ATLANTA--The No. 59-ranked Georgia State women's tennis team renews its crosstown rivalry with No. 24-ranked Georgia Tech on Thursday with a 3:15 p.m. match at the new Ken Byers Tennis Complex.
The matchup is the 15th in the history of the rivalry with Georgia State (3-4) looking for its first win over Georgia Tech (2-3) since the 1994 season. The Panthers and Yellow Jackets met last season at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend with Georgia Tech taking a hard-fought 5-2 victory in the match. The match was highlighted by the spirited effort from the Panthers, led by junior Abigail Tere-Apisah who fought off two match points and an injured ankle to defeat a nationally-ranked singles player in No. 44 Jillian O'Neal in three sets.
The match will be GSU's fourth against an opponent ranked inside the Top 40 this season. The Panthers are looking to rebound from a tough 5-2 loss at No. 27-ranked Florida State last Sunday. Tere-Apisah notched her sixth win vs. a nationally-ranked opponent with a 6-3, 6-4 win vs. FSU's No. 35-ranked Daneika Borthwick. GSU salvaged a split on the weekend by winning a 5-2 match vs. UCF the previous day.
Thursday's match provides another opportunity for Tere-Apisah to notch a win over a nationally-ranked singles opponent. Georgia Tech senior Elizabeth Kilborn, a native of nearby Marietta, Ga., is ranked No. 62 in the nation and has four wins vs. nationally-ranked singles opponents this season. Tere-Apisah and Kilborn met at GSU's Southern Shootout fall tournament last September with Tere-Apisah earning a 6-3, 7-5 victory in the match.
Sophomores Masa Grgan and Chaimaa Roudami can also draw on experience from the fall tournament in Thursday's match. Grgan notched a come-from-behind 0-6, 6-4, 6-4 win vs. Georgia Tech freshman Kendal Woodard in the tournament. Grgan and Woodard are slated to meet again as both have primarily played at the No. 2 singles position this season. Roudami dropped a 6-2, 6-3 decision vs. Georgia Tech freshman Natasha Prokhnevska at the fall tournament.
Georgia Tech is coming off back-to-back 6-1 losses to No. 17 Vanderbilt and No. 18 Clemson in the past two weeks. Kilborn and Woodard lead the Yellow Jackets at the top two spots while Prokhnevska is the team leader with three singles wins. Woodard and freshman Megan Kurey are a perfect 4-0 as the No. 2 doubles pair.
"We saw Georgia Tech at our fall tournament and I think we matched up well against them," sixth-year head coach Miha Lisac said. "They have had a pretty solid season so far with a very good win vs. Tennessee. We should enjoy the challenge of playing them. It's another match for us against a Top-30 team in the nation and we're beginning to realize that, talent-wise, we are on the same level as these top-ranked teams."
Live stats will be available courtesy of ramblinwreck.com for Thursday's match. The Byers Tennis Complex is located at the corner of 10th Street NW and Fowler Street NW just off of the Downtown Connector. Visit the women's tennis page on GeorgiaStateSports.com for a full recap with results of the match.