NCAA Championships Update – Women’s Quarters 2017

NCAA Women’s Championships are Ready for the Semifinals

Weather once again affected play at the 2017 NCAA Championships at the University of Georgia, this time it was in the women’s quarterfinals where the first session had to be moved indoors.

Under the roof, No. 3 Ohio State and No. 7 Stanford advanced, while No. 1 Florida and No. 4 Vanderbilt survived on the outside courts to round out the Final Four.

Dating back to 2010, three of the remaining four schools have combined to win six of the last seven NCAA titles (Stanford with three, Florida with two, Vanderbilt with one). Meanwhile, Ohio State is making its first trip to the semifinals.

Women’s Bracket

Men’s Bracket

Highlights from May 21

North Carolina vs. Stanford

Stanford’s Recap & Stats

No. 2 North Carolina and No. 7 Stanford finally clashed at 2 p.m. on Sunday inside the Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Courts in Athens. Last year’s NCAA champion wasted no time in grabbing the 1-0 lead, as the Cardinal posted 6-1 wins at No. 1 and No. 2 for the doubles point.

The No. 5 and No. 6 singles representatives would then be forced to sit and watch the afternoon materialize since Georgia had only four indoors courts. Down 1-0, the Tar Heels relied on one of the most talented players in school history to get on the board when Hayley Carter (Hilton Head, S.C.) dropped only one game at the No. 1 singles position. It was her 168th career win for UNC.

Stanford climbed back to regain its lead at 2-1 with a straight-set win at No. 3 fromTaylor Davidson (Statesville, N.C.) whose hometown is just two hours from the UNC campus. The Cardinal pushed it to 3-1 thanks to Melissa Lord’s (Bloomfield, Conn.) 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 win over Sara Daavettila (Williamston, Mich.). As No. 5 and 6 singles began, No. 2 and 4 were reaching third sets. At that 4 position, Stanford’sCaroline Lampl (Bluemont, Va.) had two match points yet UNC’s Alexa Graham(Garden City, N.Y.) fought back and eventually secured an incredible win, 5-7, 6-2, 7-5, making it 3-2 Cardinal. Stanford’s remaining two players were both freshmen (Emily Arbuthnott and Emma Higuchi (Los Angeles, Calif.)), and it was Arbuthnott who delivered the final blow in a three-set win against UNC freshman Makenna Jones (Greenville, S.C.).

Ohio State vs. Texas Tech

Ohio State’s Recap & Stats

The unfortunate weather situation forced No. 3 Ohio State and No. 6 Texas Tech to travel to Atlanta and square off indoors at Georgia Tech’s Byers Tennis Complex at 4 p.m. Once the schools hit the court, the Buckeyes snatched the doubles point, and they were well on their way to a 4-0 shutout over the Red Raiders.

The Buckeyes secured three straight-set singles wins by Ferny Angeles Paz, Miho Kowase and Anna Sanford (Westerville, Ohio), giving OSU its first trip to the NCAA semifinals in school history. Texas Tech did claim first-set victories in the other three matches, but the Buckeyes avoided any drama as those contests remained unfinished.

Florida vs. Oklahoma State

Florida’s Recap & Stats

Weather did not affect the second session too much, as No. 1 Florida and No. 9 Oklahoma State got acquainted outdoors at Georgia’s Dan Magill Tennis Complex. The Gators came out with a mission, taking down the Cowgirls, 4-1, moving on to the semifinals for the 25th time in the last 31 seasons.

They started things up with wins at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles as the Gators broke serve at 5-4 on court 3 for the clinching point. Straight-set victories at No. 5 fromBrooke Austin (Indianapolis, Ind.) and No. 2 from Josie Kuhlman (Ponte Vedra, Fla.) stretched the Florida lead to 3-0 before Aliona Bolsova put OSU on the board at No. 3. Although two exciting matches were cooking at the No. 1 and No. 6 spots, UF’s Anna Danilina put an end to the comeback bid with a 6-4, 6-4 triumph at No. 4.

Vanderbilt vs. Pepperdine

Vanderbilt’s Recap & Stats

No. 4 Vanderbilt and No. 12 Pepperdine also benefitted from playing late as they enjoyed the outdoor courts in Athens. The Waves were looking for a team upset of the Commodores, and started with a smaller upset when the No. 8 doubles team in the country, Pepperdine’s Christine Maddox (Santa Monica, Calif.) and Mayar Sherif, stunned the top-ranked doubles squad in Emily Smith and Astra Sharma, 6-2. The Waves collected the second doubles victory at No. 3 to earn the first team point.

The two schools traded the first two singles results, giving Pepperdine a 2-1 advantage and a lot of confidence, especially since it won first sets at No. 2 and No. 4 as well. Vandy settled down, tying the scoreboard at 2-2 with a win by Sharma, then came through with a three-set triumph by Georgina Sellyn at No. 5. Looking to return to the semifinals as a senior, Vanderbilt’s Sydney Campbell (Franklin, Tenn.) sewed it up, blanking Ashley Lahey (Hawthorne, Calif.) in the third set, 6-0, to give the Commodores the team win.

Vanderbilt’s match against Florida in the semifinals will be the third this year between the two SEC schools, both won by the Commodores (two of Florida’s three losses this year have been at the hands of Vandy).

Both the men’s and women’s semifinals are scheduled for Monday, however inclement weather is in the forecast forcing start times to be altered. The men’s final is slated for Tuesday at 1 p.m. and the women also will be Tuesday at 5 p.m., and each match will air live on ESPNU. The individual singles and doubles championships are set for May 24-29, also in Athens.

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