CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. - The Semifinals have been set for the 16 teams competing in the 2011 ITA National Women's Team Indoor Championship hosted by the University of Virginia at the Boar's Head Sports Club.
ITA National Women's Team Indoor Championships: Quarterfinals
#1 Stanford 4, #8 Michigan 1
#4 North Carolina 4, Northwestern 3
#6 Duke 4, Virginia 2
#2 Florida 4, Clemson 0
ITA National Women's Team Indoor Championship: First Round
#1 Stanford 4, Arkansas 0
#8 Michigan 4, Georgia Tech 1
#4 North Carolina 4, Washington 2
Northwestern 4, #5 California 1
#6 Duke 4, Tennessee 1
Virginia 4, #3 Baylor 3
Clemson 4, #7 UCLA 3
#2 Florida 4, Miami (FL) 1
More on the Semifinalists:
#1 STANFORD: No. 1 Stanford won its seventh straight game to open the year, defeating No. 8 Michigan 4-1. Despite dropping the doubles point for only the second time this year, the Cardinal (7-0) ripped off four straight singles wins to secure the match.
Michigan jumped out to the early lead with a pair of dominating doubles wins at No. 3 and No. 1 for the 1-0 lead. Freshman Sam Critser and sophomore combined for the first victory, dispatching of Carolyn McVeigh and Stacey Tan, 8-3. At No. 1, the No. 22-ranked pair of freshman Brooke Bolender and senior Denise Muresan defeated the third-ranked duo of Hilary Barte and Mallory Burdette by the same 8-3 score for the first point of the match.
Stanford answered by winning the first four singles matches off court to capture the 4-1 victory. After wins at No. 4 and No. 2 by the Cardinal, Michigan's Mimi Nguyen and Rika Tatsuno appeared to be the only signs of hope for the Wolverines after taking the first set to a close tiebreak loss and a close 7-5 win respectively, Nguyen quickly fell behind in the second set giving the top-ranked Cardinal a 3-0 advantage, setting up the No. 1 match as the decider.
In a battle of top-10 players, second-ranked Hilary Barte provided the clincher with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over No. 8 Denise Muresan, securing the victory for the defending NCAA champs.
First Round Matchup: No. 1 Stanford 4, Arkansas 0
Quarterfinal Matchup: No. 1 Stanford 4, No. 8 Michigan 1
Semifinal Matchup: No. 1 Stanford vs. No. 4 North Carolina
No. 1 Stanford def. No. 8 Michigan, 4-1
1. #22 Bolender/Muresan (UM) def. #3 Barte/Burdette (STAN), 8-3
2. Taney/Tatsuno (UM) vs. Ahn/Gibbs (STAN), 6-7 DNF
3. Critser/Nguyen (UM) def. Tan/McVeigh (STAN), 8-3
1. #2 Hilary Barte (STAN) def. #8 Denise Muresan (UM), 6-2, 6-4
2. #22 Mallory Burdette (STAN) def. #34 Sam Critser (UM), 6-2, 6-2
3. #20 Kristie Ahn (STAN) vs. #104 Brooke Bolender (UM), 6-4, 5-5 DNF
4. #21 Nicole Gibbs (STAN) def. #71 Whitney Taney (UM), 6-2, 6-1
5. #87 Stacey Tan (STAN) def. #123 Mimi Nguyen (UM), 7-6 , 6-2
6. Rika Tatsuno (UM) vs. Carolyn McVeigh (STAN), 7-5, 1-2 DNF
#2 FLORIDA: Florida took down a red-hot Clemson team, 4-0, and earned a spot in the semifinals of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships on Saturday at the Boar's Head Sports Club.
Florida faces No. 6 Duke on Sunday in the semifinals. It will be the second meeting this week between the Blue Devils and Gators, who won the hard-fought 4-2 decision in Durham on Sun., Feb. 13.
The Gators have won the ITA National Team Indoor Championships title six times, but not since 1999. Sunday's semifinal appearance will be Florida's first since 2003, when the team finished runner-up to Duke.
The 12th-ranked Tigers were coming off a 4-3 upset against No. 7 UCLA on Friday, but the Gators (9-0) were able to battle for the doubles point and collected singles victories from a freshman and two sophomores and earned the quarterfinal win.
"Once again, we competed real well," UF head coach Roland Thornqvist said. "Clemson is a tough and very talented team, but we fought really hard. We're starting to get really good at closely contested matches and that's a great sign for the future. Even our freshmen are starting to get really tough and have thicker skin and that was the difference today."
In the first time ever playing together on the doubles court, Lauren Embree and Caroline Hitimana stepped up and made it look easy, as the Gator sophomores earned an 8-1 victory over Nelly Ciolkowski and Caroline Magnusson at the No. 2 position and provide the first decision of the dual match.
The featured pairing showcased UF's top-ranked team of Sofie Oyen and Allie Will against Clemson's second-ranked duo of Josipa Bek and Keri Wong, which emerged with an 8-4 win, setting the stage for court three to claim the doubles point.
"That was high-level tennis being played on that doubles court," Thornqvist said. "I was real impressed with Clemson's team. We were a little too defensive today and that was a difference in that match. Hopefully, we'll get another chance to play them outside where our defense can maybe make more of a difference."
The Gator rookie tandem of Alex Cercone and Olivia Janowicz rose to the occasion on court No. 3 and earned an 8-3 win against Maria Belaya and Klara Vyskocilova and gave Florida the doubles point.
Janowicz then earned her second singles win at the event and gave the Gators a 2-0 lead when she defeated Belaya, 6-2, 6-2 at the No. 5 position.
"Playing dual matches is obviously something very different than playing individual tournaments and all three of our freshmen are finding that out," Thornqvist said. "We've played some really good teams in the last couple of weeks and developed thicker skin as a result. Olivia is certainly one of those freshmen and is playing well and did an outstanding job today."
Will came through with an impressive 6-3, 6-2 victory against 14th-ranked Bek on court No. 1, as the Gator sophomore earned her eighth consecutive win and improved her career singles record to 65-7, including a 34-1 dual match mark.
Embree, the nation's 36-th-ranked singles player, provided the clinching dual match point with a 7-5, 1-6, 6-2 victory against the 37th-ranked Wong, as she improved to 7-0 in singles action this year.
"Wong is a talented player who likes to mix things up and sometimes it's hard to get into a good rhythm when you play her," Thornqvist shared. "Lauren got a little frustrated, but competed her way back after being down in the first set. The second set went way too fast and Lauren was discouraged. In the third, she was as sharp as she's been as year."
First Round Matchup: No. 2 Florida 4, Miami (FL) 1
Quarterfinal Matchup: No. 2 Florida 4, Clemson 0
Semifinal Matchup: No. 2 Florida vs. No. 6 Duke
No. 2 Florida def. Clemson, 4-0
1. #2 Bek/Wong (CLEM) def. #1 Will/Oyen (UF), 8-4
2. #30 Embree/Mather (UF) def. Magnusson/Ciolkowski (CLEM), 8-1
3. Cercone/Janowicz (UF) def. Vyskocilova/Belaya (CLEM), 8-3
1. #7 Allie Will (UF) def. #14 Josipa Bek (CLEM), 6-3, 6-2
2. #36 Lauren Embree (UF) def. #37 Keri Wong (CLEM), 7-5, 1-6, 6-2
3. Nelly Ciolkowski (CLEM) vs. Sofie Oyen (UF), 7-6, 2-2 DNF
4. Klara Vyskocilova (CLEM) vs. #40 Alex Cercone (UF), 4-6, 6-3, 3-2 DNF
5. #31 Olivia Janowicz (UF) def. Maria Belaya, 6-2, 6-2
6. Caroline Magnusson (CLEM) vs. Carolina Hitimana 1-6, 6-4, 1-0 DNF
#4 NORTH CAROLINA: No. 4 North Carolina earned a spot in the ITA National Team Indoor Championship semifinals after rallying to beat No. 20 Northwestern, 4-3, Saturday evening at the Boar's Head Sports Club. In a rematch of the 2010 National Indoor final, UNC got singles wins from Shinann Featherston, Jelena Durisic, Gina Suarez-Malaguti and Lauren McHale to overcome a late 3-2 deficit and advance to Saturday's semis.
For just the second time in 2011, Carolina (7-1) found itself down 1-0 after dropping the doubles point. The Tar Heels got off to a fast start at the top of the lineup, with No. 6 Featherston and McHale dismissing No. 15 Linda Abu Mushrefova and Nida Hamilton at No. 1, 8-2.
But the Wildcats (5-4) scored a pair of tight wins on courts two and three to get the initial point. No. 58 Maria Mosolova and Belinda Niu outlasted Durisic and Tessa Lyons at No. 2 in a tiebreak, 9-8, before Elena Chernyakova and Kate Turvy bested Zoe De Bruycker and Jennifer Stone at No. 3, 9-7.
Needing to win four of the six singles matches, Carolina once again leaned on its depth throughout the lineup. Suarez-Malaguti evened the dual at 1 with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Hamilton at No. 4, and McHale gave the Tar Heels their first lead with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Stacey Lee at No. 5.
Northwestern responded with wins at opposite ends of the lineup to push back in front and move within one point of taking the match. Mushrefova rallied from down a set at No. 6 to best Haley Hemm, 4-6, 6-0, 6-3, before No. 29 Mosolova finished off No. 13 De Bruycker in two sets, 6-1, 7-6.
That left UNC needing wins in the final two matches on courts two and three. No. 119 Durisic dropped the opening set to No. 98 Turvy, 2-6, but the Torrance, Calif., senior regrouped to take the next two by matching 6-4 scores.
Durisic finished her victory mere moments before No. 75 Featherston completed the Tar Heel comeback on court two with a 7-6, 7-5 win over No. 100 Niu. Featherston, who rallied from love-40 down in the final game, hit a blistering winner on match point to put Carolina into the ITA National Indoor semis for the third time in the last four seasons.
First Round Matchup: No. 4 North Carolina 4, Washington 2
Quarterfinal Matchup: No. 4 North Carolina 4, Northwestern 3
Semifinal Matchup: No. 4 North Carolina vs. No. 1 Stanford
#4 North Carolina def. Northwestern, 4-3
1. #6 Featherston/McHale (UNC) def. #15 Mushrefova/Hamilton (NU), 8-2
2. #58 Mosolova/Niu (NU) def. Durisic/Lyons (UNC), 9-8
3. #66 Chernyakova/Turvy (NU) def. DeBruycker/Stone (UNC). 9-7
1. #29 Maria Mosolova (NU) def. #13 Zoe DeBruycker (UNC), 6-1, 7-6
2. #75 Shinann Featherston (UNC) def. ##100 Belinda Niu (NU), 7-6, 7-5
3. #119 Jelena Durisic (UNC) def. #98 Kate Turvy (NU), 2-6, 6-4, 6-4
4. Gina Suarez-Malaguti (UNC) def. Nida Hamilton ( NU), 6-2, 6-3
5. #93 Lauren McHale (UNC) def. Stacey Lee (NU), 6-2, 6-1
6. Linda Abu Mushrefova (NU) def. Haley Hemm (UNC), 4-6, 6-0, 6-3
#6 DUKE: The Duke women's tennis team advanced to the semifinals of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Team Indoor Championship after downing Virginia 4-2.
"It was a good effort in a really tough environment," said women's head coach Jamie Ashworth. "UVA is a very good team and they showed that by beating Baylor yesterday. I thought we did a good job playing with passion and composure. We are looking forward to another tough match tomorrow against Florida and are excited about the position we have put ourselves in."
Duke struggled again in doubles in its quarterfinal match as they conceded the doubles point for the fourth straight match. The Cavaliers battled the Blue Devils in all three matches as they won from the number three spot 9-7 to defeat Elizabeth Plotkin and Reka Zsilinszka.
Virginia needed a tiebreaker at number one to take the doubles point away from the Blue Devils. Emily Fraser and Hana Tomljanovic took down Ellah Nze and Monica Gorny 9-8 (7-4) at number one.
Rachel Kahan picked up the first point for Duke from the number five position in straight set decision 6-0, 6-1. Kahan remains a perfect 8-0 in singles and has now won seven out of eight matches in straight sets.
Mary Clayton was next off the courts to give Duke the 2-1 advantage with four matches remaining. Clayton put the Blue Devils ahead with a straight set win at the number six spot 6-2, 6-1, over Caryssa Pertz.
Senior Reka Zsilinszka allowed Duke to inch closer to the semifinals after she battled back from being down 3-1 in the first set to claim another straight set victory over Tomljanovic, 6-3, 6-2.
With three matches remaining, Duke finally closed out the match getting the final point from Elizabeth Plotkin. Plotkin clinched the win in the first round for the Blue Devils and gave a repeat performance in the quarterfinal. She came back after losing the first set to dismantle Erin Vierra. Plotkin only gave up two points in the final two sets that pushed Duke into the semifinal with the 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 win.
Duke and Florida will face each other for the second time this season. The Blue Devils and the Gators met two weeks ago in the Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center, as Florida handed Duke its first loss of the season by a score of 4-2.
Florida advanced to the semifinal after defeating Miami in the first round 4-1, and sweeping Clemson in the quarterfinal 4-0. The Gators enter the match with an unblemished record at 9-0.
First Round Matchup: No. 6 Duke 4, Tennessee 1
Quarterfinal Matchup: No. 6 Duke 4, Virginia 2
Semifinal Matchup: No. 6 Duke vs. No. 2 Florida
#6 Duke def. Virginia, 4-2
1. #10 Fraser/Tomljanovic (UVA) def. Nze/Gorny (DUKE), 9-8 
2. Fahoum/Mar (DUKE) def. #67 Hardenbergh/Vierra (UVA), 8-4
3. #51 Fuccillo/Teltumbde (UVA) def. Plotkin/Zsilinszka (DUKE), 9-7
1. Nadine Fahoum (DUKE) vs. #41 Emily Fraser (UVA), 4-6, 7-6  DNF
2. #67 Lindsey Hardenbergh (UVA) def. #48 Ellah Nze (DUKE), 6-3, 7-6 
3. #9 Reka Zsilinszka def. Hana Tomljanovic (UVA), 6-3, 6-2
4. #86 Elizabeth Plotkin def. #54 Erin Vierra (UVA), 4-6, 6-1, 6-1
5. #57 Rachel Kahan def. Maria Fuccillo (UVA), 6-0, 6-1
6. #42 Mary Clayton def. Caryssa Peretz (UVA), 6-2, 6-1
For complete results, visit www.itatennis.com. The ITA National Team Indoor Championships continue tomorrow and run through Monday at the Boar's Head Sports Club. Admission is free.