Friday, 19 May 2017 18:56

Women's Sweet 16: Pepperdine Upsets Georgia, Vanderbilt Vanquishes Cal, Oklahoma State Takes Out Georgia Tech, Gators Growl at the Aggs

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The late-afternoon and night sessions brought us the only 4-3 matches of the day as Pepperdine upset the hosts Georgia while last year's NCAA runner-up Oklahoma State took out the other local favorite Georgia Tech. The top seed Florida won a tough doubles point over Texas A&M but then pulled away in singles while the SEC Champs Vanderbilt came from behind to win the doubles point and then got it done in singles against California.

 

Peperdine 3858

Photo by Bill Kallenberg (CapturedInAction.com)

Pepperdine was able to claim the all-important doubles point for the 22nd time in 28 matches after picking up wins on 1 and 3 while Georgia won at 2. The match at No. 1 doubles only saw one break of serve and it came when Pepperdine broke from 30/40 to go up 5-4. In the previous game Pepperdine got a huge no-ad hold when Christine Maddox hit a service winner and then two games later Mayar Sherif Ahmed served it out from 40/15 to win 6-4.

Georgia jumped out to a 4-1 lead at No. 3 before Pepperdine held and broke for 4-3. Georgia broke right back and then held to win 6-3.

The last match to finish came at No. 2 and that one only saw one break of serve as well. Pepperdine broke Georgia to start the match when Luisa Stefani hit a return winner on the no-ad point and she and Jean Runglerdkriangkrai would make the lead hold up and win 6-4

Georgia fought back in singles and took four opening sets but while they eventually closed out three in straight sets they wouldn't be able to get the fourth. 

Pepperdine's Ashley Lahey was the first off the court with a straight set win over Elena Christofi at No. 2. Lahey served for the first set up 5-3 but Christofi broke to put it back on serve at 5-4. Lahey would break back to take the set 6-4 and then she posted a second set bagel to win it 6-4, 6-0.

Kennedy Shaffer put Georgia on the board with a straight set win over Mayar Sherif Ahmed at No. 3. Shaffer jumped out to a 5-1 lead to start the match and took the opening set 6-2. The second set stayed on serve until Shaffer broke on the no-ad point for 5-3 and then she served it out from 40/30 to win 6-2, 6-3.

Pepperdine's Jean Runglerdkriangkrai made it 3-1 with a straight set win over Marta Gonzalez at No. 5. Runglerdkriangkrai broke Gonzalez to start the match and she made it hold up and took the opening set 6-4. In the second set, Runglerdkriangkrai broke for 2-1 and then she added a second break for 4-1. Gonzalez broke back and held for 3-4 but Runglerdkriangkrai held and then broke at love to close it out 6-4, 6-3. 

Despite trailing 3-1 Georgia was still in pretty good shape because both Mariana Gould and Caroline Brinson were just points away from wins on 6 and 4 plus Ellen Perez had a set lead at No. 1. 

Gould trimmed Pepperdine's lead to 3-2 with a straight set win over Dzina Milovanovic at No. 6. Gould jumped out to a 5-1 first set lead before Milovanovic held, broke, and held to make it 5-4. Gould would serve out the set to take it 6-4 and then she went up an immediate break to start the second set. Milovanovic got it back on serve at 2-2 but Gould broke back and then she added one more break to close it out 6-4, 6-3

Seconds later Caroline Brinson tied the match at 3-3 with a straight set win over Laura Gulbe at No. 4. Brinson rolled through the first set 6-2 and went up a quick break in the second and would eventually serve it out to win 6-2, 6-3

The deciding match at No. 1 had made its way into a third set after Pepperdine's Luisa Stefani took the second 6-2. Stefani actually led Ellen Perez 5-3 in the first set but Perez came back to take it in a tiebreak 10-8. The third set started off with five consecutive breaks until Stefani held from 40/15 to go up 4-2. Stefani then broke Perez from 15/40 to make it 5-2 and then she served it out from 40/30 to send the Waves to the quarterfinals with a 6-7, 6-2, 6-2 win. Below the tweet of match point is some highlights with the post-match interviews starting around the 7:30 mark. 

 

 

 

#12 PEPPERDINE (24-4) 4, #5 GEORGIA (19-6) 3
Head Coaches: Jeff Wallace (Georgia) and Per Nilsson (Pepperdine)
Doubles Results
1. #8 Christine Maddox/Mayar Sherif Ahmed (PEPPERDINE) def. #3 Ellen Perez/Caroline Brinson (GEORGIA), 6-4
2. #53 Luisa Stefani/Jean Runglerdkriangkrai (PEPPERDINE) def. #38 Elena Christofi/Kennedy Shaffer (GEORGIA), 6-4
3. Marta Gonzalez/Mariana Gould (GEORGIA) def. Ashley Lahey/Dzina Milovanovic (PEPPERDINE), 6-3
Singles Results
1. #14 Luisa Stefani (PEPPERDINE) def. #12 Ellen Perez (GEORGIA), 6-7 (8), 6-2, 6-2
2. #19 Ashley Lahey (PEPPERDINE) def. #20 Elena Christofi (GEORGIA), 6-4, 6-0
3. #52 Kennedy Shaffer (GEORGIA) def. #37 Mayar Sherif Ahmed (PEPPERDINE), 6-2, 6-3
4. #66 Caroline Brinson (GEORGIA) def. #97 Laura Gulbe (PEPPERDINE), 6-2, 6-3
5. Jean Runglerdkriangkrai (PEPPERDINE) def. Marta Gonzalez (GEORGIA), 6-4, 6-3
6. Mariana Gould (GEORGIA) def. Dzina Milovanovic (PEPPERDINE), 6-4, 6-3
Doubles (1,3,2) Singles (2,3,5,6,4,1)

PEPPERDINE HEAD COACH PER NILSSON
On today’s match..“I’m excited for these guys to get a win they’ll remember forever here in Athens. It was an unreal atmosphere. I’m just proud of them for being able to do something that’s not very easy. It feels good. We came here last night when the (Georgia) men played just to see what the atmosphere was like. Our players haven’t really seen that before, being out on the west coast. I thought that was kind of cool to see. I told them last night that the crowd here really knows tennis. So if we behave the way we’re supposed
to and fought hard, I thought the crowd would appreciate that. I thought the crowd was really classy, and it just made it really fun to play in front of.”

LUISA STEFANI
On today’s match...“The first set was really close it could have gone either way. I got my chances in the second and went ahead. And when I was about to finish, everyone finished their matches and I realized it came down to me. I think it’s the second time I’ve been in that position, but nothing as big as this. I’ve always wanted to play Georgia
at home. I know Ellen Perez, she’s a great player, good friend. I think when the match came down to both of us, I just appreciated the fact that it came down to me and I just didn’t want to disappoint anyone. But I didn’t really think about that, I just played each point. I knew my teammates needed me, they were there cheering. I enjoyed it. It was fun.”

GEORGIA HEAD COACH JEFF WALLACE
On today’s match...“Obviously a heart breaker out there for us, certainly that close doubles point. Seems like this six game, no ad sets are always close and you just don’t know what is going to happen. We had our chances but Pepperdine played well, but then we got four first sets out there in singles and thought things were looking pretty good. Caroline Brinson, and Kennedy Shaffer and Mariana Gould had a great day and won their matches in straight sets to get us three points, we were just trying to find a way to get one more point. We battled in that third set but it just wasn’t quite enough. I feel like Luisa Stefani played great tennis all day and their doubles were amazing, and their singles were too. You certainly have to take your hat off to Pepperdine and their play, but disappointing for us obviously, being here at home and having such a close heartbreaker. You like to think that you have a little bit of an advantage when you are at home and you’re three matches all and you’re down there, but man they played great.”

CAROLINE BRINSON
On today’s match...“It meant the world to me. I was just in our team meeting and had to say a few words to the girls and just tell them to enjoy every moment of it because it really does go by fast. The opportunity that I had to play NCAA’s here my freshman and senior year is something that doesn’t come around very often, or to many people, so I am very grateful for that opportunity. Today is another tough pill to swallow but I had a blast playing in front of that crowd and there is just nothing like playing here in Athens, so I hope the girls enjoy the rest of the time they have.”

 

 

Vanderbilt advanced to the Elite 8 for the third year in a row with a tough 4-1 win over No. 13 Cal. Cal picked up a 6-4 win at No. 1 doubles while Vanderbilt won 6-3 at No. 3. Cal served for the match at No. 2 up 5-4 but Vanderbilt's Sydney Campbell and Emma Kurtz broke for 5-5, held for 6-5, and then they broke to win 7-5

Vanderbilt added four first sets in singles and would get the three points it needed with Sydney Campbell, Christina Rosca, and Fernanda Conteras winning at No. 2, No. 3, and No. 6 while Cal picked up a win from Maya Jansen at No. 5. Below is the clincher from Rosca at No. 3.

 

#3 VANDERBILT (23-5) 4, #13 CALIFORNIA (19-6) 1
Head Coaches: Geoff Macdonald (Vanderbilt) and Amanda Augustus (California)
Doubles Results
1. #34 Maegan Manasse/Maya Jansen (CALIFORNIA) def. #1 Astra Sharma/Emily Smith (VANDERBILT), 6-4
2. Sydney Campbell/Emma Kurtz (VANDERBILT) def. #55 Olivia Hauger/Karla Popovic (CALIFORNIA), 7-5
3. Christina Rosca/Fernanda Contreras (VANDERBILT) def. Denise Starr/Maria Smith (CALIFORNIA), 6-3
Singles Results
1. #34 Maegan Manasse (CALIFORNIA) vs. #4 Astra Sharma (VANDERBILT), 6-4, 6-6, uf
2. #15 Sydney Campbell (VANDERBILT) def. #10 Karla Popovic (CALIFORNIA), 6-4, 6-1
3. #102 Christina Rosca (VANDERBILT) def. #123 Denise Starr (CALIFORNIA) , 7-5, 6-1
4. Emma Kurtz (VANDERBILT) vs. Olivia Hauger (CALIFORNIA), 6-4, 4-3, uf
5. Maya Jansen (CALIFORNIA) def. Georgina Sellyn (VANDERBILT), 6-4, 6-3
6. Fernanda Contreras (VANDERBILT) def. Maria Smith (CALIFORNIA), 6-3, 6-2
Doubles (1,3,2) Singles (5,6,2,3)

 

 

VANDERBILT HEAD COACH GEOFF MACDONALD
On advancing to the quarterfinals...“We have the utmost respect for Cal-Berkeley. They’re a great team, and it was a really hard-fought match. There are no easy draws at this level, so making a step forward is huge. We’re really happy. We fought, and it’s a very emotionally tense experience. So many ups and downs in a dual match, and I thought we kept our poise really well and also in tremendous heat to not fall apart physically and mentally.”

 

 

CHRISTINA ROSCA
On clinching the match...“Since I’m a freshman and this is my first tournament, it definitely means a lot. It’s a pretty big match to clinch and I’m really happy to do it for my team. It was a really tight match, pretty happy with it. ”

CALIFORNIA HEAD COACH AMANDA AUGUSTUS
On today’s match...“I think we played a good Vanderbilt team, we knew it was going to be a tough match. I think we put ourselves in the position we wanted to be in, we just didn’t close out. Credit to Vandy, they hung around and they competed. I thought we had some good matches on some of the courts, but maybe we didn’t execute our strategy as well as we wanted to. This is the big show. I think Vanderbilt is a really good team, I think they have the opportunity to go really far in this tournament. I’m really proud; this team fought through a very challenging year.”

 

Wilson Camp 728X90

 

Oklahoma State dropped the doubles point for just the fifth time this year but the Cowgirls still managed to come back and defeat Georgia Tech 4-3. Georgia Tech took the doubles point with a 6-0 win at No. 1 and a 6-2 win at No. 2 but Oklahoma State rallied in singles and took four opening sets. 

Viktoriya Lushkova tied the match at 1-1 with a dominating 6-0, 6-2 win over Rasheeda McAdoo at No. 1 but Georgia Tech's Kenya Jones would put the Yellow Jackets back in front with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Vladica Babic at No. 4. 

OSU's Lena Ruppert made it 2-2 with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Luca Fabian at No. 6 and then Katarina Adamovic gave OSU its first lead after a 6-3, 6-3 win over Johnnise Renaud at No. 2. 

Georgia Tech's Nami Otsuka tied it back up with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 win over Katarina Stresnakova at No. 5 so the match would be decided in a third set at No. 3. 

OSU's Aliona Bolsova broke Paige Hourigan to go up 4-2 in the third but Hourigan broke back to make it 4-3. Bolsova returned the favor and broke for 5-3 but then she fell behind 30/40 on her next service game. Hourigan missed long on each of the next two points to give Bolsova the match clinching 7-5, 1-6, 6-3 win. Below are the final two points of the match. 

 

 

#9 OKLAHOMA STATE (25-5) 4, #8 GEORGIA TECH (20-8) 3
Head Coaches: Rodney Harmon (Georgia Tech) and Chris Young (Oklahoma State)
Doubles Results
1 #29 Kenya Jones/Paige Houriga(GEORGIA TECH) def. #13 Vladica Babic/Carla Tur Mari (OKLAHOMA STATE), 6-0
2.#23 Johnnise Renaud/ Rasheeda McAdoo(GEORGIA TECH) def. #48 Aliona Bolsova/Katie Stresnakova (OKLAHOMA STATE), 6-2
3.#70 Katarina Adamovic/Viktoriya Lushkova (OKLAHOMA STATE) vs. Luca Fabian Nami Otsuka (GEORGIA TECH), 5-3, uf
Singles Results
1. #8 Viktoriya Lushkova (OKLAHOMA STATE) def. #48 Rasheeda McAdoo (GEORGIA TECH), 6-0, 6-2
2. Katarina Adamovic (OKLAHOMA STATE) def. #36 Johnnise Renaud (GEORGIA TECH), 6-3, 6-3
3. #73 Aliona Bolsova (OKLAHOMA STATE) def. #96 Paige Hourigan (GEORGIA TECH), 7-5, 1-6, 6-3
4. Kenya Jones (GEORGIA TECH) def. #63 Vladica Babic (OKLAHOMA STATE), 6-2, 6-2
5. Nami Otsuka (GEORGIA TECH) def. Katarina Stresnakova (OKLAHOMA STATE), 6-4, 3-6, 6-1
6. Lena Ruppert (OKLAHOMA STATE) def. Luca Fabian (GEORGIA TECH), 6-4, 6-2
Doubles (1,2) Singles (1,4,6,2,5,3)

OKLAHOMA STATE HEAD COACH CHRIS YOUNG
On today’s match..“I think the great thing is that I’m proud of Ali Bolsova because the crowd was against her (when we played) at Texas Tech and she didn’t pull out the tough third match and I remember her saying she was going to be ready the next time it came. So when I knew we were up 3-2 I was super comfortable knowing we had Ali on court.”

ALIONA BOLSOVA
On today’s match...“It felt incredible to clinch the match today. I know how much it means for my team to be here and since I’m a freshman it’s my first time, but I know how much it means to the seniors especially because they were so close to winning the whole thing last year. So when I was in the third set and it came down to me I just thought about my team.”

GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH RODNEY HARMON
On today’s match...“It was a really tough match, obviously, it came down to the last match. I thought that at the end Oklahoma State out-played us at the finish line. We played really well in doubles and Kenya Jones played really well at court four while Nami Otsuka played well at court five, but we couldn’t get going any other places and they out-played us. Well done by Oklahoma State.”

 

 

Top seed Florida closed out the night with a 4-0 shutout over No. 20 Texas A&M. The doubles point was decided in a tiebreak at No. 3 which Florida's Josie Kuhlman and Belinda Woolcock easily won 7-1. 

Texas A&M looked like it might take as many as three first sets in singles but Florida turned two of those three around and ended up taking five first sets. Ingrid Neel trailed 5-1 at No. 3 but she won the next six games to take the set 7-5. Brooke Austin trailed 4-1 at No. 5 but she came back to take the set 7-5.

Anna Danilina was the first to finish with a 6-3, 6-0 win at No. 4 and then Belinda Woolcock followed with a 6-0, 6-4 win at No. 1. Kourtney Keegan provided the clinch at No. 6 with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Macarena Olivares. 

 

 

#1 FLORIDA (26-3) 4, #20 TEXAS A&M (18-13) 0
Head Coaches: Roland Thornqvist (Florida) and Mark Weaver (Texas A&M)
Doubles Results
1. #11 Anna Danilina/Ingrid Neel (FLORIDA) def. #7 Rachel Pierson/Rutuja Bhosale (TEXAS A&M), 6-2
2. Eva Paalma/ Domencia Gonzalez (TEXAS A&M) def. #20 Brooke Austin/Kourtney Keegan (FLORIDA), 6-3
3. #45 Josie Kuhlman/Belina Woolcock (FLORIDA) def. Stefania Kristov/Saska Gavrilovska (TEXAS A&M), 7-6 (1)
Singles Results
1. #6 Belinda Woolcock (FLORIDA) def. #16 Rachel Pierson (TEXAS A&M), 6-0, 6-4
2. #53 Rutuja Bhosale (TEXAS A&M) vs. #23 Josie Kuhlman (FLORIDA), 7-6 (3), 2-1, uf
3. #31 Ingrid Neel (FLORIDA) vs. Domencia Gonzalez (TEXAS A&M), 7-5, 1-6, uf
4. #44 Anna Danilina (FLORIDA) def. Saska Gavrilovska (TEXAS A&M), 6-3, 6-0
5. Brooke Austin (FLORIDA) vs. Eva Paalma (TEXAS A&M), 7-5, 2-4, uf
6. #59 Kourtney Keegan (FLORIDA) def. Macarena Olivares (TEXAS A&M), 6-3, 6-1
Doubles (1,2,3) Singles (4,1,6)

 

 

FLORIDA HEAD COACH ROLAND THORNQVIST
On today’s match..“It was tough, a lot tougher than the 4-0 score, that is for sure. First of all doubles, we did a really good job at three doubles, playing our best tennis at the tiebreaker. We had great courage. Of the seven points we won the tiebreaker and poached four and that’s all you can ask as a coach. We had courage and we went for it.

I think that is how you win big meets. In singles we had to turn a couple of huge deficits in first sets around and I think that is the dagger that really hurt Texas A&M. You can see some of their energy sort of went away in the second sets. We were able to turn three and five around after huge deficits. Overall I am really proud, we fought hard with great energy and actually played pretty well too against a very gritty and much improved Texas A&M team.”

 

 

KOURTNEY KEEGAN
On today’s match...“It is a great feeling advancing to the quarterfinals, being from Georgia I have a little bit of a home crowd cheering for me. It is a great opportunity and I am just playing to play my best, as it is the last tournament of my career.”

 

 

TEXAS A&M HEAD COACH MARK WEAVER
On today’s match...“I was very pleased with how we approached the match. We went into this really thinking we could win this, and all credit to Florida. The doubles could have gone either way. All year we’ve had so many doubles points that have gone down to tiebreakers, and those are the kind that can go either way; they’re 50/50, and it went their way tonight.

 

 

The weather forecast calls for a lot of rain on Sunday so there's a good chance that there will some indoor tennis at Georgia's four-court facility. As it stands right now this will be the schedule:

[2] North Carolina vs. [7] Stanford - Noon ET - Henry Feild

[3] Ohio State vs. [6] Texas Tech - Noon ET - McWhorter

[1] Florida vs. [9] Oklahoma State - 4 p.m. ET - Henry Feild

[4] Vanderbilt vs. [12] Pepperdine - 4 p.m. ET - McWhorter

Read 580 times Last modified on Saturday, 20 May 2017 06:58

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