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No. 1 Northwestern to meet No. 6 Georgia in the Championship match

MADISON, Wis. – Top-ranked Northwestern, the 2008 runner-up, looks to improve on last year’s finals result as they take on No. 6 Georgia in tomorrow’s Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Women's Team Indoor Championship match hosted by the University of Wisconsin at the A.C. Nielsen Tennis Stadium.

ITA National Women’s Team Indoor Championships: Semifinals
#1 Northwestern 4, Notre Dame 1
#6 Georgia 4, #2 California 2

ITA National Women’s Team Indoor Championships: Quarterfinals
#1 Northwestern 4, #8 Duke 3
Notre Dame 4, #4 Baylor 3
#6 Georgia 6, #3 UCLA 1
#2 California 5, #7 Georgia Tech 2

ITA National Women’s Team Indoor Championships: First Round
#1 Northwestern 6, Miami (FL) 1
#8 Duke 7, Wisconsin 0
#4 Baylor 4, North Carolina 3
Notre Dame 4, #5 Stanford 3
#6 Georgia 4, USC 3
#3 UCLA 4, Florida 3
#7 Georgia Tech 4, Fresno State 3
#2 California 4, Clemson 3

Having participated in the ITA Team Indoor Championships for the 11th time and coming off the team’s best result as NU became the first Big Ten team to reach the finals of the Team Championship before falling to Georgia Tech, 4-2, the ‘Cats are anxious to capture their first ITA Team Indoor title. Northwestern has not only won six of the last seven matches in the annual event but have also won an astounding 49 of their last 52 dual matches.

Georgia will be going for its fourth ITA National Team Indoor title after winning it in 1994, 1995 and 2002. The Bulldogs will be making their sixth appearance in the championship match and have an all-time record of 42-15 in 20 appearances. In fact, UGA has only missed the annual tournament twice. The Georgia men’s team also made the finals of the ITA National Men’s Team Indoor Championships and will face the defending champion Virginia Cavaliers tomorrow. It is the ninth time that one school has had both the men’s and women’s teams in the finals of both of events in the same year and the third time that UGA has accomplished this feat (1994-’95).

More on the Finalists:
Georgia (8-0): The sixth-ranked Bulldogs powered past second-ranked California 4-2 and into the finals to face top-ranked Northwestern. Georgia captured the doubles point for a 1-0 lead after trailing in all three matches. The point came down to the No. 3 match where Georgia’s
Naoko Ueshima and Cameron Ellis came through with an 8-6 win over Bojana Bobusi and Stephany Chang. Cal was able to even the match as 30th-ranked Claire Ilcinkas closed out Nadja Gilchrist 6-4, 6-2 to make it 1-1. It snapped Gilchrist’s 10-match winning streak and was the freshman’s first dual loss. Georgia went back on top 2-1 when Ellis defeated Chang 6-3, 6-3. Ellis is riding a 12-match winning streak and is 18-2 this year. The Bulldog lead was short-lived as the Bears tied the match at 2-2 when Mari Andersson posted a 7-6 (2), 6-0 win over Yvette Hyndman. Monika Dancevik won the final six points to pick up the 6-3, 7-6 (5) victory to put Georgia back in front 3-2. The match was ultimately clinched when Ueshima was able to finish off Marion Ravelojaona, 6-1, 2-6, 6-2 to push her winning streak to nine matches.
First Round Matchup: No. 6 Georgia def. USC, 4-3
Quarterfinal Matchup: No. 6 Georgia def. No. 3 UCLA, 6-1
Semifinal Matchup: No. 6 Georgia def. No. 2 California, 4-2
Championship Matchup: No. 6 Georgia vs. No. 1 Northwestern - 11:00 a.m. (CT)

Northwestern (6-0): Top-ranked Northwestern handled the upset-minded Fighting Irish of Notre Dame, 4-1, to earn a spot in the tournament final for the second consecutive year. The ‘Cats overcame an Irish team that had pulled off two impressive upsets on its way to the semifinals, including wins against No. 5 Stanford and No. 4 Baylor. Northwestern was on the board first as Maria Mosolova and Keri Robison pulled out a 9-7 point-clinching win over Cosmina Ciobanu and Kali Krisik to pick up the doubles point. In singles competition, No. 28 Georgia Rose led the way for NU with a 6-0, 6-3 dismissal of No. 39 Kristy Frilling at second singles while Lauren Lui followed suit with a 6-1, 6-3 win at No. 4 singles against Kristen Rafael. Lui was announced as the 2009 recipient of the ITA Sportsmanship Award as chosen by the 16 coaches whose teams are competing in the Team Indoor Championships. Lui is the first Northwestern player as well as the first player from the Big Ten conference ever to win the honor, which recognizes outstanding sportsmanship by a student-athlete who exemplifies the spirit of college tennis both at the annual event and throughout her career. Clinching the match for the Wildcats was 24th-ranked Samantha Murray with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over No. 46 Kali Krisik. Notre Dame's Shannon Mathews dealt the 'Cats their lone singles loss with a 6-0, 6-2 defeat of Robison.
First Round Matchup: No. 1 Northwestern def. Miami (FL), 6-1
Quarterfinal Matchup: No. 1 Northwestern def. No. 8 Duke, 4-3
Semifinal Matchup: No. 1 Northwestern def. Notre Dame, 4-1
Championship Matchup: No. 1 Northwestern vs. No. 6 Georgia – 11:00 a.m. (CT)

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