Virginia and Cal Provide Half the Players in Semifinals at USTA/ITA Indoor Intercollegiate Championships
©Colette Lewis 2012--
Flushing Meadows, NY--
The Virginia men and the Cal women have placed two players in the semifinals, with an all-Cavalier or all-Bear final still possible as the USTA/ITA Indoor Intercollegiate Championships draw nearer the end.
Top seed Alex Domijan of Virginia, the two-time and reigning ITA All-American champion, advanced to the semifinals with two straight-set wins Friday. In the second round, Domijan defeated Ben McLachlan of Cal 7-6(5), 6-2, and followed that win with a 6-4, 6-0 decision over unseeded Mississippi State freshman Romain Bogaerts in the quarterfinals.
Domijan, a junior from Wesley Chapel, Florida, will play unseeded Sebastian Fanselow of Pepperdine in the Saturday's semifinal after Fanselow picked up wins over Julian Lenz of Baylor 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 and Raymond Sarmiento of Southern California 6-1, 6-2.
Fanselow was unable to play in the All-American or the regional due to a knee injury, so he was granted a wild card by the ITA, and has made the most of it the past two days.
"I was out four or five weeks, and then I started practicing hard again, two or three weeks ago," said Fanselow, a senior from Germany. "I definitely didn't expect it to turn out this well, but it's been a great run so far."
Against Sarmiento, who had beaten Virginia's Mac Styslinger in the second round 6-4, 6-3, Fanselow was in control throughout the match.
"Raymond's a really tough opponent, but for some reason I always match up really well with him," Fanselow said. "For some reason he never plays his best against me. I had a tough one this morning, so this was definitely not what I expected."
Playing two matches in one day is not the ideal way to come back from an injury, but Fanselow said his preparation helped him.
"I tried to get in pretty good shape the last two, three weeks, and it's turned out well so far," said Fanselow. "Hopefully, I can keep it going."
The semifinal in the bottom half of the men's draw has another Cavalier and another wild card, with No. 6 seed Jarmere Jenkins of Virginia against No. 4 seed Henrique Cunha of Duke. Cunha did not qualify for the Indoor via the All-American or the Regional, but as the preseason No. 1 ranked player, he was given the second ITA wild card.
Cunha, a senior from Brazil, won two tough matches on Friday, and also played a doubles match to start the day, finishing his 12-hour day after 9 p.m. on Friday night. In the second round, Cunha defeated small college champion Adrien Berkowicz of Tyler Junior College 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, and in the quarterfinals he again needed a comeback to down No. 5 seed Marcos Giron of UCLA 6-7(3), 7-5, 6-3.
Jenkins had a less taxing route to the semifinals, with two 6-3, 6-3 wins: in the second round over Michigan's Vlad Stefan and in the quarterfinals over Tennessee's Mikelis Libietis.
Unlike the Virginia men, the two Cal women in the semifinals are unseeded. Zsofi Susanyi, an NCAA semifinalist as a freshman this past spring, cruised past top seed and All-American champion Lauren Embree of Florida 6-1, 6-1 in second round action Friday, then outlasted Pac-12 rival Sabrina Santamaria of USC 6-4, 1-6, 6-2 in the quarterfinals. Another Pac-12 opponent awaits Susanyi in the semifinals in No. 5 seed Robin Anderson, who looked extremely impressive in her two wins Friday. Anderson defeated Kate Turvy of Northwestern 6-2, 6-4 in the second round, then rolled past unseeded Brynn Boren of Tennessee 6-1, 6-1 in the quarterfinals.
Cal's Anett Schutting took out Danielle Lao of Southern Cal 7-6(6), 7-5 in the second round, and overwhelmed No. 6 seed Hanna Mar of Duke 6-2, 6-1 in the nightcap to reach the semifinals against unseeded Sofie Oyen of Florida.
Oyen picked up wins over two seeds of Friday, defeating No. 4 seed Krista Hardebeck of Stanford 6-4, 6-3 and No. 8 seed Lauren Herring of Georgia 6-3, 1-6, 6-3.
Herring had beaten Oyen in the final of the Southeast Regional last month, so Oyen knew what to expect and what she needed to do to change the outcome.
"The difference was that this was indoors, and I feel I played more aggressive this time and that helped me a lot," said the junior from Belgium.
"My first serve helped me a lot too," said Oyen. "I made a lot of first serves and that was a big difference too."
Oyen is taking inspiration from former teammate Joanna Mather, who reached the finals of the Indoor Championships last year unseeded.
"I wasn't here, but I heard from everyone that she played a great tournament, great matches and I was really proud of her," said Oyen, who won the 2010 Indoor doubles title with Allie Will. "I was thinking about it for sure. Hopefully, I can do the same thing."
The doubles semifinalists were also determined on Friday, with Cunha and Jenkins also advancing in that draw.
No. 2 seeds Cunha and partner Raphael Hemmeler defeated the unseeded Texas team of Chris Camillone and David Holiner 8-4, and will play Jenkins and Styslinger, the No. 3 seeds Saturday. Jenkins and Styslinger beat Cal's Riki and Ben MacLachan 8-4.
Top seeds and All-American champion Daniel Cochrane and Andreas Mies of Auburn beat Mississippi State's Jordan Angus and Malte Stropp 9-7 and will play the unseeded Georgia team of Hernus Pieters and Ben Wagland in the semifinals. Pieters and Wagland beat Jonas Lutjen and Nik Scholtz of Ole Miss 9-8(6) to advance.
Top seeds and defending champions Santamaria and Kaitlyn Christian posted an 8-3 win over Ashley Dai and Whitney Kay of North Carolina and will meet unseeded Alexa Guarachi and MaryAnne Macfarlane of Alabama in the semifinals. Guarachi and Macfarlane eliminated No. 3 seeds Maria Belaya and Jeltje Loomans of William and Mary 8-3.
The other semifinal will feature two unseeded teams, with the University of Virginia's Stephanie Nauta and Li Xi facing Pepperdine's Lorraine Guillermo and Khunpak Issara. Nauta and Xi beat Tulsa's Isaura Enrique and Samantha Vickers 8-6 and Guillermo and Issara got past No. 2 seeds Boren and Kata Szekely of Tennessee 9-7.
For complete results, and times for Saturday's matches, see the ITA tournament page.