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.
There was tennis played again in Seattle after snow wiped out Saturday's schedule at the Women's National Team Indoors and while most of the favorites won there was one mild upset. In an all-SEC dual, it was the No. 5 seed Georgia coming back from 3-1 down to defeat No. 4 Vanderbilt 4-3. The Commodores took the early lead with a 7-5 win at No. 1 doubles and a 6-4 win at No. 2 and then the teams split opening sets in singles. Georgia's Katarina Jokic put the Bulldogs on the board with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 win at No. 1 but Vandy answered seconds later with a 6-2, 7-6 win from Christina Rosca at No. 2. Vandy's Amanda Meyer extended the lead to 3-1 with a 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 win at No. 4 and it looked like the match was all but over with Emily Smith leading 5-0 in the third at No. 5. However, Georgia junior Elena Christofi would win the next seven games to close it out 6-4, 3-6, 7-5. The Christofi comeback changed the momentum on the rest of the courts as well and both Meg Kowalski and Lourdes Carle would pull away in their third sets to complete the 4-3 Georgia win.
"We won a lot of third set matches today, and it was super exciting out there," said Georgia coach Jeff Wallace. "This was our biggest test so far, and we knew anybody you play out here is going to be really good, and it's going to be a battle. It takes a lot of maturity and discipline to hang in there like Elena did after getting down 5-0 and fighting back. Katarina (Jokic) got us on the board at No. 1 with a big win in a matchup of two of the best players in the country and then two freshmen came through in Meg (Kowalski) and Lourdes.
The second day of the NCAA Championships is half way over with the higher seeds winning in each of the first four matches. In the morning session, No. 2 seed North Carolina shutout out ACC rival Duke 4-0 on the main Henry Feild Courts while defending champion and No. 7 seed Stanford held off a late charge to defeat No. 10 Michigan 4-1. The two noon matches saw both of the SEC schools go down as Ohio State won fairly comfortably over South Carolina while Texas Tech came back from losing the doubles point to defeat Auburn 4-2.
Georgia Tech junior Chris Eubanks accepted a main draw wild card into the BB&T Atlanta Open, which is an ATP 250 event, with his opening round match scheduled for Tuesday, July 25. Eubanks has played in the main draw of the Atlanta event two years in a row though he had to go through qualies last year to do so. Eubanks has been ranked in the ITA Top 10 all year and was recently named the ACC Men's Player of the Year for the second year in a row. For more information see the release from the BB&T Atlanta Open.
The NCAA Division II Men's Round of 16 got underway today in Altamonte Springs, Florida, with #1 West Florida, #2 Barry, #3 Columbus State, #4 Hawaii Pacific, #14 Azusa Pacific, #16 Ferris State, #18 Drury, and #23 Southwest Baptist moving on to tomorrow's quarterfinal round. Of those eight winners the only lower ranked team to win was Southwest Baptist which defeated #20 St. Mary's (TX) 5-3. The highest profile matchup in the quarterfinals will be #1 West Florida taking on #4 Hawaii Pacific. For the men's bracket click here and to see individual match results click here. The women's round of 16 gets started tomorrow though I see that #1 BYU-Hawaii and #2 Barry are in the same quarterfinal so I'm not sure what's going on with the bracket making at the D2 level. The bracket is available here and the box scores from each match are available here. The brackets don't have any seeds listed (guess they don't do that?) so it's kind of hard to tell who is the better team without going through the rankings.
Thursday was a busy day in the SEC with eight teams in action since the conference is playing on Thursday and Saturday this week. Three of the four matches saw the road team pick up a win while No. 17 Kentucky was the only team to win at home. TCU finished off its West Coast trip with another win while just down the road UCLA knocked off Duke.
The latest edition of the Big Slam was another classic with #41 Stanford upsetting #6 Cal 4-3 on Tuesday night at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium. Cal welcomed Filip Bergevi back into its singles and doubles lineup after he missed the last few weeks with an injury and his return paid off in doubles as he and Florian Lakat, who earlier in the day were elevated to the ITA's No. 1 doubles team, defeated Tom Fawcett and William Genensen at No. 1. Bergevi served for the match up 5-2 but he was broke on the no-ad point after Fawcett hit a second serve return winner. Fawcett held at love for 5-4 but Lakat would serve it out from 40/30 to give Cal the 6-4 win. Cal's Billy Griffith served for the match at No. 2 doubles up 5-3 (40/30) but Stanford broke on the no-ad point to make it 5-4. Down at No. 3, Cal's JT Nishimura was serving up 4-3 (40/0) but Stanford came back to break on the no-ad point for 4-4. Both of those courts would go to tiebreaks and Cal's Billy Griffith and Andre Goransson would clinch the doubles point with a 7-0 win at No. 2 while the match at No. 3 went unfinished with it tied at 1-1.
The fourth Pac-12/SEC Challenge is in the books and the big winner from the weekend was the Florida Gators. Florida had only won one match at this event over the last three years but this year they doubled that number with a win over USC yesterday and today they took out UCLA 4-2. Florida started off the match in a 1-0 hole after UCLA won the doubles point with 6-4 wins at No. 1 and No. 3. The key point at No. 3 doubles came when UCLA's Max Cressy was serving at 4-4 (40/40). Florida's Elliott Orkin and McClain Kessler were in control of the point and had an overhead at the net to get the break but Cressy used his quick reflexes to block back the shot and it turned into a lob winner. Cressy and Gage Brymer would break Orkin on the next game to get the win. The doubles decider at No. 1 ended when Martin Redlicki hit a service return winner at 30/40 to give he and Evan Zhu the win.
The two-time defending NCAA Champion Virginia Cavaliers took the court tonight for the first time this season and while they came out on top against Vanderbilt it didn't exactly go as smooth as some may have expected. Vanderbilt picked up a quick 6-2 win at No. 1 doubles but Virginia countered with a 6-3 win at No. 2 so it all came down to No. 3. Vanderbilt's Billy Rowe and Lachlan McPhee broke Virginia's serve to go up 5-4 and then McPhee served it out to give Vanderbilt the doubles point and early 1-0 lead.
During singles play Virginia jumped out to early break leads at 1, 4, and 5 while Vanderbilt took the early lead at 2 and 3 (only five indoor courts). All five guys with the early break lead would close out the first set and Virginia's Alex Ritschard would be the first one to the finish line with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Billy Rowe at No. 5. Vanderbilt's Baker Newman put the Commodores back in front with a 6-4, 6-0 win at No. 3 but Virginia freshman Carl Soderlund, who was making his collegiate debut, tied the match at 2-2 with a 6-1, 6-4 win at No. 4. Vanderbilt retook the lead when Cameron Klinger earned a late break at 5-4 and then he served it out from 40/15 to win it 6-0, 5-7, 6-4. Virginia's Henrik Wiersholm was closing in on a win at No. 6 but it looked like Vanderbilt's Daniel Valent might force a third set at No. 1 when he led Collin Altamirano 5-3 in the second. Altamirano won three straight to go ahead 6-5 but Valent managed to get a hold to force a tiebreak. Altamirano raced out to a 5-1 lead in the tiebreak and close it out 7-5, 7-6(2). Moments later Wiersholm would clinch the match with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Panu Virtanen.
We're still a week away from the Kick-Off Weekend but several lower ranked teams did some kicking tonight as upsets were the story of the day. The biggest upset took place at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center as unranked Tulsa stunned No. 4 Texas 4-3. Tulsa won what turned out to be a pivotal doubles point when it picked up a 6-4 win over at No. 3 and a 6-3 win at No. 2. Texas turned it around in singles by taking four opening sets while Tulsa won the other two in tiebreaks. Harrison Scott and Leo Telles put Texas ahead with quick straight set wins at No. 4 and No. 6 but Or Ram-Harel tied it up at 2-2 after defeating the ITA No. 6 Christian Sigsgaard 7-6(2), 6-2. George Goldhoff put Texas back in front after winning in three sets at No. 3 but Tulsa's Majed Kilani leveled it at 3-3 with a come from behind 1-6, 7-5, 6-2 win over Texas freshman Yuya Ito at No 2.
Duke finished it's stay at the Rainbow Warrior Classic by taking four of six doubles matches over LSU plus the Blue Devils came out on top in four of seven singles matches with two of the losses due to retirement. Ole Miss and Hawaii played an actual dual match with the Rebels posting a 7-0 shutout. Ole Miss won five of six singles matches in straight sets and swept all three doubles courts.
USC freshmen Brandon Holt and Riley Smith each earned their first career ATP points with first round wins at the Long Beach USA F2 Futures. Holt defeated Luke Bambridge (ATP 615) 6-1, 6-4 in a match where Holt won 77% of the points on his first serve while breaking Bambridge five times in nine attempts. Smith saved three match points to defeat former USC Trojan Eric Johnson 3-6, 7-6(4), 7-6(8). Smith served for the match up 5-3 in the third but Johnson broke from 30/40 and held at love to even it at 5-5. After an exchange of holds Johnson led *6-4 in the tiebreak but Smith won three straight to pull ahead 7-6*. Johnson won both points on his serve to go in front 8-7* but Smith won the final three to close it out.