Stanford Ousts Third Seed Cal 4-3; Host Baylor Beats Virginia in Late Night Thriller in Women's NCAA Division I Team Championships
©Colette Lewis 2015--
Two 4-3 matches highlighted the afternoon and evening matches in the round of 16 at the NCAA Women's Team Championships, with No. 14 Stanford ousting No. 3 seed Cal indoors, while host Baylor, seeded No. 8, played until nearly midnight at the Hurd Tennis Center before subduing No. 9 Virginia 4-3.
Cal had beaten Stanford twice this year, but had won the doubles point both times. On Friday, Stanford took the doubles point but Cal immediately took big leads in singles on courts 2, 3, 4 and 6. Stanford recovered quickly however, with both Taylor Davidson at 2 and Caroline Doyle at 3 winning five straight games and the sets after falling behind 4-1.
Cal did take the lead with Karla Popovic beating Lindsey Kostas 6-1, 6-0 at line 6 and Zsofi Susanyi dismissing Krista Hardebeck 6-1, 6-1 at line 4.
Davidson and Doyle finished their matches against Klara Fabikova and Denise Starr to return Stanford to the lead, but Cal's Lynn Chi, the 2014 NCAA singles finalist who had played sparingly all season due to injury, found her form against Ellen Tsay at line 5. Chi won 6-7(2), 6-0, 6-1, leaving Cal's Maegan Manasse and Carol Zhao to decide the match.
Manasse, ranked fourth nationally, had served for the second set at 5-4, but took her second chance against second-ranked Zhao, taking the set 7-5. When Chi finished, Zhao had taken a 1-0 lead in the third set, and playing much more aggressively, cruised to the finish line 6-2, 5-7, 6-1. It was a second NCAA disappointment against Stanford for Manasse, who had lost to Doyle at line 6 last year when the two teams met in the Round of 16 indoors at Georgia Tech, when rain forced matches to move from Athens.
Stanford coach Lele Forood believed her team had to have the doubles point to challenge Cal.
"That was pivotal for us," said Forood. "We absolutely, against that team, have to win the doubles point. Have to. And we were really sharp at 1 and 2. We knew if we won the doubles point, we'd be right in there, with a good chance."
Forood gave Manasse credit for for some "unbelievable tennis" in the second set against Zhao, but was confident Zhao could handle the third. "She hasn't lost much this year," Forood said.
Next up for Stanford is No. 6 seed Georgia, who lost the doubles point to No. 11 Michigan, but recovered for a 4-2 win in a match played at the SMU indoor facility in Dallas.
The two teams haven't met since the quarterfinals of the 2013 NCAAs in Illinois, and both teams have changed considerably in that time.
"They have some new personnel, and they haven't played against our sophomores at all," said Forood. "So it's going to really different. It's going to be fun."
Baylor's win over Virginia was a long time coming, with the 7 p.m. match finishing just after 11:45 p.m. The sun was shining when the Bears won the doubles point, and shortly after Rachael James-Baker clinched the 4-3 win for Baylor, a light drizzle began, which did not dampen the spirit of the Baylor team or their fans.
The Bears went up 2-0 with Kelley Anderson beating Cassie Mercer 7-5, 6-2, but the lead lasted only a few minutes, with Danielle Collins and Julia Elbaba taking straight set wins and line 2 and line 1 for the Cavaliers.
Baylor retook the lead with Blair Shankle's relentless net charging wearing down Stephanie Nauta 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 at line 3.
Cavalier fans had good reason for optimism however, with Maci Epstein up 3-1 in the third in her match with Theresa Van Zyl at line 5, and Skylar Morton up 7-6(3), 4-3 against Rachael James-Baker at line 4. Morton served for the match at 5-4, but at 30-40, James-Baker smacked a forehand winner to make it 5-5. Epstein had broken Van Zyl for a second time and although she failed to serve out the match at 5-2, Epstein broke Van Zyl again to post a 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory and send the Baylor fans to the opposite end of the Grandstand courts to support James-Baker.
James-Baker held for 6-5, and the next game was one that could make you love or hate advantage scoring. Morton saved seven set points, but double faults kept her in peril throughout and James-Baker finally took the set.
"Our coaches and I have definitely worked on coming into the net more and really taking advantage of the second serve, putting pressure on," said James-Baker, a junior who transferred from North Carolina State. "That's where they feel I'm best, when I'm attacking and offensive, and thank god I was able to execute that."
The third set lacked the drama of the final game of the second, with Morton making nervous errors and James-Baker using the energy of the crowd to help her through the occasional rough patch. Finishing the match off with a textbook backhand volley, James-Baker made a quick finish to a match that was 3 hours and 15 minutes long, putting her team in the quarterfinals against top seed Southern California.
"It's huge," Baylor coach Joey Scrivano said of his team's advancing to the quarterfinals. "You want to put on a good show for the community, and I think our girls did that today. We've just got to keep it going. The event will only improve with us making a run. So we did our part tonight and now we've got to get ready for USC."
Playing without functioning scoreboards throughout the match in the uneven lighting of the Riverside courts, top seed USC had no difficulty with No. 16 seed Texas Tech, securing a 4-0 victory in well under three hours. Southern Cal won the doubles point, then got victories from Sabrina Santamaria over Kenna Kilgo at line 1 and Zoe Scandalis over Sarah Dvorak at line 3. Freshman Meredith Xepoleas clinched the win at line 6, with a 7-5, 6-1 decision over Katelyn Jackson.
"To me, what I was happy about, was that it looked like a normal match," said USC coach Richard Gallien. "It wasn't like, it's the NCAAs and everyone's freaking out. I think sometimes you can overdo the cheering, get too hyped and not play well. I thought we were functional, did what we had to do. Give them credit, they had a heck of a year. I give their coach a lot of credit--they're a very good program."
The fourth quarterfinal on Sunday will feature No. 4 Vanderbilt against No. 5 Florida, after both teams won indoor matches by 4-0 scores. Florida, playing at SMU, defeated No. 12 seed Oklahoma State, and Vanderbilt, playing at the Hawkins Indoor courts in Waco, downed Clemson, setting up the third meeting of the year between the SEC rivals. Vanderbilt won both: 4-1 in Nashville and 4-2 in the SEC tournament in Columbia, SC.
The men's quarterfinals have moved up from the originally planned start of noon and 4 pm to 10 am and 2 pm due to the possibility of more rain on Saturday.
For more, see the Baylor Tournament Central page.
#14 STANFORD (18-5) def. #3 CALIFORNIA (22-4), 4-3 - Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center
Head Coaches: Amanda Augustus (CALIFORNIA) and Lele Forood (STANFORD)
Doubles (Order of finish: 3, 2, 1)
1. #2 Taylor Davidson/Carol Zhao (STANFORD) def. #7 Maegan Manasse/Denise Starr (CALIFORNIA) 8-6
2. #10 Caroline Doyle/Ellen Tsay (STANFORD) def. #5 Zsofi Susanyi/Klara Fabikova (CALIFORNIA) 8-4
3. Lynn Chi/Karla Popovic (CALIFORNIA) vs. Krista Hardebeck/Lindsey Kostas (STANFORD) 8-1
Singles (Order of finish: 6, 4, 2, 3, 5, 1)
1. #2 Carol Zhao (STANFORD) def. #4 Maegan Manasse (CALIFORNIA) 6-2, 5-7, 6-1
2. #19 Taylor Davidson (STANFORD) def. #18 Klara Fabikova (CALIFORNIA) 6-4, 6-0
3. #25 Caroline Doyle (STANFORD) def. #44 Denise Starr (CALIFORNIA) 6-4, 6-4
4. #43 Zsofi Susanyi (CALIFORNIA) def. #92 Krista Hardebeck (STANFORD) 6-1, 6-1
5. #50 Lynn Chi (CALIFORNIA) def. Ellen Tsay (STANFORD) 6-7 (2), 6-0, 6-1
6. #103 Karla Popovic (CALIFORNIA) def. Lindsey Kostas (STANFORD) 6-1, 6-0
#6 GEORGIA (23-6) def. #11 MICHIGAN (26-4), 4-2 - Brookshire Family Pavilion (SMU/DALLAS)
Head Coaches: Jeff Wallace (GEORGIA) and Ronni Bernstein (MICHIGAN)
Doubles (Order of finish: 1, 2, 3)
1. #11 Lauren Herring/Ellen Perez (GEORGIA) def. #15 Emina Bektas/Alex Najarian (MICHIGAN) 8-6
2. Ronit Yurovsky/Sarah Lee (MICHIGAN) def. #43 Kennedy Shaffer/Silvia Garcia (GEORGIA) 8-3
3. Mira Ruder-Hook/Sara Remynse (MICHIGAN) def. #85 Caroline Brinson/Hannah King (GEORGIA) 8-6
Singles (Order of finish: 4, 5, 6, 3, 2)
1. #5 Lauren Herring (GEORGIA) vs. #27 Emina Bektas (MICHIGAN) 6-4, 5-7, 1-0, UF
2. #63 Ellen Perez (GEORGIA) def. #31 Ronit Yurovsky (MICHIGAN) 7-5, 2-6, 6-4
3. #111 Sarah Lee (MICHIGAN) def. #94 Silvia Garcia (GEORGIA) 6-3, 6-2
4. #59 Kennedy Shaffer (GEORGIA) def. Alex Najarian (MICHIGAN) 6-3, 6-4
5. #88 Hannah King (GEORGIA) def. Mira Ruder-Hook (MICHIGAN) 6-3, 6-2
6. #104 Caroline Brinson (GEORGIA) def. Sara Remynse (MICHIGAN) 6-4, 6-4
#5 FLORIDA (24-3) def. #12 OKLAHOMA STATE (23-6), 4-0 - Brookshire Family Pavilion (SMU/DALLAS)
Head Coaches: Roland Thornqvist (FLORIDA) and Chris Young (OKLAHOMA STATE)
Doubles (Order of finish: 3, 2)
1. #6 Brooke Austin/Kourtney Keegan (FLORIDA) vs. #12 Viktoriya Lushkova/Kelsey Laurente (OKLAHOMA STATE) 6-7, UF
2. Josie Kuhlman/Belinda Woolcock (FLORIDA) def. Katarina Adamovic/Vladica Babic (OKLAHOMA STATE) 8-6
3. Spencer Liang/Peggy Porter (FLORIDA) def. Carla Tur Mari/Maria Alvarez (OKLAHOMA STATE) 8-7 (4)
Singles (Order of finish: 3, 4, 2)
1. #3 Brooke Austin (FLORIDA) vs. #17 Viktoriya Lushkova (OKLAHOMA STATE) 6-4, 3-6, 1-3, UF
2. #13 Josie Kuhlman (FLORIDA) def. Katarina Adamovic (OKLAHOMA STATE) 6-3, 7-5
3. #28 Brianna Morgan (FLORIDA) def. Kelsey Laurente (OKLAHOMA STATE) 6-1, 6-3
4. #56 Kourtney Keegan (FLORIDA) def. #99 Vladica Babic (OKLAHOMA STATE) 6-2, 6-1
5. #58 Belinda Woolcock (FLORIDA) vs. Karyn Guttormsen (OKLAHOMA STATE) 4-6, 6-1, 1-4, UF
6. Peggy Porter (FLORIDA) vs. Carla Tur Mari (OKLAHOMA STATE) 7-6 (1), 3-5, UF
#4 VANDERBILT (22-6) def. #17-32 CLEMSON (18-10), 4-0 - Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center
Head Coaches: Geoff Macdonald (VANDERBILT) and Nancy Harris (CLEMSON)
Doubles (Order of finish: 1, 3)
1. #20 Courtney Colton/Sydney Campbell (VANDERBILT) def. #4 Beatrice Gumulya/Jessy Rompies (CLEMSON) 8-6
2. #18 Ashleigh Antal/Astra Sharma (VANDERBILT) vs. Romy Koelzer/Yuilynn Miao (CLEMSON) 6-7, UF
3. Marie Casares/Frances Altick (VANDERBILT) def. Joana Eidukonyte/Daniela Ruiz (CLEMSON) 8-6
Singles (Order of finish: 1, 6, 5)
1. #8 Sydney Campbell (VANDERBILT) def. #36 Romy Koelzer (CLEMSON) 6-3, 6-1
2. #42 Astra Sharma (VANDERBILT) vs. #60 Beatrice Gumulya (CLEMSON) 6-3, 3-3, UF
3. #96 Frances Altick (VANDERBILT) vs. #12 Joana Eidukonyte (CLEMSON) 4-6, UF
4. 61 Courtney Colton (VANDERBILT) vs. Jessy Rompies (CLEMSON) 6-2, 4-5, UF
5. #120 Marie Casares (VANDERBILT) def. Tristen Dewar ( CLEMSON) 6-1, 6-4
6. Ashleigh Antal (VANDERBILT) def. Yuilynn Miao ( CLEMSON) 6-1, 6-3
#1 USC (24-2) vs. #16 TEXAS TECH (21-7), 4-0 - Hurd Tennis Center Riverside Courts
Head Coaches: Richard Gallien (USC) and Todd Petty (TEXAS TECH)
Doubles (Order of finish: 3, 1, 2)
1. #34 Kenna Kilgo/Gabriela Talaba (TEXAS TECH) def. #24 Zoe Katz/Sabrina Santamaria (USC) 8-4
2. #19 Giuliana Olmos/Zoe Scandalis (USC) def. Lynn Kiro/Sabrina Federici (TEXAS TECH) 8-4
3. Gabby Smith/Madison Westby (USC) def. Sarah Dvorak/Katelyn Jackson (TEXAS TECH) 8-3
Singles (Order of finish: 1, 3, 6)
1. #24 Sabrina Santamaria (USC) def. #70 Kenna Kilgo (TEXAS TECH) 6-3, 6-1
2. #14 Giuliana Olmos (USC) vs. Gabriela Talaba (TEXAS TECH) 5-7, 1-3 , UF
3. #38 Zoe Scandalis (USC) vs. Sarah Dvorak (TEXAS TECH) 6-1, 6-1
4. #57 Madison Westby (USC) vs. #73 Lynn Kiro (TEXAS TECH) 6-3, 2-5 , UF
5. #78 Gabby Smith (USC) vs. #124 Sabrina Federici (TEXAS TECH) 6-3, 2-4 , UF
6. #79 Meredith Xepoleas (USC) def. Katelyn Jackson (TEXAS TECH) 7-5, 6-1
#8 BAYLOR (28-6) def. #9 VIRGINIA (23-6), 4-3 - Hurd Tennis Center Grandstand Courts
Head Coaches: Joey Scrivano (BAYLOR) and Mark Guilbeau (VIRGINIA)
Doubles (Order of finish: 2, 1, 3)
1. #28 Julia Elbaba/Skylar Morton (VIRGINIA) def. #62 Ema Burgic/Rachael James-Baker (BAYLOR) 8-3
2. Kelley Anderson/Theresa Van Zyl (BAYLOR) def. Stephanie Nauta/Cassie Mercer (VIRGINIA) 8-3
3.Blair Shankle/Kiah Generette (BAYLOR) def. Maci Epstein/Danielle Collins (VIRGINIA) 8-7(4)
Singles (Order of finish: 6, 2, 1, 3, 5, 4)
1. #6 Julia Elbaba (VIRGINIA) def. #22 Ema Burgic (BAYLOR) 6-1, 6-2
2. #15 Danielle Collins (VIRGINIA) def. #80 Kiah Generette (BAYLOR) 6-2, 6-1
3. #41 Blair Shankle (BAYLOR) def. #40 Stephanie Nauta (VIRGINIA) 6-4, 3-6, 6-1
4. #113 Rachael James-Baker (BAYLOR) def. Skylar Morton (VIRGINIA) 6-7 (3), 7-5, 6-1
5. Maci Epstein (VIRGINIA) def. Theresa Van Zyl (BAYLOR) 3-6, 6-2, 6-3
6. Kelley Anderson (BAYLOR) def. Cassie Mercer (VIRGINIA) 7-5, 6-2