Eight Remain in the NCAA Women’s Championships
The top four seeds are still alive in the 2017 NCAA Women’s Championships after No. 1 Florida, No. 2 North Carolina, No. 3 Ohio State, No. 4 Vanderbilt, No. 6 Texas Tech, No. 7 Stanford, No. 9 Oklahoma State and No. 12 Pepperdine have moved on to the quarterfinals.
All six schools (Florida, UNC, Ohio State, Texas Tech, Stanford, Oklahoma State) that participated in the 2017 College MatchDay series at the National Campus have reached the round of eight. It is guaranteed that three of those schools that played in the CMD series will reach the Final Four.
Highlights from May 19
North Carolina vs. Duke
The rivalry was renewed between No. 2 North Carolina and No. 15 Duke, yet it was the Tar Heels who rolled at the top of the lineup for a 4-0 victory. Hayley Carter (Hilton Head, S.C.) at No. 1, Sara Daavettila (Williamston, Mich.) at No. 2 and Jessie Aney (Rochester, Minn.) at No. 3 locked up straight set singles wins, even though the Blue Devils won the first set at each of the bottom three positions.
Stanford vs. Michigan
In a tighter affair with No. 7 Stanford facing No. 10 Michigan, the Cardinal held a 2-0 lead with the doubles point and a quick win by Emma Higuchi (Los Angeles, Calif.). The remaining matches were highly competitive, and Stanford managed to hold on for a 4-1 win despite UM’sKate Fahey (Fair Haven, N.J.) taking the W at No. 1 singles. The Cardinal have won two of the last four NCAA titles.
Ohio State vs. South Carolina
For the noon session, No. 3 Ohio State, which has five ranked singles players in its lineup, kept the Big Ten’s hopes alive by downing No. 14 South Carolina, 4-1. Every completed singles match went in straight sets, highlighted by the No. 1-ranked women’s collegiate player in the country Francesca Di Lorenzo (New Albany, Ohio) cruising by No. 49 Ingrid Gamarra Martins, 6-1, 6-1.
Texas Tech vs. Auburn
While OSU and South Carolina were getting deep into singles, No. 6 Texas Tech and No. 11 Auburn were still in doubles play. With the schools splitting results at 1 and 2, at No. 3 the Tigers broke at 5-5 and held serve for the 7-5 doubles win and the first overall point. Auburn’s momentum was short lived, and the Red Raiders clawed back for a 4-2 triumph.
Georgia vs. Pepperdine
The home fans invaded the Georgia campus yet again Friday at 4 p.m. for No. 5 UGA’s contest with No. 12 Pepperdine. But unlike the Bulldogs’ men’s result Thursday which upset No. 4 USC, this time Georgia was the victim of the upset bug. Following a tight doubles point that went to the Waves who never trailed during the match, the No. 19-ranked player in college,Ashley Lahey (Hawthorne, Calif.), made it 2-0 with a 6-4, 6-0 win against No. 20 Elena Christofi. It eventually came down to No. 1 singles and a battle between two of the top-15 players in the nation. With the overall score knotted at 3-3, Pepperdine’s Luisa Stefani (ranked No. 14) and Georgia’s Ellen Perez (ranked No. 12) traded a couple of early breaks in the third set until Stefani broke again at 4-2 to eventually post the deciding victory.
Vanderbilt vs. California
The 2015 NCAA Champions advanced as well when No. 4 Vanderbilt thumped No. 13 California, 4-1, in a contest where Americans stole the show. Cal’s only point came on a victory from Maya Jansen (Valleyford, Wash.) while it had a lead at No. 1 singles with Maegan Manasse (Redondo Beach, Calif.) up a set and in a tiebreak vs. Astra Sharma before the match was halted. The Commodores secured wins from Sydney Campbell (Franklin, Tenn.), Christina Rosca (Princeton, N.J.) and Fernanda Contreras (Austin, Texas) to end the Bears’ dreams of a title.
Florida vs. Texas A&M
The top-seed and No. 1-ranked team in the country all season long in the USTA College Tennis Top 25, Florida demonstrated why it deserved that distinction with a 4-0 shutout of unseeded Texas A&M. The Aggies came close to earning the doubles point only to see the Gators reel off six-straight points in a tiebreak at the deciding No. 3 position to take a 1-0 lead. UF then gave up a combined 11 games in the three singles victories at the No. 1, No. 4 and No. 6 spots.
Georgia Tech vs. Oklahoma State
The Gators will now face No. 9 Oklahoma State after the Cowgirls slipped past No. 8 Georgia Tech, 4-3, in a nailbiter. GT notched the doubles point and singles wins by Kenya Jones (Memphis, Tenn.) and Nami Otsuka (Norcross, Ga.), but the two teams battled to a 3-3 tie. All of the attention went to No. 3 singles where OSU’s Aliona Bolsova broke at 4-3 on a no-ad point in the third set vs. Paige Hourigan. The Yellow Jackets had two break points of their own, and when Hourigan’s return sailed just long on the second attempt, the Cowgirls rushed the court in celebration.
Saturday’s action will feature the men’s quarterfinals at 12 p.m. and 4 p.m., while the women get back on court Sunday. The finals for both sides are held on May 23. The individual singles and doubles championships are set for May 24-29, also in Athens.