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Friday, February 26, 2016

Comeback Propels Cal Past Florida in Key Non-conference Match; Kingsley Added to Shape Invitational Field; Rubin into Plantation Semifinals; D-III Women's Team Indoor Underway

Cal freshman Olivia Hauger clinched the National Team Indoor title earlier this month with a come-from-behind win against North Carolina with the match tied at 3-3, and today in Berkeley, she posted another huge point for the Bears.

Cal trailed Florida 3-1, and Hauger was down 6-4, 5-2 to Brianna Morgan at line 5.  Denise Starr got a big win at No. 3 over Florida's Josie Kuhlman 6-3, 6-4 to make it 3-2, but Morgan had match points on deciding points at both 5-3 on her serve and 5-4 on Hauger's serve, both of which Hauger won. The 18-year-old from Oklahoma then broke Morgan again and held to send the match to a third set. Lynn Chi served out her match against Kourtney Keegan to make it 3-3, and by that time, Hauger was up 3-1 in the third set against Morgan. Morgan eventually tied it at 4-all, but Hauger broke and held to give the nation's top-ranked team the 4-3 decision over No. 7 Florida, in just under four hours of competition.

Florida now travels to Stanford on Sunday to renew that always fierce rivalry, while Cal doesn't play again until next Friday against Arizona State.

I wrote last month about the Shape Invitational, a new tournament for collegiate players that has its prize wild cards (singles and doubles) into the main draw of the WTA Volvo Car Open (formerly Family Circle Cup) in Charleston, South Carolina in April. The schedule, which begins on Tuesday March 1 and ends on Thursday March 3, is as follows, which includes three round robin matches:

Tuesday, March 1st, 9am - Round One
Tuesday, March 1st, 1pm - Round Two
Wednesday, March 2nd, 10am - Round Three
Wednesday, March 2nd, 2pm - Semifinals
Thursday, March 3rd, 11am - Finals 

There is also a single elimination doubles tournament scheduled. Draws have yet to be released, and four more players will need to be added, but the current list, which I received this morning, is below. (UPDATE: there will be just 12 participants, not the 16 originally announced in January). LSU recruit Raveena Kingsley has been added, as has Hadley Berg of South Carolina, but Jamie Loeb and Alexa Graham, who were on the initial list, are not included now.

Hadley Berg - University of South Carolina sophomore
Raveena Kingsley - Louisiana State University (incoming Fall 2016)
Sydney Campbell - Vanderbilt University junior
Chloe Gullickson - University of Virginia (incoming Fall 2016)
Beatrice Capra - Duke University senior
Frances Altick - Vanderbilt University senior
Caroline Dailey - University of South Carolina junior
Liza Feldsend - College of Charleston junior
Kaitlyn McCarthy - Duke University freshman
Makenna Jones - University of Alabama (incoming Fall 2016)
Lauren Herring - University of Georgia, 2015
Paige Cline - University of South Carolina freshman

Speaking of Kingsley, she lost today in the $25,000 Rancho Santa Fe tournament to Asia Muhammad 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. CiCi Bellis lost to Vania King 6-3, 6-4.  Julia Boserup is also into the semifinals, with the No. 5 seed beating Chloe Paquet of France 6-2, 6-4. 

No. 2 seed Noah Rubin advanced to the semifinals of the $10,000 Plantation Futures with a 6-2, 7-5 win over qualifier Roberto Quiroz of Ecuador. Rubin will face another qualifier, Jason Kubler of Australia, on Saturday.  Quiroz did receive a special exemption into the main draw of next week's Boca Raton Futures, as did Juan Pablo Ficovich of Argentina, who lost today to Kubler.

The ITA Division III Women's Team Indoor is underway at DePauw, with the two afternoon/evening matches still in progress.  In the early matches No. 6 seed Suwanee defeated No. 3 MIT 5-4 and No. 2 seed Pomona-Pitzer downed No. 7 seed Washington St. Louis 7-2.  Top seed Carnegie-Mellon is playing host DePauw, the No. 8 seed, and No. 4 seed Washington and Lee is facing No. 5 seed Johns Hopkins.