Women's Tennis NCAA Quarterfinal ACCtion: Saturday, May 29

May 30, 2010

Miami's Vallverdu Storms Into NCAA Singles Semifinals

Athens, Ga. - University of Miami all-time singles wins leader Laura Vallverdu earned her second consecutive bid to the semifinals of the NCAA Women's Tennis Singles Tournament on Saturday, upsetting third-seeded Maria Sanchez of Southern California in straight sets (6-3, 6-0) at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga. UM junior Bianca Eichkorn fell in her quarterfinals match in a tough straight-set decision (6-4, 6-4) to fourth-seeded Hilary Barte of Stanford.

Vallverdu, a four-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference member from Valencia, Venezuela, was facing off against USC's Sanchez for the second time on the 2009-10 campaign. The two met back in October during the ITA/Riviera All-American Championships consolation round, with Vallverdu taking a straight-set (6-2, 6-4) decision from the top-flight player for the Women of Troy.

UM women's tennis head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews said on Friday that Vallverdu is playing some of the best tennis she has played all season. In Saturday's rematch between the east coast/west coast combatants of Vallverdu and Sanchez, that statement from the 2009 ACC Coach of the Year [Yaroshuk-Tews] was evident early and often for the now four-time All-American for the `Canes.

Falconi Stopped In Quarterfinals Of NCAA Tournament

ATHENS, Ga. - Georgia Tech sophomore Irina Falconi came up short in her bid to win the 2010 NCAA Singles Championship when she dropped a 6-2, 6-4 decision in the Quarterfinals to Chelsey Gullickson of Georgia Saturday at the University of Georgia's Dan Magill Tennis Complex.

"I'm very proud of Irina," head coach Bryan Shelton said. "She had a fantastic year, a great tournament here, and was a true winner. I know the goal was to win the tournament, and she is understandably disappointed. Still, I feel nothing but pride for her. It's been great to work with her these past couple of years and watch here develop into a great player and a great person."

Down 2-1 in the first set, Gullickson would go on a run and take the final five games for a 6-2 lead in the match. Falconi, who struggled on her first serve all day, was broken twice in the first frame.

On serve, Falconi opened a 3-2 advantage in the second set. After a furious game of back and forth, Falconi broke Gullickson for the first time on the day and held a 4-2 advantage. Gullickson would break right back and would go on to the win.