DURHAM, N.C. — Second-seeded North Carolina won an exciting quarterfinal match against seventh-seeded Georgia Tech 4-1 Friday at Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center. UNC received singles wins from Jelena Durisic, Tessa Lyons and Gina Suarez-Malaguti to move into Saturday’s semifinals against third-seeded Miami.
Carolina took the doubles point with wins on courts one and two. Durisic and Lyons were the first to finish their doubles match, beating Lynn Blau and Elizabeth Kilborn 8-3. Shinann Featherston and Lauren McHale battled for their 8-5 win on one, overcoming a three-point deficit early in the set. Although they did not finish, Suarez-Malaguti and Zoe De Bruycker were leading Georgia Tech’s Sasha Krupina and Viet Ha Ngo 7-5 when play was stopped.
In singles, Jelena Durisic was the first to finish for North Carolina. She had a commanding win on court two and defeated Caroline Lilley 6-3, 6-1.
Tessa Lyons held on her own on court six to beat Elizabeth Kilborn 6-1, 6-4.
De Bruycker rallied back in the second set but was unable to best No. 42 Jillian O’Neill for the point, putting the Yellow Jackets on the board for the first time.
It all came down to the three-set battles on courts three, four and five.
Suarez-Malaguti was down three games in her decisive third set while Featherston and McHale were down two games in their respective matches. The Tar Heels only needed one more point to win the match and it would be Suarez-Malaguti who clawed her way to grab it. She came back from a three-game deficit to beat Sasha Krupina on court five 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.
When the team match ended, Featherston was deadlocked with No. 74 Viet Ha Ngo on court three 2-6, 6-3, 5-5 while McHale was set with Blau on court four at 6-3, 4-6, 3-3.