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Saturday, May 21, 2016

Stanford Saves Match Point to Earn Spot in Semis with Vanderbilt, Oklahoma State and Cal; Blanch Reaches Final of Grade A Trofeo Bonfiglio; Division II and NAIA Champions Crowned

Of the top four seeds projected to reach the semifinals of the NCAA Division I Team Championships, only one, top-seeded Cal, has actually advanced to the Final Four.  No. 2 seed Florida and No. 3 seed North Carolina went out in Thursday's Sweet 16, while No. 4 Ohio State was eliminated in today's quarterfinals by No. 12 seed Oklahoma State.

Defending champion Vanderbilt, seeded No. 6, was the first team to book its spot in Monday's semifinals, riding a dominant performance in doubles to beat No. 14 seed Virginia 4-2.  The Cavaliers got points from Danielle Collins and Meghan Kelley, none of the six singles matches went to three sets, with Frances Altick clinching for the Commodores with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Julia Elbaba at line 2.

The other quarterfinal in the bottom half had enough drama for both matches, with No. 15 Stanford defeating No. 10 Michigan 4-3.  The Cardinal, who had beaten Florida 4-3 indoors on Thursday, again dropped the doubles point, the fifth time it has done so in the past six matches.  It was an especially painful loss today, with Caroline Doyle and Taylor Davidson losing five straight games, with the aid of six consecutive double faults, to lose 7-5 to Brienne Minor and Mira Ruder-Hook in the deciding match at line 1.

It didn't take Stanford long to shake that off, however, taking five first sets in singles.  Stanford's Melissa Lord tied the score with a quick win at 6, but Michigan went back on top with Ronit Yurovsky's impressive 6-4, 6-2 win over Carol Zhao at 1.  Krista Hardebeck made it 2-2 with a win at 4, but that was the end of the straight-set matches.  Ruder-Hook earned a split at 5 against Caroline Lampl, Minor earned a split at 2 against Davidson and Kate Fahey forced a third set at 3 against Doyle.

Lampl put Stanford ahead for the first time with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 win over Ruder-Hook, but Minor completed her comeback over Davidson 4-6, 6-4, 6-2. Davidson had won the last match on in Stanford's second round win over Texas A&M and in the Florida victory.

By the time Minor closed out Davidson for 3-3, Fahey had come back from 3-0 down in the third set against Doyle to take a 6-5 lead. Doyle was up 40-15 serving to get to a tiebreaker, but a couple of errors and it was deciding/match point.  Doyle got a first serve in and Fahey ended the rally with a forehand error to send the match into the deciding tiebreaker.

Doyle played composed and steady in the first five points, winning them all, mostly on Fahey errors. Doyle double faulted on the next point and missed two straight forehands to make it 5-3, but Fahey made a forehand error of her own to give Doyle three match points. Doyle double faulted on the first one, but Fahey netted a backhand on the second to set off a spirited Stanford celebration.

In the evening matches, both favorites were in trouble when they dropped their doubles points, but Cal was able to overcome that deficit against No. 8 seed Pepperdine, while Ohio State was not. Cal won just three first sets in singles, meaning they had to win a three-setter to claim the victory. It was Tulsa's own Olivia Hauger who supplied that critical comeback, defeating Matea Cutura  3-6, 6-3, 6-4 at line 5 to make it 3-2 Cal, with Lynn Chi, who was forced to three sets by Dzina Milovanovic, clinching the Bears 4-2 win with a 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 victory.

Ohio State also won just three first sets, and trailed 3-0 before they got on the board with wins from Sandy Niehaus at 6 and Miho Kowase at 4. Although Ferny Angeles Paz did force the third set Ohio State needed to have a chance, she didn't win it, with Katarina Stresnakova taking the final four games at line 5 to claim a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 victory and a 4-2 win for the Cowgirls.  Oklahoma State will be making their first ever appearance in the Final Four when they take the court against Cal at 1 p.m. on Monday.

The men's quarterfinals are set for Sunday, with No. 1 Virginia against No. 9 Florida and No. 5 Ohio State against No. 13 Cal at 1 p.m.  The evening matches will see No. 3 UCLA face No. 12 Oklahoma and No. 7 Georgia face No. 2 North Carolina.

For more on today's matches, see the Tulsa Tournament Central page.

NCAA Division I Women’s Quarterfinals
Saturday, May 21, 2016

#6 Vanderbilt(23-5) def. #14 Virginia(19-11) 4-2
Head Coaches: Geoff Macdonald (Vanderbilt) and Mark Guilbeau (Virginia)
1. #14 Sydney Campbell/Courtney Colton (Vanderbilt) vs. #18 Danielle Collins/Meghan Kelley (Virginia), 3-2 DNF
2. Frances Altick/Astra Sharma (Vanderbilt) def. Cassie Mercer/Stephanie Nauta (Virginia), 6-0
3. Fernanda Contreras/Georgina Sellyn (Vanderbilt) def. Julia Elbaba/Erica Susi (Virginia), 6-0
Order of Finish: 2, 3

1. #2 Danielle Collins (Virginia) def. #18 Sydney Campbell (Vanderbilt), 6-0, 6-0
2. #14 Frances Altick (Vanderbilt) vs. #12 Julia Elbaba (Virginia), 6-4, 6-2
3. #32 Astra Sharma (Vanderbilt) vs. #97 Stephanie Nauta (Virginia), 6-2, 6-3
4. Meghan Kelley (Virginia) def. Courtney Colton (Vanderbilt), 6-4, 6-3
5. Fernanda Contreras (Vanderbilt) def. Erica Susi (Virginia), 6-1, 6-0
6. Georgina Sellyn (Vanderbilt) vs. Cassie Mercer (Virginia), 7-6 (4), 4-1 DNF Order of Finish: 1, 5, 3, 4, 2
#15 Stanford(18-5) def. #10 Michigan(23-7) 4-3
Head Coaches: Ronni Bernstein (Michigan) and Lele Forood (Stanford)
1. #11 Brienne Minor/Mira Ruder-Hook (Michigan) def. #5 Taylor Davidson/Caroline Doyle (Stanford), 7-5
2. Kate Fahey/Alex Najarian (Michigan) def. #31 Melissa Lord/Carol Zhao (Stanford), 6-2
3. Krista Hardebeck/Caroline Lampl (Stanford) def. Kara Hall/Ronit Yurovsky (Michigan), 6-4
Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1

1. #15 Ronit Yurovsky (Michigan) def. #25 Carol Zhao (Stanford) 6-4, 6-2
2. #19 Brienne Minor (Michigan) def. #46 Taylor Davidson (Stanford) 4-6, 6-4, 6-2
3. #67 Caroline Doyle (Stanford) def. #68 Kate Fahey (Michigan) 6-2, 2-6, 7-6(4)
4. #100 Krista Hardebeck (Stanford) def. Alex Najarian (Michigan) 6-0, 7-5
5. Caroline Lampl (Stanford) def. Mira Ruder-Hook (Michigan) 6-4, 4-6, 6-1
6. Melissa Lord (Stanford) def. Teona Velehorschi (Michigan), 6-1, 6-0
Order of Finish: 6, 1, 4, 5, 2, 3
#1 California(23-1) def. #8 Pepperdine(24-3) 4-2 
Head Coaches: Amanda Augustus (California) and Per Nilsson (Pepperdine)
1. #26 Jean Runglerdkriangkrai/Luisa Stefani (Pepperdine) def. #4 Maegan Manasse/Denise Starr (California), 7-5
2. #19 Matea Cutura/Christine Maddox (Pepperdine) def. #90 Klara Fabikova/Olivia Hauger (California), 6-4
3. Lynn Chi/Maria Smith (California) def. Laura Gulbe/Dzina Milovanovic (Pepperdine), 6-2
Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2

1. #6 Luisa Stefani (Pepperdine) def. #7 Maegan Manasse (California), 6-2, 7-6(5)
2. #16 Klara Fabikova (California) vs. Laura Gulbe (Pepperdine), 5-7, 7-6(3), 2-0 DNF
3. #80 Lynn Chi (California) def. Dzina Milovanovic (Pepperdine), 7-5, 3-6, 6-3
4. #88 Denise Starr (California) def. Jean Runglerdkriangkrai (Pepperdine), 6-0, 6-3
5. Olivia Hauger (California) def. Matea Cutura (Pepperdine), 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
6. Karla Popovic (California) def. Michaela Capannolo (Pepperdine), 6-0, 6-1
Order of Finish: 4, 6, 1, 5, 3
#12 Oklahoma State(28-4) def. #4 Ohio State(31-3) 4-2 
Head Coaches: Melissa Schaub (Ohio State) and Chris Young (Oklahoma State)
1. #43 Maria Alvarez/Kelsey Laurente (Oklahoma State) def. #9 Miho Kowase/Anna Sanford (Ohio State), 7-5
2. #58 Gabriella De Santis/Sandy Niehaus (Ohio State) def. #54 Viktoriya Lushkova/Carla Tur Mari (Oklahoma State), 7-5
3. #79 Katarina Adamovic/Vladica Babic (Oklahoma State) def. Francesca Di Lorenzo/Olivia Sneed (Ohio State), 6-1 Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1

1. #3 Francesca Di Lorenzo (Ohio State) vs. Katarina Adamovic (Oklahoma State), 6-3, 6-7(2), 3-2 DNF
2. Vladica Babic (Oklahoma State) def. #89 Anna Sanford (Ohio State), 6-4, 6-3
3. Viktoriya Lushkova (Oklahoma State) def. #96 Gabriella De Santis (Ohio State), 6-1, 6-3
4. Miho Kowase (Ohio State) def. Kelsey Laurente (Oklahoma State), 6-0, 7-6(2)
5. Katarina Stresnakova (Oklahoma State) def. Ferny Angeles Paz (Ohio State), 6-3, 3-6, 6-4
6. #81 Sandy Niehaus (Ohio State) def. Maria Alvarez (Oklahoma State), 6-2, 7-5
Order of Finish: 2, 3, 6, 4, 5

The finals are set for the ITF Trofeo Bonfiglio in Milan, with Ulises Blanch taking on Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece.  Blanch, the No. 5 seed, 
defeated Jurij Rodionov of Austria 6-2, 6-3 in today's semifinal, while No. 2 seed Tsitsipas defeated unseeded Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain 6-3, 6-2.  Blanch and Tsitsipas have met three times, with Tsitsipas winning both meetings on clay, but Blanch has the most recent victory, at the Grade 1 warmup in Australia back in January. Both are seeking a first Grade A title, with Blanch in his first final at that level.  Tsitsipas reached the finals of the Orange Bowl the past two years.

In the girls semifinals, 15-year-old qualifier Kaja Juvan of Slovenia defeated No. 6 seed Anastasia Potapova of Russia 6-4, 4-6,  6-2 and No. 5 seed Olesya Pervushina defeated Amina Anshba 6-0, 6-3 in an all-Russian semifinal.  Both Pervushina and Juvan are playing in their first Grade A final; Juvan has only played one other Grade A: this year's Australian Open.

No. 4 seeds Benjamin Sigouin of Canada and Louis Wessels of Germany won the boys doubles title, beating unseeded Lukas Klein of Slovakia and Kenneth Raisma of Estonia 2-6, 6-4, 11-9.   Top seeds Pervushina and Potapova beat No. 7 seeds Anshba and Elena Rybakina 6-4, 6-2 in an all-Russian girls doubles final.

Live scoring for Sunday's finals is available at Tennis Ticker.

The NAIA and Division II team championships were played today in Mobile and Denver, respectively.

Both the men's and women's team at Georgia Gwinett won the NAIA titles, with the men taking their third straight with a 5-2 win over Xavier (Louisiana), and completing an undefeated season.  The women defeated Lindsey-Wilson 5-4 to win their second straight NAIA team title.

In Division II, the Armstrong State women won their tenth NCAA national team title, beating BYU-Hawaii 5-4.   As with the women's result, it was the No. 3 team over the No. 1 team in the men's final, with Hawaii-Pacific taking out St. Leo's 5-3 for the title.


College Fan said...

Stanford double faulted 6 straight points to lose the doubles. When does that ever happen. They had double match point on #1 to win doubles at 5-4. Double faulted twice to lose the deuce point. Then, at 5-6, they doublefaulted 4 straight to lose the match. Would have been a big heart breaker if they had not come back in singles.