Georgia Tech, Florida State score ACC Women's Tennis upsets

April 23, 2010

CARY, N.C. - Fifth-seeded Florida State appeared to have made the biggest splash in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference Women's Tennis Championship on Friday by taking out defending champion Duke.

Then seventh-seeded Georgia Tech had its say.

The Yellow Jackets stormed from behind by winning four singles match and stunned second-seeded and nationally 11th-ranked Miami, 4-3. Sasha Krupina outlasted Anna Barenstein for a 7-5, 2-6, 7-6 (5) victory at No. 5 singles to send the Yellow Jackets into the today's semifinal round.

Similarly, the Seminoles overtook the Blue Devils with four singles victories to post a 4-2 win and reach the Championship semifinals for the third straight year. Katie Rybakova, playing on the No. 2 court, bested fellow All-ACC player Elizabeth Plotkin 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 to provide FSU with its clinching point.

The Seminoles also got straight-set singles wins from Lauren McCreless at No. 1, Amy Sargeant at No. 4 and Jessica Sucupira at No. 5, preventing the Blue Devils (16-7) from taking control after winning the point in doubles.

FSU (14-9) will meet top-seeded and nationally top-ranked North Carolina (25-3) in Saturday's 10 a.m. semifinal match. The Tar Heels advanced with a 4-0 victory over ninth-seeded Wake Forest on Friday. Gina Suarez-Malaguti, Sophie Grabinski and Shinann Featherston scored singles victories for North Carolina at No. 4, 5 and 6 singles spots.

North Carolina and Florida State closed out the regular season at Chapel Hill, N.C., last Sunday, with the Tar Heels posting a 4-0 win. Saturday's match against the 14th-ranked Seminoles will be North Carolina's 14th against a Top-20 opponent this season. The Tar Heels own a 10-3 record thus far against fellow highly ranked teams.

But much of the buzz on Friday centered around Georgia Tech, which spotted the Hurricanes (17-5) a 3-1 lead before mounting its winning charge.

ACC Player of the Year and top-ranked Irina Falconi turned back eighth-ranked Laura Vallverdu 6-2, 6-3 at the No. 1 singles spot. Additional wins by Lynn Blau (No. 4) and Elizabeth Kilborn (No. 5) allowed the Yellow Jackets to pull even, and Krupina's grueling three-set win provided the finishing touch.

Georgia Tech earned a 1 p.m. Saturday semifinal date with third-seeded Clemson (22-4), which battled sixth-seeded Virginia for four hours on Friday before coming away with a 4-2 win. Freshman Nelly Ciolkowski's 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 win over Hana Tomljanovic put the Tigers in front, and Keri Wong's long-lasting 6-4, 5-7, 7-5 win over Emily Fraser gave Clemson the win.

The victory was the Tigers' second over the Cavaliers in five days. The teams met in last weekend's regular-season finale, with Clemson also winning that match by a 4-3 score.

Today's semifinal matches and Sunday's 11 a.m. championship match will be available for delayed viewing on theACC.com. Patrick Johnson will handle play-by-played duties and Mike Herb will serve as color analysts for the broadcasts, which are scheduled to begin no later than three hours after conclusion of each day's session.