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The finals are set at the Women’s National Team Indoor Championships in Seattle and it’ll be the No. 5 seed Georgia taking on the No. 2 seed and defending champion North Carolina. Georgia snapped Stanford’s 25-match winning streak by knocking off the top seeded Cardinal 4-3 in a match that lasted just over 3 hours and 20 minutes while North Carolina beat No. 3 seed Duke 4-0 in 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Stanford jumped out to the early lead after taking the doubles point with a 6-3 win at No. 1 and a 7-5 win at No. 2 but Georgia came back strong in singles and claimed four opening sets. Georgia freshman Meg Kowalski was off the court quickly after a 6-1, 6-1 win at No. 6 and sophomore Vivian Wolff put the Bulldogs in front with a 6-2, 6-2 win at No. 4. Stanford sophomore Janice Shin evened the match at 2-2 with a 6-3, 6-2 win at No. 5 but Georgia junior Marta Gonzalez made it 3-2 with a 7-5, 6-2 win at No. 2. Stanford senior Caroline Lampl tied it at 3-3 with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-0 win at No. 3 so the match would be decided by a third set at No. 1 singles. 

Georgia sophomore Katarina Jokic jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the final set against Stanford sophomore Michaela Gordon however Gordon would hold and break to even it at 3-3. Gordon went up 40/30 in her next service game however Jokic would take the next two points to break for 4-3. Jokic held at love for 5-3 and then broke Gordon from 15/40, after a Gordon drop shot sailed wide, to take it 4-6, 6-1, 6-3. 

Georgia will be making its eighth appearance in the finals of the National Team Indoors with the Bulldogs going 3-4 in the previous seven. Georgia’s most recent finals appearance came in 2015, a 4-1 loss to North Carolina, while their last title came back in 2002. 

“She [Jokic] really locked down that second set, winning 6-1, which really turned the match around completely and gave her a lot of momentum going into the third set,” Georgia head coach Jeff Wallace said. “She was up in the first game but had to play deuce point and broke a string, and although she played a great point, she ended up losing it. She came right back around and handled that well though. She played a clean third set. She really locked it down and played some smart tennis and stuck to the game plan. It was a very exciting win.”

“At the end of these matches, it is easy to forget about the earlier finished courts, but you don’t want to forget about the ones that got you there like Meg [Kowalski] and Vivian [Wolff] who won 1-1 and 2-2,” Wallace said. “That got us on the board quick and that was huge. Of course, Marta [Gonzalez] too played a really good player and won after bouncing back from her past two losses.”

“The great thing is we are seeing a total team effort,” Wallace added. “The same three or four are not getting it done for us. It is a collection of players stepping up at the right time. You never know who it is going to be and that is a mark of a good team.”

#5 Georgia 4, #1 Stanford 3
Feb 11, 2019 at Seattle, Wa (Nordstrom Tennis Center)
Singles competition (6,4,5,2,3,1)
1. #2 Katarina Jokic (UGA) def. #23 Michaela Gordon (SU) 4-6, 6-1, 6-3
2. #10 Marta Gonzalez (UGA) def. #46 Melissa Lord (SU) 7-5, 6-2
3. #57 Caroline Lampl (SU) def. #102 Lourdes Carle (UGA) 3-6, 6-3, 6-0
4. #58 Vivian Wolff (UGA) def. #14 Emily Arbuthnott (SU) 6-2, 6-2
5. #37 Janice Shin (SU) def. Elena Christofi (UGA) 6-3, 6-2
6. #84 Meg Kowalski (UGA) def. #44 Emma Higuchi (SU) 6-1, 6-1
Doubles Competition (1,3,2)
1. #10 Kimberly Yee/Caroline Lampi (SU) def. Carle/Wolff (UGA) 6-3
2. #13 Emily Arburthnott/Michaela Gordon (SU) def. Christofi/Coppoc (UGA) 7-5
3. Jokic/Kowalski (UGA) def. #31 Melissa Lord/Niluka Madurawe (SU) 6-4


North Carolina is back in finals for the fifth year in a row after defeating Tobacco Road rival Duke 4-0. The Tar Heels took the early lead with a 6-2 win at No. 1 doubles and a 6-4 win at No. 3 doubles and then added four opening sets in singles. UNC junior Alexa Graham made it 2-0 with a 6-1, 6-4 win at No. 3 and fellow junior Makenna Jones made it 3-0 with a 7-6, 6-0 win at No. 1. Duke was getting close to picking up wins at No. 4 and No. 6 but before those matches could finish UNC senior Jessie Aney closed out her match at No. 5 with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 win. 

North Carolina will be making its seventh appearance in the finals of the NTIs and will be seeking its fourth title (2018, 2015, 2013)

I thought today was definitely a winnable match, head coach Jamie Ashworth said. The score doesnt reflect that. We left a lot of opportunities on the court. In those opportunities, I thought North Carolina was just tougher than we were. We had chances to win points and win games and we didnt take advantage of it. We can either sit and sulk or learn from this and hopefully we learn from it and become better when we play them again in the coming weeks. It was a tough loss but hopefully we will be better because of it.

Well have a couple days off but at the same time, but we have the toughest part of our schedule coming up, Ashworth said. Well be at Florida State and at Miami and then well come back to play Georgia Tech, North Carolina and Michigan. Those are some of the toughest matches well play all year. We have to build on this and learn that we have to play with emotion and energy. If we do that, really good things can happen. We need to regroup and be ready to go when we play down in Tallahassee in 10 days.

#3 North Carolina 4, #4 Duke 0
Feb 11, 2019 at Seattle, Wash. (Nordstrom Tennis Center)
Singles competition
1. #6 Makenna Jones (NC) def. #11 Maria Mateas (DU) 7-6 (7-5), 6-0
2. #15 Sara Daavettila (NC) vs. #8 Meible Chi (DU) 6-2, 4-6, 2-2, unfinished
3. #7 Alexa Graham (NC) def. #21 Kelly Chen (DU) 6-1, 6-4
4. #20 Cameron Morra (NC) vs. #100 Kaitlyn McCarthy (DU) 6-4, 3-6, 0-4, unfinished
5. Jessie Aney (NC) def. Margaryta Bilokin (DU) 3-6, 6-3, 6-1
6. #104 Alle Sanford (NC) vs. Ellyse Hamlin (DU) 6-7 (3-7), 6-6, unfinished
Doubles competition
1. Jessie Aney/Alexa Graham (NC) def. #30 Maria Mateas/Margaryta Bilokin (DU) 6-2
2. Ellyse Hamlin/Kaitlyn McCarthy (DU) def. #5 Makenna Jones/Cameron Morra (NC) 6-2
3. Sara Daavettila/Alle Sanford (NC) def. Kelly Chen/Meible Chi (DU) 6-4
Match Notes:
Duke 7-1; National ranking #4
North Carolina 9-0; National ranking #3
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (3,1,5)


The final will get underway Tuesday morning at 10 am pacific – you can follow the match with these live scoring and streaming video links.


***All quotes are from the respective school’s recaps