Disappointing Road Trip For Syracuse Ends With 6-1 Defeat to Georgia Tech

Sunday, Mar 19, 2023 at 3:45 pm by Sports Editor

By Samuel Reis | @SamuelReisTV

Citrus TV Tennis Beat Reporter

An energized start to the match guided Syracuse to an impressive start in doubles against Georgia Tech. The Orange clinched the doubles point in just over 30 minutes. While SU hoped to carry that momentum over to singles, the complete opposite occurred. 

Behind a very strong showing in singles that saw the Yellow Jackets win all six matches over the Orange, No. 27 Georgia Tech (9-6, 4-4 Atlantic Coast) comfortably defeated No. 25 Syracuse (11-3, 4-3 Atlantic Coast) 6-1. After losing just one match in the first seven weeks of the season, SU dropped its second in three days.

In doubles, Polina Kozyreva and Miyuka Kimoto took care of Rosie Garcia Gross and Mahak Jain 6-1. Minutes later, Viktoriya Kanapatskaya and Shiori Ito handled Carol Lee and Kate Sharabura 6-2 to give Syracuse the early lead. The last remaining doubles match was left unfinished with Zeynep Erman and Ines Fonte leading Kylie Bilchev and Alejandra Cruz 4-3.

Singles was a different story, with Georgia Tech flipping the script in the blink of an eye. The Yellow Jackets won the first set of every match, asserting their dominance right away. That turned out to be an indicator of how the rest of the afternoon would play out.

No. 1 singles was the first of many short matches to conclude. That is where No. 84 Zeynep Erman fell to No. 8 Carol Lee 6-1, 6-2. Erman pulled off quite the upset over the No. 8 player in the country at the time, Alexa Noel of Miami, just three weeks ago. There was not any such magic this time around as Lee dominated from start to finish.

In No. 6 singles, Ines Fonte could not carry momentum over from her singles win on Friday against Clemson. Her opponent Kate Sharabura had no issues, winning 6-2, 6-1.

Miyuka Kimoto has had an inconsistent season in singles and those struggles continued against Alejandra Cruz. The freshman for the Yellow Jackets took the first set 6-3 and followed that up with a dominant 6-0 victory in the second set.

Viktoriya Kanapatskaya faced the difficult task of going up against the 27th ranked player in the nation, Kylie Bilchev in No. 2 singles. The junior for Syracuse had no answers in a 6-2, 6-1 loss. That clinched the win for the Yellow Jackets with two matches still remaining on court.

In No. 5 singles, Shiori Ito faced the same fate as many of her teammates. Rosie Garcia Gross came away with a 6-3, 6-0 win. 

In the last singles match remaining and the only competitive one of the afternoon, Polina Kozyreva went back and forth with No. 99 Mahak Jain. The first set was a nail biter with Jain prevailing 10-8 in an epic tiebreak. The second set played out in a similar manner. However, the theme of nothing going SU’s way continued. In a turn of events, Kozyreva had to retire from the match due to an apparent injury. The senior was leading the second set 4-3.

Following a frustrating weekend road trip, Syracuse returns home as the opposition gets even tougher. SU battles 10th ranked Duke on Friday at 2 p.m. before facing North Carolina, the number one team in the country, next Sunday at 10:30 a.m.