NEW HAVEN, CT – With a spot in the final of the 2017 ITA Division I National Women’s Team Indoor Championship on the line, Sunday’s semifinal tilt between No. 2-seed North Carolina and No. 6 Ohio State boiled down to a showdown at No. 1 singles.
The odds, on paper, favored the Buckeyes.
Francesca Di Lorenzo, the nation’s No. 1-ranked player, owned a 4-0 head-to-head record against fifth-ranked Hayley Carter, including a pair of wins this past fall; in the semifinals of the 2016 Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championships (won by Di Lorenzo) and the final of the 2016 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships.
The two titans engaged in a back-and-forth affair on the courts of the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center, as Carter claimed the opening set 6-4, and Di Lorenzo forced a third and deciding set by earning a 6-4 second set victory. In the third set, Carter found a way to hold off Di Lorenzo and hand the Buckeye her first loss of the season, and set off a frenzied celebration with her teammates as the Tar Heels prevailed 4-3.
"I would classify this as one of the biggest wins of my career so far and I've had a lot of good times, but this is up there," said Carter. "To battle through that one and put us in the national championship, I just couldn't be happier."
North Carolina, winners of the #ITAIndoors titles in 2013 and 2015, will face No. 1-ranked and top-seeded Florida in the championship match. The Gators took on SEC rival and fifth-seeded Georgia in the other semifinal on Sunday, and came away with a 4-0 victory. Florida’s six #ITAIndoors titles rank second all-time, behind only Stanford’s 10 championships.
Monday’s final between the nation's No. 1 and No. 2-ranked teams gets underway at 11 a.m. EDT, from the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center, and hosted by Yale University. FloTennis will have exclusive live streaming coverage of the contest. FloTennis is a subscription-based service with monthly and annual rate options. To sign up and view the live stream, click here.
For updated draws, results, live scoring and video, daily video highlights and photo galleries, head to the Division I Women’s National Indoors event page. On social media, be sure to follow @ITA_Tennis on Twitter and Instagram and use the hashtag #ITAIndoors to join the conversation.
Championship Quick Facts:
- North Carolina has won two #ITAIndoors titles (2013, 2015)
- North Carolina currently has three players in the top-20 Oracle/ITA singles rankings (Sara Daavettila (2), Hayley Carter (5), Jessie Aney (17))
- Florida has the second most #ITAIndoors titles with 6 (Stanford leads with 10 championship titles)
- Florida currently has six singles players in the top-50 of the Oracle/ITA singles rankings (Josie Kuhlman (19), Anna Danilina (23), Kourtney Keegan (30), Belinda Woolcock (40), Spencer Liang (41))