NCAA Women's Tennis Second Round ACCtion: Saturday, May 12

May 12, 2012

No. 26 Yellow Jackets Beat No. 8 Alabama 4-3 To Advance To Sweet 16

Tuscaloosa, Ala. - Georgia Tech's 26th-ranked women's tennis team overcame a variety of obstacles Saturday afternoon to defeat the No. 8 Alabama Crimson Tide 4-3 to advance to the NCAA Championships Sweet 16 to be held in Athens, Ga.

Not only was Tech the lower ranked team, it was a lower seed than Alabama. The Yellow Jackets also had to defeat the Tide on their home courts - both the indoor and outdoor versions - as rain caused three delays and finally forced the match indoors. There was also a large Alabama fan base, which senior Caroline Lilley related to her high school basketball days in front of raucous opposing fans.

"Alabama, you have to hand it to them, what a quality team," Tech head coach Bryan Shelton said. "They played hard, they played fair, they're well coached, they had a huge fan base out here today, which made the match extremely exciting. This match had everything. Everything that is good in college tennis, we were able to see and experience today. To be able to come through with a victory at their place was really special. I'm really proud of the girls for hanging in there and competing. I think today's win is a culmination of a lot of hard work that our team has put in over the last year or two. For them to get this result is pretty special."

Tech found out just how tough it was going to be to beat the Crimson Tide as soon as doubles play began. Lilley and Muriel Wacker beat the Tide's pair of Taylor Lindsey and Yasmine Ebada 8-3 on court three.

Duke Blanks South Carolina in NCAA Second Round

DURHAM, N.C. -The Duke women's tennis team won its 16th straight match, recorded its program record 17th shutout of the season and defeated South Carolina 4-0 on its way to advancing to the third round of the 2012 NCAA Women's Tennis Championships on Saturday afternoon at Ambler Tennis Stadium. The Blue Devils have now reached at least the third round 20 times in their 24 total tournament appearances.

"That's always one of our goals: to be one of the last 16 teams," head coach Jamie Ashworth said. "We played better today than we did yesterday. I thought we played really good doubles, especially at one and two, and kind of took away any momentum they would have."

Duke (27-2, 11-0 ACC) jumped out to 4-1 leads on all three doubles courts to open the afternoon, as their 21st-ranked doubles team comprised of junior Mary Clayton and freshman Ester Goldfeld defeated South Carolina's (16-9) 38th-ranked duo of Jaklin Alawi and Dijana Stojic, 8-2, in the No. 1 spot. On court three, senior Monica Gorny and sophomore Hanna Mar clinched the doubles point with an 8-4 victory over Josefin Andersson and Katerina Popova.

The Blue Devils carried their momentum into singles play, as Kahan, ranked 85th, picked up her 20th dual singles win of the season with a solid 6-1, 7-5 win over Kanakova in the No. 4 spot. Playing in the No. 2 spot, Goldfeld, ranked 110th, extended the Duke lead with a 6-3, 6-4 upset victory against the 88th-ranked Alawi.

No. 7 Tar Heels Head Back To NCAA Round Of 16

CHAPEL HILL --- No. 7 North Carolina withstood an incredible comeback attempt by Arizona to advance to the NCAA Championship final site in Athens, Ga., with a 4-2 victory Saturday afternoon at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center. Caroline Price won 9-7 in a third-set tiebreak to give the Tar Heels the clinching point and a spot in the round of 16 for the third year in a row.

Carolina (24-6) got what would prove to be a crucial early point courtesy of two 8-5 doubles victories at the top two positions.

No. 81 Haley Hemm and Tessa Lyons finished first, outlasting Sarah Landsman and Hailey Johnson at No. 2 doubles. No. 4 Shinann Featherston and Lauren McHale then clinched the point with their 8-5 win over No. 37 Lacey Smyth and Natasha Marks on the showcase court.

After winning opening sets on four of six singles courts, the Tar Heels were poised to cruise into the NCAA round of 16. But Arizona (16-9) proved more than capable of making it a highly competitive match.

Canes Reach Sweet 16 for Seventh Consecutive Season

CORAL GABLES, Fla. - With its 4-0 victory over No. 37 Utah on Saturday at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center, the 11th-ranked University of Miami women’s tennis team advanced to the NCAA Tournament’s third round for the seventh straight season.

Playing at Nos. 1 and 2 singles respectively, seniors Anna Bartenstein and Gabriela Mejia won their matches simultaneously to clinch the victory for the Canes.

Mejia, the nation’s 27th-ranked singles player, closed out the Utes’ Sarah Pham, 6-2, 6-1. Just moments later, No. 18 Bartenstein finished off Utah’s No. 54 Anastasia Putilina, 6-0, 6-2.

Sophomore Melissa Bolivar, who on Friday, clinched the Canes’ win over UNF with a three-set win, was the first UM singles player to win on Saturday. Easily taking down Utah’s Danielle Flores, 6-1, 6-0.

Bartenstein and Brittany Dubins were the first doubles team to win, as they overpowered Utah’s duo of Pham and Lucia Kovarcikova at No. 3, 8-3. The 20th-ranked tandem of Bolivar and Liat Zimmerman later clinched the doubles point with an 8-6 win.

Virginia Women’s Tennis Advances to NCAA Round of 16

CHARLOTTESVILLE - The No. 14 Virginia women's tennis team advanced to the NCAA Round of 16 for the second consecutive season after downing No. 23 Tennessee 4-1 in a second round match Saturday at the Snyder Tennis Center. The Cavaliers (20-7) tied the school record for wins in a season with their 20th victory of the year, while the Lady Vols end their season with a 15-13 record.

"I am so proud of our team to advance to the round of 16," said Virginia head coach Mark Guilbeau. "Tennessee is a team that has had to battle a lot of injuries this year, but they are really talented and we knew they were going to give us everything they had today. They pushed us hard and I am pleased with how our team stepped up to that challenge. Victories like this are what make all the work they have put in worthwhile."

The Cavaliers opened the match by taking the doubles point. Virginia quickly took the edge in doubles as Maria Fuccillo (Rockville, Md.) and Lindsey Hardenbergh (Fairfax Station, Va.) downed Joanna Henderson and Jesse Grace 8-0 at the No. 3 position. Hana Tomljanovic (Boca Raton, Fla.) and Erin Vierra (Norwell, Mass.) clinched the opening point for the Cavaliers with their 8-6 win at No. 2 over Brynn Boren and Caitlyn Williams.

Virginia carried that momentum into singles, winning five of the six first sets. The UVa lead was doubled as Vierra cruised to a 6-0, 6-1 win at the No. 5 position over Henderson. Tennessee's point came at No. 3 where Kata Szekely defeated Li Xi (Kunming, China) 6-1, 6-4 to cut the advantage to 2-1. Caryssa Peretz (Cherry Hill, N.J.) posted a 6-4, 6-3 win at No. 6 over Grace to extend the lead to 3-1 seconds before Hardenbergh closed out the win with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Boren at the No. 2 position.

No. 6 Georgia Outlasts Clemson in NCAA Second Round

ATHENS, GA - Clemson fought for 5 hours and 22 minutes and gave No. 6 Georgia all they could handle, but the Bulldogs (23-4) held on for a 4-3 win over No. 24 Clemson in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Athens, GA. Clemson (16-10) trailed, 3-0, in the match before winning three straight singles matches to send the decision to court three. But Clemson came up on the short end in three sets.

“I’m really proud of how we fought today against a very tough Georgia team,” said Head Coach Nancy Harris. “Our girls gave it everything they had, and battled all night.”

During the match, Josipa Bek, Clemson’s only six-time All-American, set the program record for career wins with the 224th of her illustrious career. She defeated Nadja Gilchrist, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 on court two to bring Clemson within one at 3-2. It was the 105th singles win of her career, and her school-record-extending 32nd three-set win of her career.

“The way Jo closed her final match was storybook,” said Harris. “Her year was so challenging for her, and to come in and finish with the record, and give us the chance to move on. It’s something she’s always done, is put Clemson in a great place to win things. She was true to herself today. Nobody’s accomplished what she’s accomplished in our program, and sets a new bar for Clemson.”