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Sunday, May 14, 2023

My Recap of the Michigan-USC Men's Super Regional; Barry Upsets Top Seed Valdosta State to Reach Men's D-II Final; D-III Women's Semifinals Set; Dolehide Claims Naples $60K Title

As promised, Tennis Recruiting Network has my full recap of the scintillating Super Regional in Ann Arbor that the Michigan men won 4-3 in a tiebreaker at line 1 singles. Ondrej Styler failed to serve out the match twice and trailed 4-1 in the tiebreaker, fell down on the baseline during the eighth point of the tiebreaker, but somehow found a way to send the Wolverines back to the NCAA quarterfinals for the second straight year. I spoke with Styler, Michigan's Adam Steinberg and USC's Brett Masi about the best college match I've seen in a long, long time. 

The Division II men's semifinals were played today at the USTA Campus in Lake Nona Florida, and while the round of 16 and the quarterfinals didn't feature any major upsets, that changed today. Although Barry is going for its fourth straight title and has been in every final since 2017, they were seeded No. 4 this year. Today they took on No. 1 seed and undefeated Valdosta State, who had beaten the Buccaneers 4-3 in March, and came away with a tense 4-1 victory, with the remaining two matches deep in third sets. 

Barry will face the last team to beat them in an NCAA final, No. 2 seed Columbus State, who got past No. 3 seed U-Indy 4-2.

The final is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, and will be streamed at NCAA.com

The Division III women's semifinals are set after today's action at the USTA National Campus in Lake Nona. Chicago defeated Carnegie Mellon 5-1 and will take on Middlebury, a 5-2 winner over Johns Hopkins, in Tuesday semifinals. Defending champion Claremont-Mudd-Scripps went down to the wire before securing a 5-4 victory over Amherst, and Emory defeated Wesleyan 5-3 to close out the quarterfinals.

The Division III men's semifinals are Monday at noon, with Tufts facing Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and Middlebury playing Case Western. Cracked Racquets will have those matches on their YouTube channel.

The Division II women's semifinals will follow the D-III men and precede the D-II men's final, with top seed Barry playing No. 4 Flagler and No. 2 seed Nova Southeastern facing No. 3 Hawaii-Pacific. Those matches will also be available at CR's YouTube channel.

The Division I women's quarterfinals begin at 5 p.m. Wednesday, with two 5 p.m. matches: North Carolina[1] versus Texas[8] and Georgia[4] versus Michigan[5]. The matches between Texas A&M[2] and Stanford[6] and NC State[3] and Iowa State[11] will follow.

The two women's USTA Pro Circuit events in Florida concluded today with the singles finals. 

Caroline Dolehide, playing in her sixth tournament in six weeks, captured her second and biggest title in that stretch at the $60,000 tournament in Naples. Dolehide, the No. 2 seed, defeated former Old Dominion All-American Yuliia Starodubtseva of Ukraine, a qualifier, 7-5, 7-5 in the final. Last year at this time Starodubsteva was losing in the first round of the NCAA singles tournament; she will be inside the WTA Top 400 now after this result.

Dolehide will also reach a new career-high, and it's a big one. The 24-year-old from Illinois is now 96 in the live rankings, the first time she has been in the WTA Top 100 in singles. With few points to defend before the Wimbledon entry cutoff, she should be in the main draw there; I hope she takes a few weeks off after going 21-4 in the past six weeks, with a $25K and a $60K title.

In Saturday's doubles final, former Vanderbilt stars Christina Rosca and Australia's Astra Sharma, the No. 4 seeds, defeated top seeds Sophie Chang and Angela Kulikova(USC) 6-1, 7-6(13). It's the first title as a team for Sharma, 27, and Rosca, 25.

At the $25,000 tournament at the busy USTA National Campus in Lake Nona, No. 7 seed Fanni Stollar of Hungary took the title, beating unseeded Dalayna Hewitt 7-6(4), 6-2. It's the first singles title for the 24-year-old Stollar since her only previous one, back in 2016, at a $10K. The 22-year-old Hewitt was appearing in her first final in nearly two years; she won a $15K in Tunisia. Hewitt had defeated Clervie Ngounoue 6-4, 7-6(2) in the semifinals.

In Saturday's doubles final in Lake Nona, top seeds Makenna Jones(UNC) and Maria Mateas(Duke) defeated No. 3 seeds Hewitt and Katarina Jokic(Georgia) 6-4, 6-2. It's Jones' seventh Pro Circuit doubles title, but her first with Mateas.