Sunday, 20 May 2018 01:00

Georgia Tech Wins Another Thriller To Advance to the Final Four While Stanford, Duke, and Vanderbilt Cruise

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After two days of rain the skies finally cleared up some on Saturday which allowed for 2 1/2 of the 4 women's quarterfinal matches to be played outdoors. The first three matches were pretty uneventful, except for a coach getting ejected in the Duke/Texas Tech match, however the nightcap between Georgia Tech and UCLA lived up to its billing. 

Georgia Tech played late into the night on Thursday in a 4-3 thriller against Pepperdine but the Jackets were ready for another showdown against a west coast on Saturday. The match began outdoors but midway through singles rain forced a 75 minute delay and then 10 minutes after play resumed it started raining against which ultimately forced the match indoors 30 minutes later. 

UCLA won the doubles point for the 24th time in 29 matches with a 6-2 win at No. 2 and a 6-4 win at No. 3. The Bruins jumped out to early break leads on both courts and despite Georgia Tech getting it back on serve at No. 3 at 4-4 the UCLA duo of Alaina Miller and Ena Shibahara would break back and then serve it out for their 19th consecutive win.

Georgia Tech had dropped the doubles point against Pepperdine as well so they knew they could overcome it but it wouldn't be easy. 

Each team took three opening sets in singles though it looked like UCLA might take five after Abi Altick and Ayan Broomfield jumped out to early break leads at No. 4 and No. 5. 

Georgia Tech senior Johnnise Renaud evened the match at 1-1 with a 6-1, 6-3 win at No. 3. Renaud led 6-1, 4-3* (30/0) when the rain began and when played resumed outdoors she managed to break and then serve it out in the brief 10-minute window before it started raining again. 

UCLA sophomore Jada Hart put the Bruins back in front with a 6-1, 6-3 win at No. 2. Hart led 6-1, *3-3 (30/0) prior the first stoppage of play and she managed to close it out just after they moved indoors after the second wave of rain came through. 

UCLA junior Alaina Miller won for the 15th time in her last 16 matches to put the Bruins up 3-1. Miller led Thursday night's hero Victoria Flores 6-3, 2-2 when play was stopped the first time.

Georgia Tech senior Paige Hourigan kept the Jackets alive after coming back from a set down to defeat Ena Shibahara 3-6, 6-3, 6-3. Hourigan broke for 3-2 in the third and then she broke again to close out the match.

Sophomore Nami Otsuka tied the match at 3-3 with a 7-5, 7-6(2) win over Ayan Broomfield at No. 5. Otsuka trailed 4-0 in the opening set before reeling off 7 of the next 8 games to take the set 7-5. Broomfield served for the second set up 6-5 but Otsuka broke and then took the tiebreak 7-2. 

 

The match would be decided in a third set at No. 4 between Georgia Tech freshman Ida Jarlskog and UCLA freshman Abi Altick. Jarlskog came back from 3-1 down to take the opening set 7-6 but Altick rolled 6-0 in the second. Jarlskog jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the third and after falling behind 0/40 on her 5-3 service game she'd come back to close it out on the deciding 40/40 point for a 7-6, 0-6, 6-3 win which put the Jackets back into the Final Four for the first time since 2007. The win was also the 12th straight for Jarlskog.

 

Post-Match Quotes

Georgia Tech Head Coach Rodney Harmon
On the victory:
“I don’t know what to say, we just fought. It was tough. UCLA outplayed us in doubles. We were losing everywhere but one court in singles. We were down 3-1 and it wasn’t looking good anywhere, but the girls kept fighting, fighting and fighting. We have played so many  tough teams and so many tough matches. UCLA is such a great team and they came out and were firing. It was probably the toughest match we have played this year.”

On reaching the semifinals:
“I am really pleased for our seniors. When they came in, we were ranked in the 20s. They kept working and believing. We lost two years in the regional at like 1:30 in the morning. It was a heartbreaker. Last year, we lost another heartbreaker, 4-3, in a four-hour match to Oklahoma State in the round of 16. We have suffered a number of times late at night, so it was nice to win these last two late at night.”

Georgia Tech No. 4. Ida Jarlskog
On clinching the win:
“Without my teammates, I wouldn’t have been able to do this. I was so tired from the match against Pepperdine, so I needed all the energy I could get. After I won the first set, my energy sank. When I saw my teammates there supporting me and pushing me, it was the difference. When I got up 2-0 in the third, I really felt like I could do this.

#4 Georgia Tech 4, [12] #14 UCLA 3
Head Coaches: Rodney Harmon (GEORGIA TECH) and Stella Sampras Webster (UCLA)
Doubles competition
1. No. 1 Paige Hourigan/Kenya Jones (GT) def. No. 7 Jada Hart/Terri Fleming (UCLA) 6-4
2. No. 64 Gabby Andrews/Ayan Broomfield (UCLA) def. No. 48 Ida Jarlskog/Victoria Flores (GT) 6-2
3. Alaina Miller/Ena Shibahara (UCLA) def. Johnnise Renaud/Nami Otsuka (GT) 6-4
Singles competition
1. 1. No. 14 Paige Hourigan (GT) def. No. 9 Ena Shibahara (UCLA) 3-6, 6-3, 6-3
2. No. 33 Jada Hart (UCLA) def. No. 60 Kenya Jones (GT) 6-1, 6-3
3. Johnnise Renaud (GT) def. Terri Fleming (UCLA) 6-1, 6-3
4. No. 125 Ida Jarlskog (GT) def. No. 67 Abi Altick (UCLA) 7-6 (6), 0-6, 6-3
5. Nami Otsuka (GT) def. Ayan Broomfield (UCLA) 7-5, 7-6 (2)
6. No. 121 Alaina Miller (UCLA) def. Victoria Flores (GT) 6-3, 6-4
Match Notes
Georgia Tech 25-5; National ranking #4
UCLA 23-6; National ranking #14
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (3, 2, 6, 1, 5, 4)
Match Played Half Outdoors & Half Indoors at Wake Forest

 

Stanford is headed back to the Final Four for the third year in a row after a routine 4-0 win over No. 7 Georgia. The Cardinal took the doubles point for the 21st time in 25 matches with wins at No. 2 and No. 3 and then added four first sets in singles. 

Junior Melissa Lord, junior Caroline Lampl, and sophomore Emily Arbuthnott won in straight sets at No. 2, No. 3, and No. 4 with Arbuthnott clinching with a 6-4, 6-2 win. 

Post-Match Quotes

Stanford Head Coach Lele Forood
On the victory:
“We started better in the doubles. We were pretty solid on all three courts and that was a good opening for us. I thought we came out well in the singles and got ahead in a lot of first sets. We were competitive in every match and were able to pull away a little bit at the end to win it.”

On the team’s status as it heads into the semifinals:
“I think we are mentally a strong team. We have two players who have been part of winning a national championship. They define to the rest of the team that you need to be there and be ready physically and mentally for four matches to win a national championship.”

Stanford No. 3 Caroline Lampl
On the victory:
“Today we weren’t as nervous on the court like we were the other day. We knew if we played our game and we were aggressive, we would be just fine. In the doubles, we were aggressive and that is how we normally are able to win the doubles point. We were confident and had a lot of fun on the court, which is also really important. In singles, everyone was just more energetic today. For me, I was really pumped up and moved my feet a lot better than I did the other day, which really helped me.”

Georgia Head Coach Jeff Wallace
On his team’s performance in the tournament:
“I think we had a good NCAA run here and did better than we have the last two years. You have to take your hat off to Stanford. They played a great match against us and it took a team doing that to knock us out. With how many freshmen and sophomores we have on this team, it is a young group. We have learned a ton this year and really started to apply it in the NCAA Tournament. The future is really bright and if we continue to improve and grow at this rate, it will be even more exciting for us next year.”

"It's tough not getting the doubles point. We've played great doubles overall this year from where we started in our first practice in the fall to now is a huge difference. We have two teams that are in the NCAA Individuals and are top-30 in the country, so we really do play great doubles. Yesterday and today just were not our best days in doubles and it ended up catching up to us in the match today."

"The Tournament is one of those specials times of the year," Mariana Gould said. "I think we really grew from the beginning of the season, but it just was not our day today. Stanford came out and took it from us. With this team, the sky is the limit. The coaches do such a great job. They have great leadership and they are young. They have a long road ahead of them, and they have already done so much. They have so much potential and room to grow, so it's endless what they can reach."

#15 Stanford 4, #7 Georgia 0
Head Coaches: Jeff Wallace (GEORGIA) and Lele Forood (STANFORD)
Doubles competition
1. #10 Eleni Christofi/Morgan Coppoc (UGA) vs. #3 Emily Arbuthnott/Michaela Gordon (Stanford) 5-3, unf.
2. #84 Caroline Lampl/Kimberly Yee (Stanford) def. #26 Mariana Gould/Katarina Jokic (UGA) 6-3
3. Melissa Lord/Janice Shin (Stanford) def. Kennedy Shaffer/Annette Goulak (UGA) 6-4
Singles competition
1. #12 Katarina Jokic (UGA) vs. #15 Michaela Gordon (Stanford) 4-6, 4-3, unf.
2. #40 Melissa Lord (Stanford) def. #75 Kennedy Shaffer (UGA) 6-1, 6-2
3. #93 Caroline Lampl (Stanford) def. #90 Marta Gonzalez (UGA) 6-4, 6-2
4. #43 Emily Arbuthnott (Stanford) def. Mariana Gould (UGA) 6-4, 6-2
5. Eleni Christofi (UGA) vs. #96 Janie Shin (Stanford) 6-2, 1-6, unf.
6. #103 Morgan Coppoc (UGA) vs. #102 Emma Higuchi (Stanford) 7-6(5), 3-1, unf.
Match Notes
Stanford 22-3; National ranking #15
Georgia 18-7; National ranking #7
Order of finish: Doubles: (2,3) Singles (2,3,4) 

 

Duke is back in the Final Four for the first time since 2012 after rallying from an early 1-0 deficit to defeat No. 11 Texas Tech 4-1. The Lady Raiders claimed the doubles point for the 23rd time in 30 matches with a 6-3 win at No. 1 and a 7-5 win at No. 2. 

Duke came back strong in singles and took five opening sets, three of which they'd close out in straight sets. Freshman Kelly Chen appeared to have won her match at No. 4 by a 6-3, 1-0 score when play was halted due to what was reported to be multiple obscenities by Texas Tech head coach Todd Petty. After a good 20 minutes it was decided the match would be resume with Petty ejected from the building. Chen went on to win the next five games to close it out 6-3, 6-0. 

Kaitlyn McCarthy added a 6-2, 6-2 win at No. 3 while Hannah Zhao won 6-2, 6-4 at No. 6. 

Duke sophomore Meible Chi would clinch with a 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 win over Felicity Maltby at No. 2. 

Post-Match Quotes

Duke Head Coach Jamie Ashworth
On advancing:
“It was a battle right from the start with the doubles. We seemed a little bit tight and nervous in the doubles and didn’t get that point. I told them after the doubles that there are still six points still out there and we need to go get six points. That should be our goal. We did a great job of overcoming the momentum that they had in doubles. We got a quick first set on six and a quick first set on three and you could feel us starting to get the momentum changing a little bit. Our girls became more relaxed and were more positive on the courts.”

On Kelly Chen:
“Kelly is very coachable which is important at this level. I think Kelly came out feeling sorry for herself with how she played in the doubles because she didn’t play great doubles. I told her two games into the singles if you are going to sit here and sulk about the doubles, then get off the court. You have to be tougher than that. You have to put it behind you because there is absolutely nothing we can do about the doubles right now except go play good singles. She responded very well. You have to know your players and Kelly is someone who can handle something like that.”

Duke No. 2 Meible Chi
On clinching the match on her 19th birthday:
“It is a definitely a great way to celebrate a birthday. I didn’t know I was the clinch because I couldn’t see the other side (No. 5 and No. 6). I knew that we close and how important every point was. I was just playing to put my point on the board. I saw my teammates out there and going wild after every point and that really helped me get through.”

Texas Tech Assistant Coach Boomer Saia
On the match:
“ It’s not the outcome we were looking for, but we’re so proud of the fight in this team. Congratulations to Duke. They’re a tough team.”

"It's obviously not the outcome we were looking for, but I am so proud to have coached these young ladies. The fight in them is second to none," Head Coach Todd Petty said. "This senior class had an unbelievable career and laid a legacy that will be hard to beat."

 

 #3 Duke 4, #11 Texas Tech 1
Head Coaches: Jamie Ashworth (DUKE) and Todd Petty (Texas Tech)
Doubles competition
1. #28 Sarah Dvorak/Sabrina Federici (Texas Tech) def. #9 Kaitlyn McCarthy/Ellyse Hamlin (DUKE) 6-3
2. Felicity Maltby/Gabriela Talaba (Texas Tech) def. #6 Kelly Chen/Samantha Harris (DUKE) 7-5
3. Meible Chi/Hannah Zhao (DUKE) def. Alex Valenstein/Lana Rush (Texas Tech) 6-4
Singles competition
1. #6 Samantha Harris (DUKE) vs. #21 Gabriela Talaba (Texas Tech) 6-4, 3-6, 3-0, unf.
2. #55 Meible Chi (DUKE) def. #58 Felicity Maltby (Texas Tech) 2-6, 6-2, 6-4
3. #116 Kaitlyn McCarthy (DUKE) def. Alex Valenstein (Texas Tech) 6-2, 6-2
4. #28 Kelly Chen (DUKE) def. #106 Sabrina Federici (Texas Tech) 6-3, 6-0
5. #84 Ellyse Hamlin (DUKE) vs. Sarah Dvorak (Texas Tech) 7-5, 3-6, 1-1, unf.
6. Hannah Zhao (DUKE) def. #120 Katelyn Jackson (Texas Tech) 6-2, 6-4
Match Notes
Duke 27-3; National ranking #3
Texas Tech 23-7; National ranking #11
Order of finish: Doubles: (1,3,2) Singles (6,3,4,2)

 

The top seeded Vanderbilt Commodores cruised into the Final Four with a 4-0 win over Florida State. Vandy only dropped three games in its doubles wins at No. 1 and No. 2 and then won all six first sets in singles. 

Astra Sharma, Fernanda Contreras, and Summer Dvorak closed out their matches first with Dvorak clinching at No. 6. 

Post-Match Quotes

Vanderbilt Head Coach Geoff Macdonald
On the victory:
“I thought we did a very good job of adjusting from a little bit quicker indoor courts to slower and windier courts outdoors. We had some players really timing the ball well indoors and I thought we could have made a few more loose errors, but we adjusted to the difference really well.”

On getting ready for the semifinals:
“This team is doing a very good job of getting ready for matches. They jumped on Florida State and really took advantage to any opportunity they had, so it went quickly. I am glad we were able to get outside today. It would have been tough to play indoors for two rounds and then be outside for a final four match. I am glad the weather has improved.”

Vanderbilt No. 6 Summer Dvorak
On being able to win in under two hours:
“I think the we went out and wanted to get all six first sets. With Amanda (Meyer) fighting through to win that tiebreak really helped us. When we are able to do that, we have a lot of confidence and we feed off each other.”

Florida State Head Coach Jennifer Hyde
On the season:
“It is tough losing the way we did today. You never want it to be quick like that but we obviously ran into a very good Vanderbilt team. I just wish we could have given them a few more punches. This season has been one for the books. We have had so many special teams over the years and this one is right up there. It has been an honor to work with them. They have come together in ways you couldn’t have expected four months ago. It is exciting because almost all of them are returning and there is so much to look forward to.”

On looking ahead to next season: “It is exciting because we have pretty much everyone returning and two people coming in. All we lose is Gabby, who got to finish her senior year about as good as you can. There are so many things to look forward to in the future. I am proud of the effort the girls have given all season and they made the record books and should be proud of that.”

[1] #2 Vanderbilt 4, #21 Florida State 0
Head Coaches: Geoff Macdonald (VANDERBILT) and Jennifer Hyde (FLORIDA STATE)
Doubles competition
1. #11 Astra Sharma/Fernanda Contreras (VU) def. #56 Carla Touly/Ariana Rahmanparast (FSU) 6-2
2. #69 Emma Kurtz/Emily Smith (VU) def. Julia Mikulski/Andrea Garcia (FSU) 6-1
3. Christina Rosca/Amanda Meyer (VU) vs. Gabriella Castaneda/Petra Hule (FSU) 4-2, unf.
Singles competition
1. #11 Astra Sharma (VU) def. #19 Carla Touly (FSU) 6-3, 6-1
2. #10 Fernanda Contreras (VU) def. #122 Petra Hule (FSU) 6-1, 6-1
3. #44 Christina Rosca (VU) vs. Nandini Das (FSU) 6-1, 5-2
4 Amanda Meyer (VU) vs. Gabriella Castaneda (FSU) 7-6(5), 2-3
5. Emma Kurtz (VU) vs. Ariana Rahmanparast (FSU) 6-0, 5-5, unf.
6. Summer Dvorak (VU) vs. Andrea Garcia (FSU) 6-4, 6-0
Match Notes
Vanderbilt 26-3; National ranking #2
Florida State 20-13; National ranking #21
Order of finish: Doubles: (1,3,2) Singles (2,1,6)
Match Played Outdoors at Wake Forest

 

Semifinals (Monday - Noon ET)

#1 Vanderbilt vs. #4 Georgia Tech

#3 Duke vs. #15 Stanford

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