North Carolina to Play Defending Champion
ITA National Women's Team Indoor Championship Finals
MADISON, Wis. - The Finals have been set for the 16 teams competing in
the 2010 ITA National Women's Team Indoor Championships hosted by the
University of Wisconsin at the A.C. Nielsen Tennis Stadium.
More on the Finalists:
#2 Northwestern: For the second night in a row, defending champ and No.
2 seed Northwestern came down to one singles match to decide the
outcome. On Saturday night, Northwestern learned that the road to
successfully defending its title at the ITA National Indoor Team
Championship would go through No. 3 California, the same team that ended
NU's season at the NCAA Championships each of the last two years. But on
Sunday, focused on the here and now, the Wildcats downed the Golden
Bears 4-3 to earn a berth in the tournament's championship for the third
"It's just a matter of everyone stepping up and this whole weekend has
been a total team effort," said Northwesterns Head Coach Claire Pollard.
"Against Cal today I think it helped that we lost doubles yesterday
(against Florida) and we were still able to win that match, so we had
confidence we could do it again. At this level you've got to find a lot
of ways to win a match and in the last two days we've found two great
The 'Cats, who in 2009 became the only northern school to win the title
in the prestigious tournament's 22-year history, are aiming to join
another elite albeit less exclusive club: there have been seven repeat
winners in ITA Indoor Team Championship history.
Northwestern's task of overcoming Cal grew even tougher when the Golden
Bears were able to win the doubles point, meaning NU would need to
capture four of six singles matches against the 2009 national
runners-up. But the Wildcats did just that, receiving victories from its
senior duo of Samantha Murray and Lauren Lui and two underclassmen in
sophomore Stacey Lee and freshman Brittany Wowchuk.
Wowchuk and Lee each grinded out incredibly tough first sets at the No.
5 and 6 positions, respectively, to give NU a fighting chance after Cal
went ahead 3-1. Wowchuk topped Annie Goransson 7-5 while Lee won in a
7-6 tiebreaker against Tayler Davis. Those wins, coupled with the 6-3
first-set win by Lui at No. 4 over Kasia Siwosz, seemed to break the
collective spirit of the Golden Bears and put Northwestern in the
Following its win in doubles, Cal came up with its second point at No. 1
singles where second-ranked Jana Juricova defeated NU's 12th-ranked
Maria Mosolova, 6-3, 6-1.
But Murray turned in a stellar performance at second singles, dominating
No. 10 Marina Cossou, a member of the 2009 ITA All-America team. Murray
posted back-to-back 6-3 set victories to improve to 4-2 in dual matches
this season and help the Wildcats pull within 2-1.
California won one final match, the No. 3 singles contest between Kate
Turvy and Mari Andersson, where Andersson was able to pull in a 6-3, 6-1
It was all Northwestern from then on, however, with Lui battling to
close out her second set in a tiebreaker, setting up the clinching win
First Round Matchup: No. 2 Northwestern def. Tennessee, 5-1
Quarterfinal Matchup: No. 2 Northwestern def. No. 7 Florida, 4-3
Semifinal Matchup: No. 2 Northwestern def. No. 3 California, 4-3
Final Matchup: No. 2 Northwestern vs. North Carolina, 11:00 am (CT)
#2 Northwestern 4, #3 California 3
1. Andersson/Juricova (CAL) def. Chernyakova/Lui (NW) 8-4
2. Cossou/Siwosz (CAL) def. Mosolova/Wowchuk (NW) 8-2
3. Murray/Turvy (NW) def. Davis/Goransson (CAL) 8-6
1. #2 Jana Juricova (CAL) def. #12 Maria Mosolova (NW) 6-3, 6-1
2. #48 Samantha Murray (NW) def. #10 Marina Cossou (CAL) 6-3, 6-3
3. #83 Mari Andersson (CAL) def. #85 Kate Turvy (NW) 6-3, 6-1
4. Lauren Lui (NW) def. Kasia Siwosz (CAL) 6-3, 7-6 (5)
5. Brittany Wowchuk (NW) def. Annie Goransson (CAL) 7-5, 6-3
6. Stacey Lee (NW) def. Tayler Davis (CAL) 7-6 (5), 6-1
North Carolina: The surging 11th ranked North Carolina Tar Heels knocked
off their third top-10 opponent in as many days with the most sweetest
outcome yet - knocking off conference and state rival Duke, the
top-ranked, top-seeded and 2009 NCAA Champions, to claim supremacy for
women's tennis in the state of North Carolina. The Tar Heels continued
their dream run through the ITA National Team Indoor Championships with
a heart-stopping 4-3 win over No. 1 Duke, the team's first-ever victory
over a top-ranked team, propelling UNC into Monday's final against No. 2
"This is just an amazing accomplishment for our team," head coach Brian
Kalbassaid after the match. "Duke is ranked No. 1 for a reason, they are
a tremendous team, and to have a chance to play for a national
championship tomorrow is a dream come true."
After the Heels (10-0) won the doubles point for the 10th match in a row
to take the early lead, unlike previous matches in the event, all six
courts began simultaneously in singles, and UNC took advantage right
away. Tsang, who had lost her previous two singles matches in Madison,
stormed past No. 20 Zsilinszka at the top of the lineup, 6-2, 6-1,
giving Carolina a 2-0 lead.
"Katrina provided us with an instant boost at No. 1," Kalbas said. "It
gives everyone so much confidence knowing that on any given day anyone
in the lineup can pick us up."
No. 63 Moncia Gorny would get the Blue Devils (7-1) on the board at No.
5 with a 6-4, 6-0 win over Grabinski, but the Tar Heels answered right
back. Freshman Zoe De Bruyckertopped Duke's Granson, 6-4, 7-6, pushing
Carolina to within one point of the finals.
"Zoe just kept battling and competing," Kalbas said. "To rally from down
5-2 in the second set against such a talented, veteran player like
Granson was really impressive."
Duke, however, would not go away, winning the next two matches to even
the score at 3. Mary Clayton topped Featherston at No. 6 in a pair of
tiebreaks, 7-6, 7-6, before Plotkin finished off Jelena Durisicat No. 3,
4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
With five matches completed, it was left to Marand and Nze to decide the
outcome in a winner-take-all final set. Marand won the opening set in a
tiebreak before Nze took the second, 6-4.
The two veteran standouts were even throughout the final set before
Marand finally gained a match point at 5-4. After a lengthy rally,
Marand hit a drop shot winner to secure the final point and the match
for North Carolina.
The win puts the North Carolina Tarheels into Monday's final against No.
2 Northwestern, which was a 4-3 winner over No. 3 California on
First Round Matchup: North Carolina def. No. 4 Georgia, 5-2
Quarterfinal Matchup: North Carolina def. No. 5 Baylor, 5-2
Semifinal Matchup: North Carolina def. No. 1 Duke, 4-3
Final Matchup: North Carolina vs. No. 2 Northwestern, 11:00 am (CT)
North Carolina 4, #1 Duke 3
1. #6 Marand/Grabinski (UNC) def. Nze/Granson (DU), 8-6
2. #22 Tsang/Featherston (UNC) def. Zsilinszka/Plotkin (DU), 8-3
3. Gorny/Stiles (DU) def. Ffriend/Hemm (UNC), 9-8 (4)
1. #100 Katrina Tsang (UNC) def. #20 Reka Zsilinszka (DU), 6-2, 6-1
2. #25 Sanaz Marand(UNC) def. #91 Ellah Nze (DU), 7-6, 4-6, 6-4
3. Elizabeth Plotkin (DU) def. Jelena Durisic(UNC), 4-6, 6-4, 6-3
4. Zoe De Bruycker(UNC) def. #80 Amanda Granson (DU), 6-4, 7-6
5. #63 Monica Gorny (DU) def. Sophie Grabinski(UNC), 6-4, 6-0
6. Mary Clayton (DU) def. Shinann Featherston(UNC), 7-6, 7-6
For complete results, visit www.itatennis.com. Play on Monday begins at
11 a.m. (CT) with the championship match at the A.C. Nielsen Tennis
Stadium and admission is free.
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