Survive and Advance: Syracuse Stings Georgia Tech 4-3 in the ACC Tournament
By Brad Klein
CitrusTV Tennis Beat Reporter
CARY, NC – No. 30 Syracuse (13-11, 6-9) survives the second round of the ACC tournament after defeating No. 38 Georgia Tech (12-12, 7-8) with a 4-3 win on Thursday. The Orange avenged last year’s ACC tournament loss to the Yellow Jackets and flipped the script on their 4-3 loss to Tech earlier in the year.
Syracuse won when it mattered most, rebounding after losing its last three duals of the season during an eight-dual doubles skid.
Head Coach Younes Limam did everything he could to fix the on-going doubles trouble, breaking up Sofya Golubovskaya and Sonya Trescheva, and Dina Hegab and Guzal Yusupova, but the makeshift teams were not successful. Golubovskaya and Hegab lost 6-2. Trescheva and Yusupova fell by the same score. This is the first time Trescheva and Golubovskaya played separately when both were healthy.
The Orange hit the ground running in singles. Five Syracuse players won their first singles sets, giving the Orange an advantage on the scoreboard and the momentum throughout Cary Tennis Park.
Golubovskaya bounced back from doubles and delivered a huge win to get SU on the board. Limam left her on the second singles court despite her recent struggles. She had lost five of her last six matches heading into the ACC Tournament. Golubovskaya had also lost her match against Nami Otsuka earlier in the year but got revenge on Thursday.
Miranda Ramirez kept the scoring going on the court over with a 7-6, 6-3 victory. She too had a rematch from earlier this year.
The game-changer was No. 13 Gabriela Knutson’s three-set victory over No. 8 Kenya Jones. Knutson had lost to Jones in three sets in their first meeting of the year, being shut out in the third frame 6-0. Today was Knutson’s day as she won 7-6, 2-6, 6-3.
Syracuse was leading 3-2 with Guzal Yusupova and Dina Hegab tied in their third sets. Georgia Tech’s Gia Cohen clawed her way back to defeat Yusupova in a three-set tiebreak, putting all of the weight on Hegab.
Syracuse’s senior didn’t crumble under pressure as she won four of the last five games in the third set to clinch the dual for the Orange.
The Orange live to see another day in pursuit of their first ACC tournament title in program history. Syracuse is now tasked with facing top-ranked UNC tomorrow at 2:30 p.m.
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