Friday, May 17, 2019

My Division III Preview; Georgia Women Win Thriller to Advance to Semis Against Duke; Stanford and North Carolina Meet in Saturday's Semifinal

The NCAA Division III team championships quarterfinals kick off Monday here in Kalamazoo, and I have written a preview for the Tennis Recruiting Network, which was posted today. I covered the Division III Championships when they were last here, in 2016, and found it just as exciting as the Division I event, which I had covered for more than a decade. The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men and women are the top seeds, but there are arguments to be made for many other teams to emerge as National champions. My article is an overview, but for more detailed information, check out the Division III tennis blog, which is previewing each of Monday's eight matches.

The NCAA Division I women's quarterfinals were played today at the USTA's National Campus at Lake Nona, with No. 2 seed North Carolina and No. 3 seed Stanford earning 4-1 victories in the early matches, with the point lost for each in the doubles. For Stanford, who beat No. 6 seed Pepperdine, the loss of the doubles point is not that unusual, with the Cardinal coming back to win four times this season after losing the doubles point. But it was something of a shock for the Tar Heels, who beat No. 7 seed UCLA, as they had won 34 straight doubles points extending back to last season. The doubles point did come down to a tiebreaker at line 3, after UCLA had won at 2 and North Carolina had won at 1, but Bruins Abi Altick and Taylor Johnson edged Sara Daavettila and Alle Sanford 7-6(6).  North Carolina won four first sets, and managed to hold on to win all four matches without needing a third set, with Sara Daavettila defeating Ayan Broomfield 6-2, 6-3 at line 3 for the clinching point.

Pepperdine captured the doubles point with wins at 1 and 2, with 3 going unfinished, but Stanford went right to work in singles, winning first sets in five matches, with none of them close. Stanford got the clinching point from Emily Arbuthnott, who beat Dzina Milovanovic 6-1, 6-4 at line 4.

It was a big day for Greek tennis in Rome, with both Stefanos Tsitsipas and Maria Sakkari advancing to the semifinals of the Italian Open, and another player from Greece delivered at the NCAAs, with Elena Christofi of Georgia winning the last match on in the top-seeded Bulldogs 4-3 victory over No. 8 seed Vanderbilt.

Vanderbilt, who had lost both of their previous meetings with Georgia this year, took the doubles point with wins at lines 1 and 2, with line 3 going unfinished. The Commodores took four first sets in singles, putting them in good position; they could drop one of those four in a third set and still prevail. But Georgia wasn't about to go quietly. They pulled even at 1, with Katarina Jokic taking out Georgia Drummy 6-3, 6-3. Vanderbilt went back in front with Fernanda Contreras beating Marta Gonzalez 6-3, 6-2, but Georgia tied it with Vivian Wolff flipping her match with Amanda Meyer 3-6, 6-0, 6-3. Christina Rosca gave Vanderbilt its last lead, beating Lourdes Carle 7-5, 6-4 at line 3, just as Carolyn Campana was converting her ninth set point to send her match with Christofi into a third set.  Georgia's Meg Kowalski, who was sick more than once in her match with Emily Smith at line 6, took a third-set lead and posted a 6-7(7), 6-4, 6-1 win to make it 3-3, with Christofi up a break at 2-1 in the third set.  Campana, a freshman, stayed with Christofi, but couldn't challenge the junior on serve, and Christofi took a deciding point in the final game for a 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-3 victory.

In the late night match, which started at close to 9 p.m., No. 5 seed Duke took the doubles point and four first sets in singles against No. 4 seed South Carolina, but as Vanderbilt learned earlier, more work was left to be done. Duke took the doubles point with wins at 1 and 3, with line 2 going unfinished. Two hours into the match, Duke had a 3-1 lead, with Meible Chi winning at line 2 and Kaitlyn McCarthy at line 4 for the Blue Devils, while Ingrid Martins got the Gamecocks on the board with a victory at line 1.  But Mia Horvit at line 3 and Silva Chinellato at line 5 got late breaks to force third sets for South Carolina, while Margaryta Bilokin of Duke had forced a third set at line 6. It was freshman Bilokin who ended up delivering the fourth point, beating Rachel Rohrabacher 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 to return Duke to the semifinals for the second straight year.

Below are three of the four box scores, with the school's recap available by clicking on the score heading. I will add the Duke-South Carolina box score and recap later.

NCAA Women’s Division I Quarterfinals
May 17, 2019
USTA National Campus, Orlando Florida

#2 North Carolina 4, #7 UCLA 1
Singles competition
1. #45 Jada Hart (UCLA) vs. #5 Makenna Jones (NC) 6-4, 4-6, 1-0, unfinished
2. #7 Alexa Graham (NC) def. #32 Elysia Bolton (UCLA) 6-2, 6-4
3. #20 Sara Daavettila (NC) def. Ayan Broomfield (UCLA) 6-2, 6-3
4. #46 Cameron Morra (NC) def. Alaina Miller (UCLA) 6-2, 6-3
5. #120 Abi Altick (UCLA) vs. Jessie Aney (NC) 6-4, 6-5, unfinished
6. Alle Sanford (NC) def. Gabby Andrews (UCLA) 6-1, 6-0

Doubles competition
1. #2 Jessie Aney/Alexa Graham (NC) def. #5 Gabby Andrews/Ayan Broomfield (UCLA) 6-3
2. #11 Elysia Bolton/Jada Hart (UCLA) def. #12 Makenna Jones/Cameron Morra (NC) 6-1
3. #82 Abi Altick/Taylor Johnson (UCLA) def. Sara Daavettila/Alle Sanford (NC) 7-6(6)

Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (6,4,2,3)

#3 Stanford 4, #6 Pepperdine University 1
Singles competition
1. #24 Michaela Gordon (STAN) vs. #37 Ashley Lahey(PEPP) 4-6, 6-2, 0-2, unfinished
2. #29 Melissa Lord (STAN) def. #102 Adrijana Lekaj(PEPP) 6-1, 6-3
3. #66 Caroline Lampl (STAN) vs. #53 Jessica Failla(PEPP) 6-3, 4-4, unfinished
4. #44 Emily Arbuthnott (STAN) def. Dzina Milovanovic(PEPP) 6-1, 6-4
5. #108 Janice Shin (STAN) def. Daria Kuczer (PEPP) 6-1, 6-1
6. #107 Emma Higuchi (STAN) def.Anastasia Iamachkine(PEPP) 6-2, 6-0

Doubles competition
1. #41 Jessica Failla/Anastasia Iamachkine (PEPP) def. #19 Caroline Lampl/Kimberly Yee (STAN) 6-1
2. #86 Daria Kuczer/Ashley Lahey (PEPP) def. #29 Emily Arbuthnott/Michaela Gordon (STAN) 6-4
3. #57 Melissa Lord/Niluka Madurawe (STAN) vs. Adrijana Lekaj/Dzina Milovanovic (PEPP) 6-5, unfinished

Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (5,6,2,4)

#1 Georgia 4, #8 Vanderbilt 3
Singles competition
1. #2 Katarina Jokic (UGA) def. #64 Georgia Drummy (VANDY) 6-3, 6-2
2. #6 Fernanda Contreras (VANDY) def. #19 Marta Gonzalez (UGA) 6-3, 6-2
3. #18 Christina Rosca (VANDY) def. #69 Lourdes Carle (UGA) 7-5, 6-4
4. #72 Vivian Wolff (UGA) def. #93 Amanda Meyer (VANDY) 3-6, 6-0, 6-3
5. Elena Christofi (UGA) def. Carolyn Campana (VANDY) 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-3
6. #122 Meg Kowalski (UGA) def. #117 Emily Smith (VANDY) 6-7(7), 6-4, 6-1

Doubles competition
1. #38 Emma Kurtz/Emily Smith (VANDY) def. #28 Lourdes Carle/Katarina Jokic (UGA) 6-3
2. Fernanda Contreras/Georgia Drummy (VANDY) def. Elena Christofi/Vivian Wolff (UGA) 6-4
3. Marta Gonzalez/Meg Kowalski (UGA) vs. Christina Rosca/Amanda Meyer (VANDY) 5-4, unfinished

Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (1,2,4,3,6,5)

#5 Duke 4, #4 South Carolina 1
Singles competition
1. #4 I. Gamarra Martins (SC) def. #11 Maria Mateas (DU) 6-2, 6-1
2. #33 Meible Chi (DU) def. #17 Paige Cline (SC) 7-5, 6-0
3. #81 Mia Horvit (SC) vs. #21 Kelly Chen (DU) 2-6, 7-5, 2-3, unfinished
4. Kaitlyn McCarthy (DU) def. Megan Davies (SC) 6-1, 6-3
5. Silvia Chinellato (SC) vs. Ellyse Hamlin (DU) 6-7(5), 6-4, 4-1, unfinished
6. Margaryta Bilokin (DU) def. Rachel Rohrabacher (SC) 3-6, 7-5, 6-2

Doubles competition
1. #47 Kelly Chen/Ellyse Hamlin (DU) def. #3 Mia Horvit/Ingrid Gamarra Martins (SC) 6-3
2. #39 Megan Davies/Rachel Rohrabacher (SC) vs. #24 Meible Chi/Kaitlyn McCarthy (DU) 4-5, unfinished
3. Maria Mateas/Margaryta Bilokin (DU) def. Silvia Chinellato/Paige Cline (SC) 6-2

Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (2,1,4,6)

Saturday’s Division I Semifinals:

Men: Texas[2] v Florida[3], Noon
Women: Stanford[3] v North Carolina[2], 2 p.m.
Men: Wake Forest[4] v North Carolina[9], 4 p.m.
Women: Georgia[1] v Duke[5], 6 p.m.