auburn returns to action next weekend, as the team will travel to ITA Nationals in Los Angeles Jan. 30-31. The Tigers will take on No. 29 LSU in the opening round of the team tournament, followed by No. 9 USC or San Diego on Sunday.
Davis/Ha Ngo (GT) def. Molenveld/Vukadinovic, 8-1
Falconi/Krupina (GT) def. Chifchieva/Thornton (AU), 8-1
Schippers/Kurteva (AU) def. Blau/Kilborn (GT), 8-7 (5)
# 1 Falconi (GT) def. # 71 Chifchieva (AU), 6-1, 6-1
#66 Krupina (GT) def. Molenveld (AU), 6-2, 7-5
Ha Ngo (GT) def. Thornton (AU), 6-1, 6-1
McDowell (GT) def. Vukadinovic (AU), 6-1, 6-0
Blau (GT) def. Schippers (AU), 6-4, 6-3
Kilborn (GT) def. Hastenrath (AU), 6-2, 6-4