The women came to play on a windy Wednesday in Orlando with two of the top four seeds getting sent home early while the top two seeds managed to avoid the upset bug.
The match of the day came in the late afternoon block as No 4 UCLA and No. 5 Pepperdine squared off for the fourth time this season. UCLA had won two of the previous three meetings, while winning the doubles point quite handily in each of those three matches, but it’d be the doubles point that would ultimately be the Bruins undoing on Wednesday.
All three doubles courts were seesaw affairs with no lead safe. Pepperdine’s Shiori Fakuda and Taisiya Pachkaleva jumped out to a 4-1 lead at No. 2 doubles but UCLA’s Annette Goulak and Vivian Wolff got it back on serve at 4-3 after a break of the Pachkaleva serve from 15/40. Pepperdine broke the Goulak serve from 15/40 to go up 5-3 but UCLA broke the Fakuda serve on the deciding point to make it 5-4. A fourth consecutive break would end the match with Pepperdine breaking Wolff’s serve from 30/40 to win it 6-4.
The match at No. 3 doubles stayed on serve through the first four games then Pepperdine’s Jessica Failla and Anastasia Iamachkine broke the Elysia Bolton serve from 15/40 to go up 3-2. Bolton and Abi Altick broke Failla’s serve from 15/40 to even it at 3-3 and then Altick went up 40/0 on her serve. Pepperdine would take the next four points to break on the deciding point and then Iamachkine held from 40/30 to put the Waves up 5-3. Despite dropping four of the previous five games, Bolton and Altick weren’t finished yet. Bolton held from 40/15 to make it 5-4 and UCLA broke the Failla serve from 30/40 to make it 5-5. Altick held from 40/30 for 6-5 and then after Iamachkine went up 40/0, Altick and Bolton would take the next four points to break to win it 7-5.
All eyes now turned to No. 1 doubles where UCLA’s Jada Hart and Abbey Forbes had seen their 4-1 lead evaporate as Pepperdine’s Ashley Lahey and Lisa Zaar had come back to tie it at 5-5. Hart went up 40/0 on her 5-5 service game but Pepperdine took the next four points to break on the deciding point for 6-5. Lahey then went up 30/0 but she and Zaar would be unable to get the next two points and UCLA would break from 30/40 to send the deciding court to a tiebreak. Hart and Forbes jumped out to a *6-2 lead in the tiebreak and seemingly had the doubles point wrapped up but Lahey and Zaar roared back to win the next 5 points to take a 7-6 lead. UCLA fought off a match point to even it at 7-7 but Pepperdine took the next point to go up 8-7. UCLA fought off another match point to make it 8-8 but Pepperdine won the next two to close it out 10-8.
In singles action, both teams would take three opening sets though only three of the six matches would finish in straight sets.
UCLA’s Annette Goulak was the first off the court with a 7-6(4), 6-3 win over Nikki Redelijk at No. 6 and Abi Altick would put the Bruins in front with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Lisa Zaar at No. 5. Zaar had entered the match with a 20-1 record in dual-match play.
The next three matches to finish would all do so within a 3-minute span of each other.
Pepperdine’s Taisiya Pachkaleva trailed UCLA’s Elysia Bolton 5-3 in the third set at No. 3 but the Waves freshman from Moscow wasn’t ready to call it a night. Pachkaleva held from 40/30 to make it 5-4 and then she fought off a match point, on the deciding point, to break for 5-5. Pachkaleva held from 40/15 for 6-5 and then she made it four straight games by breaking Bolton from 30/40 to win it 6-3, 1-6, 7-5. Of the 9 games that went to a deciding point, Pachkaleva won 6 of them including 3 of 4 in the third set.
Pepperdine’s Jessica Failla put the Waves in front 3-2 with a 7-6(7), 6-4 win over Jada Hart at No. 2. The only time Failla trailed in the first set tiebreak was at 1-0* and 5-4*. There were seven breaks of serve in the second set with Failla getting four of those.
Ashley Lahey looked like she was going to provide the clincher for Pepperdine after jumping out to a 4-1 lead in the third set against Abbey Forbes at No. 1 singles. However Forbes would storm back to win the final five games to take it 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 .
The deciding match at No. 4 singles between Pepperdine’s Shiori Fakuda and Vivian Wolff would come down to a third set. Wolff had rallied from 5-3 down in the opening set, fighting off four set points, to take it in a tiebreak 9-7. Fakuda never trailed in the second set and a break of Wolff’s serve on the deciding point closed out the set 6-3. The third set stayed on serve through the first five games though Wolff had a golden opportunity to take the lead on Fakuda’s 2-2 service game. Wolff went up 0/40 but Fakuda charged back to hold with Wolff getting overruled by the chair on the deciding point. Fakuda broke Wolff from 15/40 to make it 4-2 and then she’d break again, on the deciding point, to send Pepperdine to the semifinals for the first time in school history.
#5 Pepperdine 4, #4 UCLA 3
5/19/2021 at Orlando, Fla. (USTA National Campus)
1. #7 Abbey Forbes (UCLA) def. #77 Lahey, Ashley (PEPPW) 4-6, 6-2, 6-4
2. #21 Failla, Jessica (PEPPW) def. #50 Jada Hart (UCLA) 7-6 (9-7), 6-4
3. #89 Pachkaleva, Taisiya (PEPPW) def. Elysia Bolton (UCLA) 6-3, 1-6, 7-5
4. #118 Fakuda, Shiori (PEPPW) def. Vivian Wolff (UCLA) 6-7 (7-9), 6-3, 6-2
5. Abi Altick (UCLA) def. Zaar, Lisa (PEPPW) 6-2, 6-3
6. Annette Goulak (UCLA) def. Redelijk, Nikki (PEPPW) 7-6 (7-4), 6-3
1. Lahey, Ashley/Zaar, Lisa (PEPPW) def. #59 Jada Hart/Abbey Forbes (UCLA) 7-6 (10-8)
2. Fakuda, Shiori/Pachkaleva, Taisiya (PEPPW) def. Annette Goulak/Vivian Wolff (UCLA) 6-4
3. Abi Altick/Elysia Bolton (UCLA) def. Iamachkine,Anastasia/Failla, Jessica (PEPPW) 7-5
PEPP 24-3; National ranking #5
UCLA 22-5; National ranking #4
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (5,6,3,2,1,4)
2021 Division I NCAA Tournament – Quarterfinals
The upset of the day came in the early match as sixth-seeded NC State booked its first-ever spot in the NCAA Semifinals after a thorough 4-2 win over No. 3 Georgia.
Doubles was close throughout but in the end it was the Wolfpack taking the early lead after winning the doubles point for the 21st time in 25 matches. NC State’s No. 2 team of Jaeda Daniel and Adriana Reami came back from an early 3-0 single-break deficit to take a *4-3 lead after back-to-back breaks with both coming on the deciding point. After an exchange of holds from 40/15, Reami served it out from 40/30 to give the Pack a 6-4 win.
The match at No. 3 doubles stayed on serve until the very last point. NC State’s Abigail Rencheli and Amelia Rajecki picked up key deciding point holds at 2-2 and 5-5 with Rencheli fighting off two break points in her 5-5 service game. The Pack duo would break Lea Ma’s serve on the deciding point to close it out 7-5.
The match at No. 1 went unfinished with NC State serving at 5-6 after earlier serving for the match at 5-4.
NC State rode the momentum from the doubles point and took break leads on 4 of 6 singles courts however each team would end up taking three opening sets.
Georgia’s Katarina Jokic tied the match at 1-1 with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Anna Rogers at No. 1 singles. Jokic trailed 2-0 in the second set, after Rogers broke on the deciding point (only one of the match), but Jokic reeled off six straight games to put the Bulldogs on the board.
The match didn’t stay tied for long because about 4 minutes later NC State’s Adriana Reami put the Pack back in the lead with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Meg Kowalski at No. 3 singles. Reami dominated the first set breaking the Kowalski serve four times (Kowalski only won 6 points on her serve). In the second set, Kowalski won the first two games but Reami took the next four to make it 4-2. Kowalski broke and held for 4-4 but then Reami held and broke to close it out.
Jaeda Daniel put the Pack in front 3-1 with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Morgan Coppoc at No. 4. The key game in the second set came with Daniel serving at 3-4 after she had earlier led 3-1. Daniel fought off a break point to hold for 4-4 and then she broke Coppoc from 30/40 before serving it out at love.
Georgia trimmed the deficit to 3-2 after Elena Christofi defeated Lexi Keberle 7-5, 6-2 at No. 6. Keberle’s only lead in the match was at 5-4 in the first set.
Georgia needed both of the remaining matches but NC State wasn’t going to let it happen.
Georgia’s Lea Ma had a set and a break lead at No. 2 but NC State’s Alana Smith charged back to take the second set 6-4.
Meanwhile at No. 5, NC State’s Abigail Rencheli had a set lead however she trailed Marta Gonzalez 5-3 in the second set. Rencheli broke Gonzalez from 15/40 and then held from 40/15 to make it 5-5. After an exchange of holds it went to a tiebreak. Gonzalez was serving up 6-5 when Rencheli hammered a backhand cross court winner to even it at 6-6 and then Rencheli took the next two points after that to win it 8-6.
#6 NC State 4, #3 Georgia 2
5/19/2021 at Orlando, Fla. (USTA National Campus)
1. #4 Katarina Jokic (UGA) def. #6 Anna Rogers (ST) 6-2, 6-2
2. #55 Lea Ma (UGA) vs. #23 Alana Smith (ST) 7-5, 4-6, *0-1 (30/40), unfinished
3. Adriana Reami (ST) def. #20 Meg Kowalski (UGA) 6-1, 6-4
4. Jaeda Daniel (ST) def. #68 Morgan Coppoc (UGA) 6-4, 6-4
5. #82 Abigail Rencheli (ST) def. #52 Marta Gonzalez (UGA) 6-3, 7-6 (8-6)
6. Elena Christofi (UGA) def. Lexi Keberle (ST) 7-5, 6-2
1. #6 Katarina Jokic/Ariana Arseneault (UGA) vs. #12 Anna Rogers/Alana Smith (ST) 6-5* (0/15), unfinished
2. #5 Jaeda Daniel/Adriana Reami (ST) def. Elena Christofi/Morgan Coppoc (UGA) 6-4
3. #42 Abigail Rencheli/Amelia Rajecki (ST) def. Meg Kowalski/Lea Ma (UGA) 7-5
NC State Wolfpack 20-5; National ranking #6
Georgia 23-2; National ranking #3
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3); Singles (1,3,4,6,5)
The late match turned out to be the late-late match with No. 1 North Carolina and No. 18 Duke not starting until 10:00 pm ET.
The Tar Heels won the doubles point for the 27th time in 30 matches with wins at No. 2 and No. 3.
UNC’s No. 2 team of Makenna Jones and Elizabeth Scotty never trailed in their 6-4 win over Chloe Beck and Karolina Berankova. Jones and Scotty picked up a key break when they broke Chloe Beck’s serve from 30/40 to go up 5-4.
Duke’s Margaryta Bilokin and Meible Chi picked up a 6-2 win at No. 1 in a match that saw the Blue Devils duo win 3 of the 4 games that went to a deciding point.
The deciding match at No. 3 went back and forth with UNC’s Alle Sanford and Reilly Tran taking an early 2-0 lead before Duke’s Kelly Chen and Georgia Drummy won the next three to go up 3-2. It’d be all holds up until UNC broke Drummy’s 5-5 service game on the deciding point and then Tran served it out from 40/30 to win it 7-5.
In singles UNC made a change to its lineup and pulled Elizabeth Scotty (14-2) from her usual spot at No. 4 which moved Makenna Jones a spot with Fiona Crawley and Reilly Tran at No. 5 and No. 6. In UNC’s Round of 16 match against Cal, Jones was the one that was pulled.
Duke came out really strong in singles and took four opening sets including one at No. 6 where Reilly Tran had only dropped one set all season.
UNC’s Fiona Crawley improved to 27-0 in dual-match play after a 6-1, 6-0 win over Margaryta Bilokin at No. 5. Despite the lopsided scoreline there were six games that went to the deciding point with Crawley winning all six.
Chloe Beck put Duke on the board with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Cameron Morra at No. 3. Morra led 3-1 in the second set before Beck won four straight and then after a Morra hold Beck served it out from 40/15.
Reilly Tran remained undefeated at 16-0 after she put a first set blemish quickly behind her and rolled through the next two sets 6-1, 6-1.
North Carolina only needed one more point and the Heels had the lead in all three remaining matches with each in a third set.
Duke’s Meible Chi took the opening set at No. 4 singles 6-0 but UNC’s Makenna Jones took the second set 6-4. In the third set, Jones broke for 2-1 but Chi got it back on serve at 3-3 after breaking at love. Chi would then double fault on the deciding point to give the break back and Jones followed that up with a hold for 5-3. Chi fought off three match points to hold on the deciding point for 4-5 but Jones served it out from 40/30 to send the Tar Heels to the semifinals for the fourth time in school history.
#1 North Carolina 4, #18 Duke 1
5/19/2021 at Orlando, Fla. (USTA National Campus)
1. #2 Sara Daavettila (NC) vs. #49 Kelly Chen (DU) 6-1, 2-6, *4-3, unfinished
2. #41 Alexa Graham (NC) vs. #19 Georgia Drummy (DU) 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 3-0*, unfinished
3. #39 Chloe Beck (DU) def. #27 Cameron Morra (NC) 6-1, 6-4
4. #32 Makenna Jones (NC) def. #40 Meible Chi (DU) 0-6, 6-4, 6-4
5. #36 Fiona Crawley (NC) def. Margaryta Bilokin (DU) 6-1, 6-0
6. #117 Reilly Tran (NC) def. Karolina Berankova (DU) 5-7, 6-1, 6-1
1. #10 Margaryta Bilokin/Meible Chi (DU) def. #2 Cameron Morra/Sara Daavettila (NC) 6-2
2. #4 Makenna Jones/Elizabeth Scotty (NC) def. #9 Chloe Beck/Karolina Berankova (DU) 6-4
3. #34 Alle Sanford/Reilly Tran (NC) def. #41 Kelly Chen/Georgia Drummy (DU) 7-5
Duke 18-7; National ranking #18
North Carolina 30-0; National ranking #1
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (5,3,6,4)
The second quarterfinal of the day was the shortest match and also was the only one to finish with a 4-0 final score. Second-seeded Texas moved on to the semifinals for the eighth time in program history, first since 2005, with a shutout over No. 7 Florida State.
The Longhorns won the doubles point for the 27th time in 30 matches with Kylie Collins and Lulu Sun winning 6-3 at No. 1 while Anna Turati and Fernanda Labrana won 6-1 at No. 2. FSU’s Giulia Pairone and Petra Hule were victorious at No. 3 with a 6-3 win.
Texas won all six opening sets in singles with Peyton Stearns and Anna Turati winning in straight set at No. 1 and No. 2.
Florida State managed to get splits in the bottom three spots but Fernanda Labrana would shut the door on the Seminoles season with a 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 win at No. 6.
#2 Texas 4, #7 Florida State 0
5/19/2021 at Orlando, Fla. (USTA National Campus)
1. #37 Peyton Stearns (UT) def. #12 Giulia Pairone (FS) 6-0, 6-1
2. #35 Anna Turati (UT) def. #44 Emmanuelle Salas (FS) 6-1, 6-4
3. #62 Lulu Sun (UT) vs. Nandini Das (FS) 6-3, 6-6 (7-8*), unfinished
4. #76 Charlotte Chavatipon (UT) vs. Petra Hule (FS) 6-3, 3-6, 5-2* (40/0), unfinished
5. #72 Kylie Collins (UT) vs. Victoria Allen (FS) 6-2, 6-7 (5-7), 1-1* (15/15), unfinished
6. Fernanda Labrana (UT) def. Andrea Garcia (FS) 6-2, 2-6, 6-3
1. #19 Kylie Collins/Lulu Sun (UT) def. #30 Victoria Allen/Emmanuelle Salas (FS) 6-3
2. Anna Turati/Fernanda Labrana (UT) def. #8 Nandini Das/Andrea Garcia (FS) 6-1
3. Giulia Pairone/Petra Hule (FS) def. #47 Peyton Stearns/Charlotte Chavatipon (UT) 6-3
Texas 29-1; National ranking #2
Florida State 19-6; National ranking #7
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (1,2,6)
The women will have Thursday off and will be back on Friday for the semifinals. The first semifinal will begin at 11:00 am ET and will be streamed via the TennisOne app. The second semifinal will start at 5:30 pm ET and will be broadcast by The Tennis Channel. This announcement will be made on Thursday about which match gets slotted in which time slot.
 North Carolina vs.  Pepperdine
 Texas vs.  NC State