Syracuse overcomes lineup changes and lost doubles point to beat Georgia Tech

first_img Published on April 18, 2019 at 7:27 pm Contact Arabdho: [email protected] | @aromajumder Guzal Yusupova first crouched. Then she sat down and crossed her legs, never reaching the net for the customary post-match handshake. Her teammate Sofya Golubovskaya was the first to reach her and offered a consoling hand which Yusupova grabbed. She’d held a commanding third set tiebreak lead, once up by three mini-breaks, but she couldn’t close.Dina Hegab, playing on the neighboring court, could. Her 6-3 third set win ensured No. 9-seed Syracuse’s (13-11, 5-9 Atlantic Coast) run at the ACC Tennis Championships would continue. The Orange reversed the scoreline from their initial meeting with Georgia Tech (12-12, 7-7) and felled the Yellow Jackets, 4-3, on Thursday in Cary, North Carolina.The two teams entered Thursday’s contest with identical overall records and near-identical rankings. The first time they met, they were separated by just a point. SU head coach Younes Limam decided to make a change. Hegab partnered with Golubovskaya, and Yusupova and Sonya Treshcheva made up the third pairing. In singles, Libi Mesh was excluded in favor of Masha Tritou.The Yellow Jackets reverted to what worked. Nami Otsuka and Gia Cohen, who played just two matches without each other, dominated Hegab and Golubovskaya 6-2, taking just 35 minutes to do so. Two minutes later, Treshcheva and Yusupova found themselves the victims of the same scoreline against Nadia Gizdova and Kenya Jones. Those two had been broken up since March 22, but when together, they had won five of their six completed matchups, including one against SU.The lone SU pair that hadn’t changed won, 6-3.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textGabriela Knutson spoke on the pressures that comes with a fluctuating lineup earlier this season in reference to Golubovskaya and Ramirez being flipped at second and third singles.“If I knew that, ‘Oh no, if I lose on Friday I might play number two on Sunday,’” Knutson said, “that’s so much stress.”Limam kept Golubovskaya and Ramirez in the same position they were for the March matchup against Georgia Tech, and both delivered wins. In a rematch with Otsuka at second singles, Golubovskaya won in straight sets, 7-5, 6-2 — the same manner in which she had lost. Ramirez’s straight sets victory gave the Orange a second point and a lead.Syracuse’s change in singles worked in the first set. Tritou took the one frame advantage, 6-0, but soon, Georgia Tech’s Victoria Flores pulled level. Then, she blanked Tritou in the third set to even the overall score.A berth to the third round of the conference championships would be decided by three matches, two of which SU took in the teams’ March meeting. The Orange could still erase their mistakes from a ninth consecutive dropped doubles point.Knutson took her third set, 6-3, and SU needed just one win out of two matches. Up 5-3, Yusupova shook her fist at a Georgia Tech shot that fell long, one point closer to clinching the match for SU. After each of the next two points, she dropped into a deep crouch, both hands pressing her racket into the ground. She lost that game and the one after. And after both players held their serves, the third set went into a tiebreak.Yusupova earned the early mini-break, and when she won another on a Georgia Tech shot that barely missed the line, both her opponent, Gia Cohen, and a Yellow Jackets coach confronted the umpire.The call stood. So did another later in the frame to extend Yusupova’s lead to three mini-breaks. But as the Georgia Tech cheers grew louder from the sidelines, Yusupova sank lower and lower with each point that Cohen earned back, until eventually, she was sitting.Everyone shifted to watch Hegab. And as she’s done so many times this season, she became the clincher. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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