©Colette Lewis 2007--
I thought the biggest upset of the women's tournament to date was No. 12 UCLA's 4-0 shellacking of No. 5 Northwestern in Friday's quarterfinals, but after watching them take down No. 4 Florida Sunday morning 4-3, I'm beginning to wonder if the Bruins weren't just underrated.
Florida battled to the very end, coming back from a 3-0 deficit to tie it when Diane Srebrovic outlasted Riza Zalameda at No. 1 6-3, 0-6, 7-5.
No. 5 singles would decide who would move on to the semifinals, and Alex McGoodwin of UCLA had a set in hand and was up 5-3 on Csilla Borsanyi when the spotlight moved to to her. I was interested to see that McGoodwin did a lot of serve-and-volley, even with the match on her racquet at 5-4, and it earned her three match points, but Borsanyi struck some perfect passes to even it at 5-5. Borsanyi survived a long service game in which she saved two break points, and when McGoodwin held, a tiebreak was in order.
In the four games I watched, Borsanyi's serve was more of a liability than a weapon, and that proved to be the difference in the tiebreak. McGoodwin stepped up her serving, hitting three aces (one of which was a chair overrule of Borsanyi's fault call that gave the Bruin senior a 5-2 lead in tiebreak) while Borsanyi was content with spinning hers in. After Borsanyi closed the gap to 5-4, McGoodwin cracked her third ace, giving her two more match points, but she only needed one to put her team in the semifinals against top-seeded Stanford.
The Cardinal defeated the No. 9 Miami Hurricanes 4-1 Sunday afternoon, in a rematch of the 2006 NCAA team final. The doubles point was extremely close, with all three matches standing at 7-6 at one stage, but Stanford was up a break at No. 2 and No. 3, and closed both out to take a 1-0 lead.
At No. 1 Audra Cohen completely overwhelmed Theresa Logar in the first set at No.1, taking it 6-0, but Stanford's strength is their depth, and Lindsay Burdette at No. 6 and Celia Durkin at No. 3 gave the Cardinal a 3-0 lead before Cohen could take a very close second set from Logar 6-3. With Laura Vallverdu up a set and a break at No. 2, Stanford needed a point from either No. 4 Whitney Deason or No. 5 Jessica Nguyen, both of whom were up a set, and it was Deason that delivered, with a 6-2, 6-4 decision over a determined Romy Farah.
Stanford defeated UCLA 4-3 in Los Angeles last month, but both teams have fielded substantially different lineups here at the NCAAs than in that match. Yasmin Schnack and McGoodwin didn't play for UCLA and Nguyen wasn't in the lineup for Stanford.
For complete results, see georgiadogs.com.
For additional coverage of the NCAA tournament, see collegeandjuniortennis.com.
Sunday, May 20, 2007