Sunday, February 22, 2015

Florida Women Beat Stanford 4-3 to Extend Home Winning Streak to 138; Trinity Wins Division III Men's Team Indoor Title; Marand Falls in Surprise Final

Arguably the best rivalry in Division I college tennis resumed today in Gainesville, with the second-ranked Florida women getting past No. 10 Stanford 4-3.

The Gators now have extended their home winning streak to 138 matches, last losing at Lindner Stadium on May 15, 2004, to Miami, in the second round of the NCAAs.  Florida has had close calls, including Stanford's last visit in 2012, when then freshman Brianna Morgan defeated Stanford's Stacey Tan to clinch the 4-3 win for the Gators.

Morgan was called on for similar heroics today, and she came through again. Although Florida had dropped the doubles point, they won all six first sets in singles, with the bottom of the lineup finishing off their opponents to give Florida a 3-1 lead. But at the top, Stanford forced a third set in all three matches, and Carol Zhao beat Florida's Brooke Austin 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 at line 1 to cut the lead to 3-2.  Florida freshman Josie Kuhlman looked poised to end it at one 2, taking a 5-0 lead in the third set tiebreaker of her match with Taylor Davidson, but Davidson came all the way back, saving three match points at 6-3 to post a 2-6, 6-0, 7-6(8) victory.

Fortunately for Florida, Morgan had earned a 5-3 third set lead over Caroline Doyle at line 3 and closed out the match 6-1, 2-6, 6-3 to keep the streak in tact and send over 1000 Florida fans home happy.

After shutting out a struggling Duke team on Friday, Florida can only be pleased with their weekend's work, but another challenge awaits, with No. 8 Alabama visiting Gainesville next Friday.

For more on their win over Stanford, see the Florida website.

While the weather for the Florida - Stanford match may have been beautiful, few other sites had that good fortune.  At the Blue Gray National Tennis Classic, the finals were played indoors at Auburn, with the University of South Florida men and Alabama women taking the titles.  USF defeated Princeton 4-0, while Alabama downed Texas Tech 4-1.  See the tournament website for more.  

In other important non conference matches today--all played indoors--the top-ranked North Carolina women defeated No. 15 Michigan 5-2 in Ann Arbor. In men's Top 20 play, No. 1 Oklahoma defeated No. 8 North Carolina 4-1, and No. 5 Baylor beat No. 12 UCLA 4-0.

The ITA Division III Men's Team Indoor championship went to top seed Trinity(Texas). The Tigers defeated No. 3 seed Emory 5-4 in the final Sunday at Gustavus Adolphus in St. Peter Minnesota, collecting their first Division III team title in the process.  Charlie Curtis clinched for Trinity.  Complete results are available at the ITA tournament page.
2015 ITA National Indoor Championship Match
#3 Trinity University 5, #6 Emory University 4
Feb 22, 2015
1. Adam Krull (TUM) def. Alex Ruderman (EU) 6-3, 4-6, 6-2
2. Aaron Skinner (TUM) def. Eric Halpern (EU) 6-1, 6-7, 6-1
3. Rafe Mosetick (EU) def. Jordan Mayer (TUM) 6-4, 6-4
4. Ian Wagner (EU) def. Clayton Neiss (TUM) 6-2, 6-4
5. Charlie Curtis (TUM) def. Scott Rubinstein (EU) 6-4, 6-3
6. Josh Goodman (EU) def. Chas Mayer (TUM) 6-2, 6-3

1. Alex Ruderman/Ian Wagner (EU) def. Jordan Mayer/Aaron Skinner (TUM) 8-5
2. Adam Krull/Clayton Neiss (TUM) def. Scott Rubinstein/Eric Halpern (EU) 9-7
3. Chas Mayer/Charlie Curtis (TUM) def. Rafe Mosetick/David Omsky (EU) 8-6

Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (,3,2,4,1,5,6)
In the Pro Circuit events in the United States, former North Carolina Tar Heel Sanaz Marand came up short in her quest for a second career singles title, losing to Sofia Arvidsson of Sweden 6-2, 6-1 in the final of the $25,000 tournament in Surprise, Arizona. Neither player was seeded.

The doubles championship went to unseeded Kaitlyn Christian(Southern Cal) and Jacqueline Cako(Arizona State), who defeated unseeded Maria Sanchez(Southern Cal) and Johanna Konta of Great Britain 6-4, 5-7, 10-7. It's the 23-year-old Christian's first doubles title above the $10,000 level.

At the $10,000 men's Futures in Plantation, No. 8 seed Patricio Heras of Argentina defeated 18-year-old Joao Menezes of Brazil 6-4, 6-2 in the singles final.  Former Ole Miss star Catalin Gard teamed with Darian King of Barbados to win the doubles title. The No. 4 seeds, who won all four of their matches in straight sets, beat No. 3 seeds Heras and Juan Galarz of Argentina 6-2, 6-4 in the final.

This week's Pro Circuit events in the US are a $25,000 women's tournament in Rancho Santa Fe, California, and another $10,000 men's Futures tournament in Sunrise, Florida.