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Monday, February 9, 2015

North Carolina Tops Georgia 4-1 to Claim Second Women's National Team Indoor Title

The championship may not have come down to a third set tiebreaker, as their first ITA Women's Team Indoor title did in 2013, but North Carolina had to fight off a determined Georgia team to capture their second, with Caroline Price clinching a 4-1 win for the Tar Heels at the Boars Head Sports Club in Charlottesville, Virginia.

After losing the championship-deciding match in last year's NCAA final to Kyle McPhillips of UCLA, Price came out on top in a similarly pressure-packed moment on Monday, saving two match points against Georgia freshman Kennedy Shaffer to claim a 6-1, 2-6, 7-5 victory and end a spirited comeback by Georgia.

North Carolina won the doubles point, with little drama. Hayley Carter and Whitney Kay downed Caroline Brinson and Hannah King 6-2 at line 3 and Price and Jamie Loeb defeated Shaffer and Silvia Garcia 6-2 to end the 30-minute doubles competition.

North Carolina looked to have the match under control when the first sets in singles were completed, taking the opening set on the top four courts. But Georgia went up a break in the second set on four courts and Shaffer gave the Bulldogs their first momentum boost by taking the second set from Price.  Carter made it 2-0 North Carolina with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Ellen Perez at line 2, and Kay, the hero of the 2013 championship, followed with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Garcia at line 4.  That meant Georgia had to win all four matches on the courts, but they got a huge boost when Loeb failed to serve out the match at 5-4 against Lauren Herring at line 1 and Shaffer went up a break on Price at 3. Herring took the second set from Loeb, who double faulted at 5-6, 30-40.

Meanwhile, North Carolina's Ashley Dai and Kate Vialle had forced third sets against Hannah King and Caroline Brinson at lines 5 and 6, so the first point for the Bulldogs remained elusive.  It appeared Shaffer would get it against Price, serving for the match at 5-4, 40-30, but she netted a backhand up the line for deuce, and on the deciding point, she went well wide with a forehand.

Given new life, Price came up with some big serving to hold for 6-5, while Brinson finished off Vialle at line 6, taking 6-3, 4-6, 6-1 decision to make the score 3-1.

With King well ahead at line 5, and Herring getting back one of the two breaks she was down in the third to Loeb, Georgia was still in the match, if Shaffer could win a third-set tiebreaker.  The match didn't get that far, as Shaffer double faulted at 30-30 to give Price two match points. Price netted a forehand, forcing a deciding deuce point, which she won when Shaffer's forehand found the net after a short rally.

With its second Team Indoor title, North Carolina is now tied for fourth place for most team indoor titles, behind Stanford 10, Florida 6 and Georgia 3.  For more on the final, see the North Carolina website.

Although the focus throughout the four days in on the main draw, the consolation matches are also important for ranking purposes. Here are the records of the 16 teams competing this weekend:
North Carolina 4-0
Georgia 3-1
Cal 2-1
Florida 2-1
Virginia 2-1
UCLA 2-1
Southern Cal 2-1
Alabama 2-1
Miami 1-2
TCU 1-2
Vanderbilt 1-2
Michigan 1-2
Clemson 1-2
Oklahoma State 1-2
Duke 0-3
Kentucky 0-3
#3 North Carolina 4, #9 Georgia 1
Feb 8, 2015Singles
1. #8 Jamie Loeb (NC) vs. #19 Lauren Herring (UGA) 6-2, 5-7, 3-1, unfinished
2. #31 Hayley Carter (NC) def. Ellen Perez (UGA) 6-3, 6-4
3. #22 Caroline Price (NC) def. Kennedy Shaffer (UGA) 6-1, 2-6, 7-5
4. Whitney Kay (NC) def. #83 Silvia Garcia (UGA) 6-4, 6-3
5. Ashley Dai (NC) vs. #91 Hannah King (UGA) 4-6, 6-4, 2-5, unfinished
6. Caroline Brinson (UGA) def. Kate Vialle (NC) 6-3, 4-6, 6-1

1. #13 Ashley Dai/Kate Vialle (NC) vs. Lauren Herring/Ellen Perez (UGA) 4-4, unfinished
2. Jamie Loeb/Caroline Price (NC) def. Kennedy Shaffer/Silvia Garcia (UGA) 6-2
3. Hayley Carter/Whitney Kay (NC) def. Caroline Brinson/Hannah King (UGA) 6-2

Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (2,4,6,3)


Jim Wright said...

I believe there are at least two other teams with two womens national indoors. GT in 2007 and 2008; and ITA shows Northwestern in 2009 and 2010. I'm thrilled for Caroline to have had the clinching point. One of my favorite memories is her dad kneeling at center court after leading GT over UNC for the 1985 ACC basketball title. Congrats UNC.

Colette Lewis said...

Duke as well. Won their 2nd last year.

curious george said...

battle of the two teenage wildcards for memphis…donaldson takes first set off of kozlov, 7-5…s.k.tanks the second set..6-0..way to make use of that wc,stefan…how did the two get to play each other the fisrt round of an atp 250? computer?

No accident said...

No a computer does not do this, this "randomness" has occurred for years, also seen a ton in the futures circuit. Of course their is the ability to override anything initially put in the draw. Let the two youngsters battle and one of them is gonna get a point there and in this ATP event we are talking points. There is nothing accidental or coincidental about it, they are planted that way. Widely known on the inside.

marcoforehand said...

This tournament was the first time I was able to see the format changes in action,
I had been against the changes but will now say they may not be as bad as I originally thought.
I do miss the 8 game pro set for doubles but the first to 6 win by two format still allows for momentum swings.
No ad scoring may actually add to one of my favorite parts of college tennis. Six courts to follow, find a good spot to watch all the courts and there is always a key point being played on one of them. No ad made that even more true.
I was surprised how well it worked.

Dave said...

Um, no, it was random. I love all these message board conspiracy theories whenever there's a coincidental match-up in a draw. Unlikely coincidences happen all the time, it's a basic law of probability! Kozlov vs. Donaldson had a 1/31 probability pretournament, so it's not like winning the lottery! We tend to remember and hold onto the coincidences, and discard from our memory the commonplace (such as Tiafoe drawing Krajinovic), which makes it seem like coincidences happen more frequently than they really do.

R.M.A. said...

sure, dave…what ever you say…;)

Not a theory said...

Watch the futures circuit in FLA and see how many times a 15 year old plays a 14 year old after both receiving a WC. Check historically, it is an intended action not a computer born coincidence. Oh, and talk to the directors who are willing to tell you what they are able to do with the TDM sw. The players certainly know this, I knew a junior who knew he had a WC and who he would play in the event 3 months ahead of time. It is not a conspiracy theory, just another hush move by USTA. I am more surprised that people don't know it is intentional.

Brent said...

'No accident' and 'R.M.A.' - surely you can't be supporting the 'draw fixing' theory based on one data point, right? So, let's hear the rest of it. Show us the trend of young Americans or wild cards (or not really sure what your point was) getting advantageous draws. And, who exactly is doing the fixing? The individual tournament organizers to boost ratings? The ATP tour to artificially accelerate future marketing stars to the top of the rankings? Interested in learning more about this theory 'widely known on the inside'. Thanks in advance

Brent said...

Is Evan King semi-retired now or injured? I just noticed that he had signed on as a volunteer assistant coach for the Michigan men's team for this year.

experienced parent said...

Draw fixing? You have GOT to be kidding. Apparently you have not seen a live draw made in action. There is a player representative ( sometimes 2 ) there who actually draws the players to be put in the draw. It is completely random. And don't even try the "ok ok wink wink" trick because my kid has been playing on the tour for years and I myself have witnessed many many draws made.

R.M.A. said...

;) ;)

Courtney Donaldson said...

To set the record straight draws for ATP and ITF events are not fixed. They have specific procedures that must be followed to make the draw. One procedure is that two main draw players must be present. As for the Memphis 250 the draw was open to the public in fact there were about 50 people present including spectators and Event Sponsors. The USTA has no role in developing the draw. I was there and my son, Jared, along with Steve Johnson who were the 2 main draw players present. (I have seen the same process performed at a Jr ITF in Brazil and a future in Turkey). The event in Memphis was a ceremony which included a presentation by the tournament director and a little bio and speech about Jared and Steve and then a big thank you to the sponsors who make it all possible. The draw is then started by the top 2 ranked players taking the 1 and 32 spots in the draw. The next 2 ranked players are assigned numbers 3 and 4. They are randomly drawn from a pot and the first one picked is assigned the 9th spot and the other the 24th spot in the draw. Next the 5,6,7,8th ranked players are assigned those numbers and these 4 numbers are picked out of the pot. In the order they are chosen is the order they fill the 5,6,7,and 8th seeds. They are placed on the draw as the number is chosen. Next the 4 byes are put on the draw to oppose the top 4 seeds as they get a first round bye. Then each player based on the order of their ranking is given a number from 9 to to 24 and numbers 25 through 28 are assigned the Qualie designation. From there all these numbers are put in the pot and the draw is then filled from top to bottom in the order in which the numbers are randomly drawn from the pot. Steve and Jared picked the first 2 then random people at the event came up and picked the remaining numbers. As the spots were filled they were put up on a screen at the party. After the draw was completed food was served to everyone present. It could not be a more professional, open and fair process. No fixing no back room deals and certainly no USTA or ATP improper involvement.