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Friday, February 7, 2014

Defending Champion and No. 2 seed North Carolina Survives Vanderbilt 4-3 to Set Up Quarterfinal Meeting with No. 7 Duke

©Colette Lewis 2014--
Charlottesville, VA--

Second seed and defending champion North Carolina survived a determined effort from Vanderbilt Friday morning, with freshman Hayley Carter defeating Courtney Colton 7-6(3), 7-6(2) to give the Tar Heels a 4-3 victory.

The doubles point was just as close, with Vanderbilt winning at No. 3 and North Carolina taking the match at No. 2, leaving it to be decided at No. 1, with Whitney Kay and Caroline Price outlasting Ashleigh Antal and Lauren Mira 7-6(5). A questionable overrule in the tiebreaker on a Kay lob that appeared to be long and was called long by Vanderbilt, but overturned on appeal was costly, but a subsequent double fault by Price later could have turned the momentum back to Vanderbilt. It didn't, as UNC regrouped quickly, and Price made a difficult high backhand volley on match point to give North Carolina the win.

With Vanderbilt's Sydney Campbell unable to play due to injury at No. 1 singles, everyone moved up a spot in the order.  Lauren Mira, who played in Campbell's place, had no better luck than the rest of the college tennis this year in attempting to defeat Jamie Loeb, with Loeb getting a quick 6-1, 6-0 win to make it 2-0 North Carolina.  Antal got Vanderbilt on the board with 6-1, 6-4 victory over Tessa Lyons at No. 6 and the Commodores had a lead at No. 5, but all the remaining matches were close.  Caroline Price made it 3-1 North Carolina with a match tiebreaker win over Frances Altick 1-6, 6-2, 10-7, just as Vanderbilt's Georgina Sellyn was earning a split with Whitney Kay at No. 3.  Kay, who is now wearing glasses on the court, had two match points in the match tiebreaker but hit a forehand long at 9-7 and a backhand long at 9-8, and Sellyn took advantage, earning a 4-6, 7-5, 11-9 victory.

In the meantime, Marie Casares had beaten Ashley Dai 6-3, 6-2 at No. 5, leaving the score tied at 3-3, and the match in the hands of Carter and Colton.

Their first set had taken 80 minutes to complete, longer than it had taken Loeb to win her match on the adjacent court, and when Sellyn post her point, Carter trailed 2-0 in the second set. The match's third match tiebreaker loomed, particularly after Carter lost her serve to fall behind 4-3, but she immediately broke Colton, eventually taking a 6-5 lead. With Colton serving to force the second tiebreaker, she had a 40-15 lead, only to see that disappear. Carter had a match point she didn't convert, missing a running backhand, and Colton held to force the tiebreaker.

On the second point, Colton missed a forehand wide, and she trailed the rest of the way, with Carter playing a clean final game, making no unforced errors and using her first serve to set up her points, while Colton was much more prone to the ill-considered shot or unforced error.  One hundred and sixty-one minutes after it began, Carter ended the match, forcing a backhand wide and putting the defending champions into the quarterfinals against No. 7 Duke.

Duke downed Michigan 4-2, with both teams understaffed.  Duke was playing without their No. 2 Chalena Scholl and No. 5 Annie Mulholland, although Mulholland did play doubles and appeared to be a healthy scratch.  Michigan also did not have its No. 2, Ronit Yurovsky, who did play doubles, but is still having shoulder problems and did not take the court for singles.

Duke took a nearly hour-long doubles point, winning at courts 2 and 3, and it was senior Rachel Kahan, out all last year with an injury, who clinched the 4-2 win for the Blue Devils, taking a 6-4, 6-4 decision from Michigan freshman Sara Remynse.  Duke got its second point from Marianne Jodoin at No. 6, with Michigan then getting on the board with Amy Zhu's 7-5, 6-1 victory over Alyssa Smith at No. 4.  Duke made it 3-1 with Ester Goldfeld's 7-6, 6-3 win over Sarah Lee at No. 2. Emina Bektas beat Trice Capra at No. 1 6-2, 7-6 to make it 3-2, but Kahan then closed it out for the Blue Devils.

Box scores for both matches are below.
North Carolina 4, Vanderbilt University 3
Feb 07, 2014 at Charlottesville, VA (Boar's Head Sports Club)

1. #2 Jamie Loeb (NC) def. #61 Lauren Mira (VU) 6-1, 6-0
2. #5 Hayley Carter (NC) def. Courtney Colton (VU) 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-2)
3. #48 Georgina Sellyn (VU) def. #88 Whitney Kay (NC) 4-6, 7-5, 11-9
4. Caroline Price (NC) def. Frances Altick (VU) 1-6, 6-2, 10-7
5. Marie Casares (VU) def. #118 Ashley Dai (NC) 6-3, 6-2
6. #102 Ashleigh Antal (VU) def. Tessa Lyons (NC) 6-1, 6-4

1. #10 Whitney Kay/Caroline Price (NC) def. Ashleigh Antal/Lauren Mira (VU) 7-6 (7-5)
2. #12 Hayley Carter/Jamie Loeb (NC) def. Marie Casares/Courtney Colton (VU) 6-4
3. Frances Altick/Georgina Sellyn (VU) def. #42 Laura Slater/Kate Vialle (NC) 6-1

Match Notes
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (1,6,4,5,3,2)

Duke University 4, Michigan 2
Feb 07, 2014 at Charlottesville, VA (Boar's Head Sports Club)

1. #21 Emina Bektas (MI) def. #3 Beatrice Capra (DU) 6-2, 7-6
2. #45 Ester Goldfeld (DU) def. #100 Sarah Lee (MI) 7-6, 6-3
3. #49 Hanna Mar (DU) vs. Brooke Bolender (MI) 4-6, 6-4, unfinished
4. Amy Zhu (MI) def. Alyssa Smith (DU) 7-5, 6-1
5. Rachel Kahan (DU) def. Sara Remynse (MI) 6-4, 6-4
6. Marianne Jodoin (DU) def. Kristen Dodge (MI) 6-0, 6-3

1. Beatrice Capra/Hanna Mar (DU) vs. #9 Emina Bektas/Brooke Bolender (MI) 6-5, unfinished
2. Ester Goldfeld/Alyssa Smith (DU) def. Sarah Lee/Amy Zhu (MI) 6-2
3. Marianne Jodoin/Annie Mulholland (DU) def. Kristen Dodge/Ronit Yurovsky (MI) 7-6

Match Notes
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3); Singles (6,4,2,1,5)