Women’s QF Day at NCAA DI Championships
After a day off yesterday – event schedulers built in a rain day which didn’t wind up getting used! – the 8 remaining Women’s Tennis teams took to the courts today to battle for spots in the Team Semifinals.
First up was University of Georgia versus NC State, and the No. 6 NC State Wolfpack continued its historic run through the NCAA DI Women’s Tennis Championships, knocking off No. 3 Georgia, 4-2, to advance to the programs first ever NCAA semifinal.
NC State flexed its doubles muscles, clinching the doubles point to take a 1-0 lead but Georgia got on the board as Katarina Jokic won 6-2, 6-2 at No. 1 singles over NC State’s Anna Rogers in a battle of ITA Top 10 players.
Adriana Reami and Jaeda Daniel gave NC State a 3-1 advantage with wins on Courts No. 3 and No. 4 before Georgia’s Elena Christofi won at No. 6 singles to make the score 3-2.
Wolfpack freshman Abigail Rencheli won a tough second-set tiebreak to clinch the match with a 6-3, 7-6(6) win on Court No. 5.
The other top-half quarterfinal saw University of Texas take on Florida State. The No. 2 Texas Longhorns cruised into the semifinals at the NCAA DI Women’s Tennis Championships with a 4-0 win over the No. 7 FSU team.
Texas won the doubles point and quickly built a 2-0 lead after a dominating 6-0, 6-1, win by Peyton Stearns on the No. 1 court.
Not long after that, Anna Turati gave Texas a 3-0 lead with a 6-1, 6-4 win at No. 2 singles.
After Texas swept all six opening sets, a number of players were in position to clinch the match but senior Fernanda Labraña sealed the deal with 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 win on Court No. 6 to send the Longhorns onto the semifinals. They will face NC State on Friday.
The No. 5 Pepperdine Waves knocked off crosstown rival No. 4 UCLA in a thrilling four-plus hour match to reach the semifinals at the NCAA DI Women’s Tennis Champiionships for the first time in program history.
The drama started in doubles as the duo of Ashley Lahey and Lisa Zar won a tiebreaker 10-8 at No. 1 doubles to secure the doubles point for the Waves.
In a sign of how the match would unfold, three of the six singles matches went to first-set tiebreakers, though UCLA’s Abi Altick quickly wrapped up her match on Court No. 5, winning 6-2, 6-3, to get the Bruins on the board.
Annette Goulak won on Court No. 6, 7-6(4), 6-3 to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead and Elysia Bolton had a match point that would’ve given UCLA a 3-1 lead at No. 3 singles. However, Pepperdine’s Taisiya Pachkaleva rallied from down 5-4 in the third set to win the set 7-5 and, instead, tie the match up at 2-2.
Moments later Jessica Failla put Pepperdine back ahead with a 7-6(7), 6-4 win at No. 2 singles, but UCLA’s Abbey Forbes would prevail on Court No. 1 to tie the match at 3-3.
All eyes turned to Court No. 4, which had just entered the third set, as Shiori Fakuda willed her way to a 6-7(7), 6-3, 6-2 win to send Pepperdine to its first ever NCAA semifinal.
The last match of the day – UNC v. Duke – another crosstown rivalry – had yet to finish at the time of publication. UNC took the doubles point with wins in the #1 and #3 spots then won the #5 singles match. Chloe Beck put Duke on the scoreboard with a win at #3 singles. The remaining matches were all in 3rd sets when I closed up shop for the night at 10pm Pacific time which was 1am in Lake Nona. A late night to be sure!
All photos and match details courtesy of USTA/NCAA.
Top-seeded UNC defeated #18 Duke 4-1 and will face Pepperdine in Friday’s semifinals.
1. #10 Margaryta Bilokin/Meible Chi (DU) def. #2 Cameron Morra/Sara Daavettila (NC) 6-2
2. #4 Makenna Jones/Elizabeth Scotty (NC) def. #9 Chloe Beck/Karolina Berankova (DU) 6-4
3. #34 Alle Sanford/Reilly Tran (NC) def. #41 Kelly Chen/Georgia Drummy (DU) 7-5
1. #2 Sara Daavettila (NC) vs. #49 Kelly Chen (DU) 6-1, 2-6, 4-3, unfinished
2. #41 Alexa Graham (NC) vs. #19 Georgia Drummy (DU) 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 3-0, unfinished
3. #39 Chloe Beck (DU) def. #27 Cameron Morra (NC) 6-1, 6-4
4. #32 Makenna Jones (NC) def. #40 Meible Chi (DU) 0-6, 6-4, 6-4
5. #36 Fiona Crawley (NC) def. Margaryta Bilokin (DU) 6-1, 6-0
6. #117 Reilly Tran (NC) def. Karolina Berankova (DU) 5-7, 6-1, 6-1