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Wednesday, May 17, 2023

CMS Defends Women's D-III Title; New Women's D-I Champion Assured After UNC Defeats Texas; No. 3 NC State Survives, No. 2 Texas A&M Doesn't; Division III Men's Singles and Doubles Begins Thursday

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps avenged their only loss of the season today to defend their NCAA Division III women's team championship, defeating Chicago 5-3 at the Collegiate Center of the USTA's National Campus in Lake Nona Florida.

CMS, who had lost to Chicago 5-1 in the National Team Indoor championships in March, took two of the three doubles points, at lines 1 and 3 to give them the 2-1 advantage going into singles. The teams split the first sets in singles, with Chicago taking 1,2 and 3, while CMS won the opening sets at 4, 5, 6. CMS took a 3-1 lead with a quick win at line 4, but Chicago fought back to tie it at 3-3 by closing out straight-sets wins at lines 2 and 3. Chicago had gotten the third set they needed from Miranda Yuan at line 5, but Sylwia Mikos dropped her second set 6-0 to Alisha Chulani at line 1, so when CMS earned their fourth point at line 6, Chicago needed to take both third sets. They fell behind in both, and Nikolina Batoshvili got the fifth point without much drama, defeating Yuan 6-4, 4-6, 6-0.

The box score is here; the report on the final from the CMS website is here.

The Division I women's semifinals are set for Friday, with just one of the top four seeds missing, but the No. 3 seeds getting a scare as the witching hour approached in Lake Nona.

The 5 p.m. quarterfinal matches saw the favorites advancing to Friday's semifinals, but not without a fair share of drama. As I did with Saturday's Super Regionals, I'll add notes after the box scores.

UNC[1] 4 Texas[8] 2

1. Charlotte Chavatipon/Sabina Zeynalova(TEX) d. Fiona Crawley/Abbey Forbes(UNC) 7-5
2. Elizabeth Scotty/Carson Tanguilig(UNC) d. Taisiya Pachkaleva/Nicole Rivkin(TEX) 6-2
3. Nicole Khirin/Malaika Rapolu(TEX) d. Reese Brantmeier/Reilly Tran(UNC) 6-4

Order of finish: 2,3,1

1. Reese Brantmeier(UNC) d. Nicole Khirin(TEX) 6-2, 7-5
2. Fiona Crawley(UNC) d. Charlotte Chavatipon(TEX) 6-1, 7-5
3. Sabina Zeynalova(TEX) d. Carson Tanguilig(UNC) 6-2, 6-3
4. Taisiya Pachkaleva(TEX) v Elizabeth Scotty(UNC) 7-6(5), 3-3 unf.
5. Reilly Tran(UNC) d. Nicole Rivkin(TEX) 6-2, 6-2
6. Anika Yarlagadda(UNC) d. Malaika Rapolu(TEX) 6-4, 6-3

Order of finish: 5,3,1,2,6

NOTES: North Carolina ended the two-year championship run of the Texas Longhorns, rebounding from the loss of the doubles point, as they had done in the Super Regional against Florida. Abbey Forbes was again pulled from the singles lineup at line 4, and UNC won the four first sets they needed, but it took two huge second set comebacks from Fiona Crawley at line 2 and Yarlagadda at line 6 to avoid third sets there. Yarlagadda was down 3-0 and two breaks before winning the final six games to clinch, just moments after Crawley, who won the final five games in the second set, had made it 3-2. Texas had beaten top seed UNC in the semifinals by a 4-2 score last year.

Georgia[4] 4 v Michigan[5] 0

1. Jaedan Brown/Andrea Cerdan(MICH) d. Dasha Vidmanova/Mell Reasco(UGA) 6-4
2. Guillermina Grant/Mai Nirundorn(UGA) d. Julia Fliegner/Lily Jones(MICH)  7-6(4)
3. Meg Kowalski/Lea Ma(UGA) d. Merri Kelly/Kari Miller(MICH) 6-1

Order of finish: 3,1,2

1. Lea Ma(UGA) v Kari Miller(MICH) 6-0, 5-7, 0-3, unf.
2. Jaedan Brown(MICH) v Dasha Vidmanova(UGA) 5-7, 6-1, 1-1 unf.
3. Mell Reasco(UGA) d. Julia Fliegner(MICH) 7-6(10), 6-3
4. Anastasiia Lopata(UGA) v Andrea Cerdan(MICH) 6-3, 6-4
5. Meg Kowalski(UGA) d. Lily Jones(MICH) 7-6(1), 7-5
6. Gala Mesochoritou(MICH) v Guillermina Grant(UGA) 6-7(4), 5-4 unf.

Order of finish: 4,3,5

NOTES: Although the score was 4-0, two hours and 45 minutes into the match Georgia was still up 1-0, having won the doubles point in a tiebreaker after coming from 4-0 down at line 2. Michigan lost all six first sets, three in tiebreakers, but continued to fight, forcing third sets at lines 1 and 2. But the Georgia did get the three straight-sets victories they needed in those final ten minutes, setting up a rematch of this year's National Indoor final, won by North Carolina 4-0.

Stanford[7] 4 Texas A&M[2] 0

1. Angelica Blake/Alexis Blokhina(STAN) d. Jayci Goldsmith/Salma Ewing(TAMU) 6-4
2. Mia Kupres/Mary Stoiana(TAMU) d. Sara Choy/Alexandra Yepifanova(STAN) 6-2
3. Connie Ma/Valenica Xu(STAN) d. Gianna Pielet/Jeanette Mireles(TAMU) 6-2

Order of finish: 3,2,1

1. Mary Stoiana(TAMU) v Alexandra Yepifanova(STAN) 6-4, 4-6, 1-1 unf.
2. Connie Ma(STAN) v Salma Ewing(TAMU) 7-5, 5-2 unf.
3. Angelica Blake(STAN) d, Mia Kupres(TAMU) 6-3, 6-3 
4. Alexis Blokhina(STAN) d. Jayci Goldsmith(TAMU 6-4, 3-6, 6-1
5. Valencia Xu(STAN) d. Daria Smetannikov(TAMU) 6-3, 6-4 
6. Sara Choy(STAN) v Jeanette Mireles(TAMU) 7-6(3), 5-3 unf.

Order of finish: 3,4,5

NOTES: Stanford looked like the Cardinal of old tonight, getting great performances from up and down the lineup. After taking the doubles point, Stanford came out strong in singles, and Texas A&M just couldn't find a way back. They forced a third set at line 4, but with Stanford taking five first sets in singles the hope for a comeback was brief, and the Cardinal was serving for two other matches when Valencia Xu clinched. Stanford is back in the semifinals for the first time since 2019, when they won the title.

North Carolina State[3] 4 Iowa State[11] 3

1. Diana Shnaider/Alana Smith(NCST) d. Tasaporn Naklo/Anna Supapitch Kuearum(IST) 6-3
2. Ange Oby Kajuru/Xinyi Nong(IST) v Nell Miller/Amelia Rajecki(NCST) 5-3 unf.
3. Sophie Abrams/Abigail Rencheli(NCST) d. Miska Kadleckova/Sofia Cabezas(IST) 6-2

Order of finish, 3,1

1. Diana Shnaider(NCST) d. Thaasporn Naklo(IST) 6-0, 6-0
2. Ange Oby Kajuru(IST) d. Alana Smith(NCST) 7-5, 6-4
3. Amelia Rajecki(NCST) d. Miska Kadleckova(IST) 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-3
4. Anna Supapitch Kuearum(IST) d. Abigail Rencheli(NCST) 6-2, 6-4
5. Sofia Cabezas(IST) d. Sophie Abrams(NCST) 6-1, 7-6(1)
6. Gina Dittmann(NCST) d. Chie Kezuka(IST) 6-2, 3-6, 6-4

Order of finish: 1,4,5,2,6,3

NOTES: The Wolfpack, so impressive in the ACC conference championships and in the first three rounds of the NCAAs

After NC State took the doubles point and got a world class performance from Diana Shnaider at line 1, Iowa State took the next three, all in straight sets. At 11:30 p.m., Gina Dittman tied it with a three-set win at line 6, meaning the match would be decided at line 3, after Miska Kadleckova of Iowa State took the second set from Amelia Rajecki. Rajecki got a break lead twice, but it wasn't until her second one, at 4-all that she consolidated it, holding at love for the 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-3 victory.

The Division I men's quarterfinals are Thursday, with Texas[1] vs South Carolina[9] and Kentucky[4] vs Virginia[5] at 5 p.m. Following those matches, not before 7:30 will be Ohio State[3] vs Georgia[6] and Michigan[7] vs TCU[2]. Cracked Racquets will be providing coverage via its YouTube Channel, with Alex Gruskin on the call.  The Tennis Channel schedule for the semifinals Friday and the finals Saturday can be found in this release.

The Division III men's singles and doubles championships begin tomorrow, with two rounds of singles starting at 9 a.m and a round of doubles in the afternoon. The seeds are listed below. Cracked Racquets will have coverage at their YouTube Channel.

D-III men's seeds:

1. James Hopper, Case Western
2. Tristan Bradley, Bowdoin
3. withdrew
4. Phuc Huynh, Washington, St. Louis
5. Advik Mareedu, Claremont Mudd Scripps
6. Rishabh Sharda, Tufts
7. Michael Melnikov, Swarthmore
8. Vishwa Aduru, Case Western

1. James Hopper/Vishwa Aduru, Case Western
2. Vuk Vuksanovic/Derin Acaroglu, Tufts
3. Chase Cohen/Matt Kandel, Williams
4. Nick Aney/Daniel Fouchier, Gustavus Adolphus


Colin said...

Colette, what's your understanding of the rationale of putting Brantmeier at 1 and Crawley at 2? I understand Brantmeier is a very good player also, but it seems odd that the #1 player in the country is playing 2 singles. Was Crawley injured at the end of the season?

Colette Lewis said...

On Cracked Racquets press row, assoc. head coach Tyler Thomson didn't address that particular switch directly, but said they feel all of their players could play any position in the lineup, given their singles rankings, ability. To my knowledge, Crawley has not been injured.

Colin said...

Thanks. That feels like a pretty weak line of argument. I guess either no other team protested or any protest was unsuccessful. It's not a great look for the team, though.