Final set at 2014 ITA Division III National Women's Team Indoor Championship
Johns Hopkins, Carnegie Mellon to face off in repeat of 2013 final
GREENCASTLE, IN (Mar 1) - For the second year in a row, Johns Hopkins and Carnegie Mellon advanced to the final of the2014 ITA Division III National Women's Team Indoor Championship, hosted by DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. In 2013, the fifth-seeded Blue Jays defeated second seed Carnegie Mellon 5-4 to take home the trophy.
Here’s how the two teams advanced to Sunday’s final:
#1 Johns Hopkins def. #4 Pomona-Pitzer, 6-3
After getting down 1-2 after doubles play, defending champions and top seed Johns Hopkins won five of six singles matches to clinch a return to the final.
|The Johns Hopkins team cheers on Shannon Herndon as she closed out a semifinal win for the Blue Jays|
Pomona-Pitzer got the better of the Blue Jays in the doubles for a 2-1 lead. In first doubles, Sagehens Samantha Chao and Mae Coyiuto were up 6-3 before Hailey Hogan and Sydney Lehman battled back and leveled the match at 6-6. Pomona-Pitzer stayed strong and grabbed the victory 7-3 in a tiebreaker. At second doubles, the Sagehens’ Maddie Gordon and Rosemary Pelch also led 5-2 but Johns Hopkins crept back to 5-4 before the Pomona-Pitzer duo was able to hold on to the lead for an 8-5 win. Johns Hopkins got a win at third doubles behind Elaine Baik and Mikey Barthelmass, 8-4 but the fourth seeded Sagehens led 2-1 heading into singles play.
|Samantha Chao of Pomona-Pitzer eyes the ball during her No. 1 singles match against Amanda Austi|
At third singles, Blue Jay Sydney Lehman notched her 21st win of the season with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Lea Lynn Yen to tie the team match at 2-2. The Blue Jays took their first lead of the match at first singles as Amanda Austi fought off match points in a comeback win over Samantha Chao, 2-6, 7-6, 6-2. Pomona-Pitzer’s final point was a win at second singles, as Coyiuto held off Ashnaa Rao 1-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3 to level the match back at 3-3. But Johns Hopkins proved too tough for the Sagehens and they closed out the semifinal victory with wins at Nos. 4, 5 and 6. Shannon Herndon was able to clinch the win at sixth singles with her 6-0, 6-3 win over Maddie Gordon.
Johns Hopkins head coach Dave Woodring said after his team’s win that he was impressed with the Sagehens. “Quite honestly they really came out in doubles and played really great, and hats off to them. The girls were so well behaved; it was a nice match - that’s what Division III tennis should be about.”
Woodring added that he looked forward to a rematch with Carnegie Mellon. “It’s always exciting when we play Carnegie - they’re a good team,” he said. “Hopefully the results will be the same as they were last year for us.”
#3 Carnegie Mellon def. #2 Chicago 7-2
2013 runner-up Carnegie Mellon kept its undefeated season going with a 7-2 win over the No. 2 seed Chicago to return to the 2014 ITA Division III National Women's Team Indoor Championship final.
|Carnegie Mellon senior Katie Cecil clinched her team's win at fourth singles|
With a 2-1 lead going into singles, the Tartan lead grew to 3-1 when Pratt won her second singles match 6-2, 6-1 over Sdvizhkov. Chicago’s Chen would narrow the lead with a 6-1, 6-1 victory at third singles over Brooke Tsu but that would be the final point for the Maroons. Carnegie Mellon freshman Vanessa Pavia came back from a set down to defeat Megan Tang 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 to get the Tartans a win away from the final.
Women’s assistant coach Sarah Short said afterward that Pavia’s win was a big one. “That was definitely a huge win for her and the team going forward. She’s just a great competitor and she brings a lot of energy to the team and intensity, and I think her teammates feed off of that. I think her winning that match made it easier for everyone to go out there confident and play well.”
With a 4-2 lead, Carnegie Mellon senior Katie Cecil clinched the win for her team with a 6-4, 6-4 win at fourth singles. The Tartans were able to get wins at Nos. 5 and 6 singles to close out the 7-2 win and a finals rematch with Johns Hopkins.
Coach Short said the team would be keen to play the Blue Jays again. “They are definitely a big rival. It’s going to be an exciting and tough match, but I think they are up for it and ready for it.”
|The Chicago Maroons prepare for their semifinal match|
Consolation play also wrapped up on Saturday night. In the morning matches, fifth seeded Redlands ousted eighth seeded UC-Santa Cruz 6-3 while Wash U-St. Louis got past the host institution DePauw, 6-3. Wash U-St. Louis went on to beat Redlands 8-1 for fifth place late Saturday night, and DePauw defeated UC-Santa Cruz 7-2 to claim seventh place.
Sunday's matches begin at 10am EST with the final and third place matches. Live stats will be available for both matches: click here for the championship stats, and here for the third place match stats.
For complete coverage of the 2014 ITA Division III National Women's Team Indoor Championship, please visit the official ITA event page. Follow the ITA on Twitter, @ITAtennis, for updates and news from the weekend's events and be sure to like us on Facebook for photos and more. Use the hashtag #D3Indoors for all tweets in regards to the event, or search the term "D3Indoors" to find others who are tweeting from across the nation about this year's Championship, February 28-March 2.
About the ITA Division III National Women's Team Indoor Championships
The ITA Division III National Women's Team Indoor Championship is held annually each February. The women's event began in 2009 and will be held for the sixth time in 2014. The event features eight participating teams and is held over three days, beginning on Friday with the quarterfinals, followed by semifinals on Saturday and the final on Sunday. Two different schools have hosted the event, while Emory (2), Carnegie Mellon (1), Washington and Lee (1) and most recently Johns Hopkins (1) are past champions.