May 8, 2009

ATLANTA - Irina Falconi, Amanda McDowell and Lynn Blau each captured their singles matches without losing a game, and 8th-ranked Georgia Tech blanked Jackson State, 4-0, in the first round of the NCAA Atlanta Tennis Regional at the Bill Moore Tennis Center.

The Yellow Jackets (17-7) advanced to face No. 21 Mississippi (15-9) at 1 p.m. Saturday, with the winner moving on to the NCAA Championship beginning May 15 in College Station, Texas. The Rebels advanced by defeating Denver, 4-1.

Tech reached the second round for the eighth straight season, and a win Saturday would take the Jackets to the Sweet 16 for the fifth consecutive year. The win also was Tech's ninth against no losses in NCAA regional matches it has hosted.

"We brought great focus into today's match from start to finish," said Tech head coach Bryan Shelton. "I want to congratulate Jackson state for making it to the tournament and wish them well in the future."

Shelton's team did not lose a game in any of the five singles and doubles matches that were completed. Tech opened by getting a pair of 8-0 victories at the No. 2 and 3 positions. McDowell and Blau blanked Geneva Warren and Valentina Prado at No. 3, and Falconi and Sasha Krupina clinched the point with a shutout win over Asha Saravan Mohan and Angele Rose.

That momentum carried into the singles competition as Falconi, a freshman from Jupiter, Fla., defeated Paulina Vargas, 6-0, 6-0, and McDowell, a junior from Atlanta, downed Geneva Warren by the same score. Blau, a freshman from Koerich, Luzembourg, closed out the match with a 6-0, 6-0 win against Rose.

"We knew it would be tough for us," said Jackson State head coach Niji Olagegi. "We're playing a team that won the national championship two years ago. You've got to give Georgia Tech creifit. They are all good players. But we gave a good effort, and we look forward to coming back."

Tech has lost both prior meetings with Mississippi, which came in the early 1990s.

"We're excited about playing Ole Miss tomorrow," said Shelton, "and having our fans come out to support us."

Jackson State vs Georgia Tech
May 08, 2009 at Atlanta, Ga.

#8 Georgia Tech 4, Jackson State 0

Singles competition 1. #12 Irina Falconi (GT) def. Paulina Vargas (JSU) 6-0, 6-0 2. #25 Amanda McDowell (GT) def. Geneva Warren (JSU) 6-0, 6-0 3. #61 Noelle Hickey (GT) vs. Asha Saravana Mohan (JSU) 6-0, 2-1, unfinished 4. #45 Christy Striplin (GT) vs. Britney Shy (JSU) 6-0, 4-0, unfinished 5. Lynn Blau (GT) def. Angela Rose (JSU) 6-0, 6-0 6. Viet Ha Ngo (GT) vs. Valentina Prado (JSU) 6-0, 2-2, unfinished

Doubles competition 1. #30 Christy Striplin/Noelle Hickey (GT) vs. Paulina Vargas/Britney Shy (JSU) 4-1, unfinished 2. Irina Falconi/Sasha Krupina (GT) def. Asha Saravana Mohan/Angela Rose (JSU) 8-0 3. Lynn Blau/Amanda McDowell (GT) def. Geneva Warren/Valentina Prado (JSU) 8-0

Match Notes: Jackson State 13-7 Georgia Tech 16-7; National ranking #8 Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (2,1,5)