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Friday, February 7, 2014

Top Seed Florida Gets Past Host Virginia; Northwestern Reaches Quarterfinals of Women's Team Indoor with Win Over No. 8 Seed Texas A&M

©Colette Lewis 2014--
Charlottesville, VA--

The theme of the day was close matches, and the refrain continued into the two evening matches, with top seed Florida taking a 4-2 decision from Virginia and Northwestern getting a 4-3 win over No. 8 seed Texas A&M.

No. 3 seed Georgia was the only team that didn't surrender a point in the eight matches played Friday at the Boar's Head Sports Club, with No. 2 seed North Carolina taken to the limit by Vanderbilt in a morning contest.  The top-seeded Gators, playing in the Team Indoor for the first time since 2011, also found themselves in a battle with host Virginia, despite the early cushion of the doubles point.

Virginia won the first doubles match at line 3, but Florida took lines 1 and 2 for the early lead.  It didn't last long, with Virginia's Julia Elbaba absolutely steamrolling Olivia Janowicz 6-0, 6-2 at No. 1 to pull even.  That was the only quick match of the evening, with all of the other opening sets, three of which went to Florida, closely contested.  Florida got its second point when Alex Cercone came back to defeat former teammate Danielle Collins, who transferred from Florida to Virginia after last season, 3-6, 6-3, 10-6 at line 2. Virginia countered with Maci Epstein's point at No. 5, earned with a 6-4, 6-4 decision over Kourtney Keegan.  Florida's Brianna Morgan was up a set and a break over Rachel Pierson at line 3 and Sofie Oyen was serving for the match at line 4 against Virginia's Stephanie Nauta, but Oyen was broken to make it 5-5.  Morgan held on to make it 3-2 Florida, beating Pierson 7-5, 6-4, but Nauta was finding new life against Oyen, so attention went to line 6, where Florida's Belinda Woolcock was leading Marie Faure 7-6(6), 5-2.  Although both freshmen were playing their first high pressure match, Woolcock came through, converting her first match point when Faure missed a backhand volley at the net.

While Florida was subduing Virginia, Northwestern was attempting complete its win over No. 8 seed Texas A&M, leading 3-1.

Having won the doubles point with victories at No. 1 and No. 2, Northwestern took a 2-0 lead when Nida Hamilton beat Rutuja Bhosale 7-5, 6-1 at line No. 6.  Texas A&M got on the board with Stefanie Hristov's 6-3, 6-2 win over Jillian Rooney at line 5, but Northwestern got its third point when Veronica Corning beat Christina Stancu 4-6, 6-3, 10-7 at No. 1.  Anna Mamalat kept Texas A&M's hopes alive with a 6-3, 7-6 win over Alicia Barnett at No. 3, but Northwestern's Belinda Niu had built a 7-5, 5-1 lead over Saska Gavrilovska at No. 2, while the Wildcats' Lok Sze Leung had an opportunity to clinch at No. 4 against Ines Deheza in a match tiebreaker. Lueng was unable to convert the match point she had at 9-8, and Deheza won the final three points for a 6-2, 3-6, 11-9 win, making the score 3-3 and sending the crowd down the hall to see if Niu could clinch. The senior closed the door, completing her 7-5, 6-2 victory, and Northwestern, the 2009 and 2010 Team Indoor champions, advanced to the quarterfinals to play Florida.

The quarterfinals are scheduled for noon and 3:30 on Saturday, with consolation matches taking place in the 9 a.m. and 6: 30 p.m. time slots.

Florida 4, Virginia 2

Feb 07, 2014 at Charlottesville, VA (Boar's Head Sports Club)

1. #11 Julia Elbaba (VA) def. #17 Olivia Janowicz (FLA) 6-0, 6-2
2. #23 Alexandra Cercone (FLA) def. #28 Danielle Collins (VA) 3-6, 6-3, 10-6
3. #18 Brianna Morgan (FLA) def. #43 Rachel Pierson (VA) 7-5, 6-4
4. #85 Stephanie Nauta (VA) vs. #27 Sofie Oyen (FLA) 6-7 (6-8), 6-6, unfinished
5. Maci Epstein (VA) def. #39 Kourtney Keegan (FLA) 6-4, 6-4
6. #36 Belinda Woolcock (FLA) def. Marie Faure (VA) 7-6 (8-6), 6-2

1. #32 Sofie Oyen/Belinda Woolcock (FLA) def. #8 Rachel Pierson/Julia Elbaba (VA) 6-4
2. Olivia Janowicz/Kourtney Keegan (FLA) def. Li Xi/Danielle Collins (VA) 6-3
3. Maci Epstein/Stephanie Nauta (VA) def. Alexandra Cercone/Stefani Stojic (FLA) 6-3

Match Notes
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (1,2,5,3,6)
Northwestern 4, Texas A&M 3

Feb 07, 2014 at Charlottesville, VA (Boar's Head Sports Club)

1. Veronica Corning (NW) def. #14 Cristina Stancu (TAMU) 4-6, 6-3, 10-7
2. #105 Belinda Niu (NW) def. Saska Gavrilovska (TAMU) 7-5, 6-2
3. Anna Mamalat (TAMU) def. Alicia Barnett (NW) 6-3, 7-6
4. Ines Deheza (TAMU) def. Lok Sze Leung (NW) 6-2, 3-6, 11-9
5. Stefania Hristov (TAMU) def. Jillian Rooney (NW) 6-3, 6-2
6. Nida Hamilton (NW) def. Rutuja Bhosale (TAMU) 7-5, 6-1

 1. #35 Veronica Corning/Alicia Barnett (NW) def. #22 Cristina Stancu/Stefania Hristov (TAMU) 6-3
2. #45 Maddie Lipp/Nida Hamilton (NW) def. #51 Rutuja Bhosale/Ines Deheza (TAMU) 7-5
3. Saska Gavrilovska/Anna Mamalat (TAMU) vs. Belinda Niu/Manon Peri (NW) 4-5, unfinished

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