©Colette Lewis 2009--
College Station, TX--
It was one of the stranger nights (and early mornings) of NCAA tennis, with a power outage at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center disrupting the late stages of the Round of 16, and contributing to the circumstances leading to a 2:15 a.m. finish.
No. 5 seed Notre Dame's 4-0 win over No. 12 Clemson was routine, if you discount the hour delay before the power and lights were returned to the south six courts. Notre Dame finished off the doubles point, and took the courts for a very efficient dismantling of the Tigers, with straight set wins by Kristy Frilling at No. 2, Kristen Rafael at No. 6 and Kali Krisik at No. 5 leading to the Tigers' blanking.
Things were not so rosy on the north courts, however, as three courts remained unlit. The NCAA committee decided to place the No. 1, 2 and 3 matches of No. 4 Baylor and No. 13 Stanford on those courts and then place the 4, 5, and 6 matches in open court banks as they became available. With Notre Dame's quick win, three of the north courts were started, with Stanford having taken the doubles point, and Baylor pulling even with a win at No. 2 singles.
Stanford went on to win at No. 1 singles, with Baylor taking the No. 3 line, so it was 2-2 with the last three matches less than halfway done. Kasia Siwosz of Baylor had taken the first set from Stanford's Logan Hansen at No. 6, Veronica Li of Stanford had won the first set from Csilla Borsanyi at No. 4, and at No. 5 Stanford's Carolyn McVeigh and Nina Secerbegovic were approaching a tiebreaker. As midnight came and went, the matches began to turn, with Hansen winning the second set, Secerbegovic taking the first in a tiebreaker, then easing to a straight set win to give Baylor a 3-2 lead.
Hansen completed her comeback, pulling the Cardinal even with a 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 win, so all eyes were on the No. 4 court, where Borsanyi had taken the second set, and it was 2-2 in the third.
There wasn't much evidence of nerves from either player, and as the fifty or sixty fans remaining took turns loudly encouraging their respective sides, there were plenty of great shots to applaud from both pleyers. Neither got tentative, with Li taking the ball early and pounding it, while Borsanyi was able to counter and defend enought to keep in it.
At 2-2, Li was broken, broke right back, was broken again. Borsanyi served well in the next game however, and took a 5-3 lead. As their teammates gathered along the court to shout encouragement, both women played aggressive and well-contructed points; there was no afraid-to-win play from either. Li held for 5-4, but Borsanyi showed her edge in experience with a fantastic service game to close out the match, getting all her first serves in, putting away the short returns and winning the game at love to put the Bears in the quarterfinals.
There was no power or internet access in the media center or press box after the initial outage, so I won't send you over to aggieathletics.com right now, but full scores should be available there later Saturday.
NOTE: For clarity's sake, I am going to post this on Friday May 15, despite the fact that it is actually Saturday May 16 at 3 a.m. that I am writing this.
Rain in the forecast for Saturday has caused a change in the schedule with two men's quarterfinals slated for noon and two at 4 p.m.
Friday, May 15, 2009