PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. – The semifinals in both the singles and doubles draws are set at the 2016 Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championships, following an action-filled Friday at the Riviera Tennis Club in Pacific Palisades, California.
Saturday’s semifinal schedule begins with singles at 10 a.m. PDT, followed by doubles at 1 p.m. PDT. Updated draws and main draw daily recaps can be found at the ITA Championship Central page http://www.itatennis.com/Events/ITANationalChampionships/WomensAllAmerican.htm. FloTennis will provide live streaming of the main draw matches (courts 1 and 5) at www.flotennis.com. You can also follow the conversation on Twitter by following @ITA_Tennis and using the hashtag #RivieraITA.
Quarterfinal play in doubles kicked off the festivities on Friday, and all three seeded teams remaining in the draw moved on to the Saturday’s semifinal round.
Second-seeded Brooke Austin and Kourtney Keegan of Florida outlasted USC’s Gabby Smith and Zoe Katz 8-7 (3). Smith and Katz had advanced to the quarterfinals out of the qualifying draw. Austin and Keegan, the 2016 NCAA doubles national champions, will face the No. 5 seed from Pepperdine, Luisa Stefani and Apichaya Runglerdkriangkrai. The Waves duo took down Washington’s Nour Abbes and Miki Kobayashi 8-4 on Friday.
The other doubles semifinal pits North Carolina’s Jessie Aney and Hayley Carter versus Northwestern’s Alex Chatt and Maddie Lipp, the No. 7 seed in the tourney. Aney and Carter dispatched of Mississippi State’s Jasmine Lee and Lisa Marie Rioux 8-0, while Chatt and Lipp slipped past Pepperdine’s Mayar Sherif Ahmed and Christine Maddox 8-7 (5).
Carter had a busy day in singles, winning a pair of matches to advance to the semifinals. The top-seeded Carter set a new UNC record for career victories, claiming No.’s 132 and 133 on Friday. She bested Alabama’s Erin Routliffe 6-2, 6-1 in the Round of 16, and Oklahoma State’s Viktoria Lushkova 7-5, 6-4 in the quarterfinals.
In the semis, Carter will square off against No. 3 seed Francesca Di Lorenzo of Ohio State. The Buckeye sophomore had a long day on the court on Friday, battling back from a set down to defeat Oklahoma’s Lily Miyazaki in the Round of 16, then rallied from an 0-5 hole against Florida’s Belinda Woolcock, winning 13 of the last 15 games to take the match over the No. 6 seed 7-5, 6-2.
“I was a little tired physically in the second match, and she put the pressure on me and I wasn’t ready for that,” said Di Lorenzo, who won an ITA National Championship at the 2015 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships. “Once I got my feet going and my head in the points, I kept the points long and physical and doing what I do well, I got the match back in play.
“I can’t continue to fall behind by so much early in the matches; I have to work on getting off to better starts moving forward.”
The other semifinal features Vanderbilt’s Astra Sharma taking on UCLA’s Ena Shibahara. Sharma began her day with a 1-6, 7-6 (3), 6-3 win over North Carolina freshman Sara Daavettila, and followed that up with a 7-6 (4), 6-3 decision versus Pepperdine’s Sherif Ahmed in the quarterfinals.
Shibahara won her eighth and ninth matches at the Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championships, with both being the three-set variety. Shibahara, who advanced out of the pre-qualifying and qualifying draws, took down Oklahoma State’s Vladica Babic (2-6, 6-2, 6-3) and Florida’s Kourtney Keegan (0-6, 6-0, 6-2).
“I’m feeling a little tired, but I’m so glad I’m still in the tournament,” said the UCLA freshman. “I didn’t expect to go this far, but I’m feeling confident on the court, and every match I feel like I’m improving.”
All four singles semifinalists earned spots in the 2016 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships, held November 3-6, 2016, in Flushing, New York. The two doubles finalists will also earn spots in the national indoors field.
“I’m so happy and so excited,” said Shibahara. “That was one of my goals, so I’m very happy I pulled (the quarterfinal match) out today so I could get that spot.”