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#1 Stanford vs. #2 Florida Advance to ITA National Women's Team Indoor Finals

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#1 Stanford vs. #2 Florida Advance to ITA National Women's
Team Indoor Finals in NCAA Championship Rematch

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. - The finals have been set for the 16 teams competing in the 2011 ITA National Women's Team Indoor Championship hosted by the University of Virginia at the Boar's Head Sports Club.

The top two seeds and top two ranked teams in the country left no doubt that there they remain the nation's elite one year removed from their showdown in the 2010 NCAA Championship match, which the Cardinal won 4-3.

ITA National Women's Team Indoor Championship: Finals
#1 Stanford vs. #2 Florida

ITA National Women's Team Indoor Championship: Semifinals
#1 Stanford, #4 North Carolina 0
#2 Florida 4, #6 Duke 1

ITA National Women's Team Indoor Championship: Quarterfinals
#1 Stanford 4, #8 Michigan 0
#4 North Carolina 4, Northwestern 3
#6 Duke 4, Virginia 2
#2 Florida 4, Clemson 0

ITA National Women's Team Indoor Championship: First Round
#1 Stanford 4, Arkansas 0
#8 Michigan 4, Georgia Tech 1
#4 North Carolina 4, Washington 2
Northwestern 4, #5 California 1
#6 Duke 4, Tennessee 1
Virginia 4, #3 Baylor 3
Clemson 4, #7 UCLA 3
#2 Florida 4, Miami (FL) 1

#1 STANFORD: No. 1 Stanford continues to overpower the opposition at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships, blanking No. 4 North Carolina 4-0 in the semifinals on Sunday afternoon for its most recent victory.

With the win, Stanford (8-0) advanced to Monday's championship match. The Cardinal will be attempting to capture the tournament title for the first time since shutting out Texas 4-0 back in 2006.

Sunday's victim was No. 4 North Carolina (7-2), the latest in a string of nationally-ranked opponents easily handled by Stanford.

The doubles point was extremely hard-fought, with Stanford taking the first match in doubles, as Kristie Ahn and Nicole Gibbs shutout Jelena Durisic and Tessa Lyons on court two, 8-0. Zoe De Bruycker and Jennifer Stone then pulled UNC even with an 8-4 victory at No. 3, setting up the top position to decide the point.

The third-ranked team of Hilary Barte and Lindsay Burdette outlasted sixth-ranked Shinann Featherston and Lauren McHale 9-7. But after the doubles thriller, it was all Stanford.

Nicole Gibbs rolled to a 6-2, 6-1 victory at the No. 4 position before Barte defeated Zoe DeBruycker for the second time this year with a 7-6, 6-2 win at the No. 1 spot. Burdette then held on for a 6-2, 6-7, 6-1 victory over Shinann Featherston at the No. 2 spot, clinching the match.

No. 6 Shinann Featherston and Lauren McHale were up a break at 7-5 and had a chance to serve out the match at 7-6. But the Cardinal pair of Hilary Barte and Mallory Burdette were up to the challenge, breaking serve and winning the final four games to take the match, 9-7, and give Stanford the 1-0 advantage.

The defending national champions took the momentum from doubles and ultimately put the match out of reach with wins on courts one, two and four.

No. 1 Stanford 4, No. 4 North Carolina 0
1. #3 Barte/Burdette (STAN) def. #6 Featherston/McHale (UNC), 9-7
2. Ahn/Gibbs (STAN) def. Durisic/Lyons (UNC), 8-0
3. DeBruycker/Stone (UNC) def. Tan/McVeigh (STAN), 8-4

1. #2 Hilary Barte (STAN) def. #13 Zoe DeBruycker, 7-6, 6-2

2. #22 Mallory Burdette (STAN) def. #75 Shinann Featherston, 6-2, 6-7, 6-1
3. #20 Kristie Ahn (STAN) vs. Gina Suarez-Malaguti, 5-7, , 6-2, 2-1 DNF
4. #21 Nicole Gibbs (STAN) def. #119 Jelena Durisic (UNC), 6-2, 6-1
5. #93 Lauren McHale vs. #87 Stacey Tan (STAN), 2-6, 6-4, 3-2 DNF

6. Haley Hemm vs. Carolyn McVeigh (STAN), 6-1, 2-6, 4-2 DNF

#2 FLORIDA: The second-ranked Florida women's tennis team knocked off No. 6 Duke for the second time this week, advancing to the final of the ITA National Team Indoor Championship. On Sunday, the Gators defeated the Blue Devils, 4-1, at the Boar's Head Sports Club to reach the title match for the first time since 2003.

"This was another classic battle between Florida and Duke," UF head coach Roland Thornqvist said. "I'm very proud of our performance. In doubles, we were absolutely fantastic. Our freshmen were really tough at the bottom of our lineup. Duke has world-class players at the bottom of its lineup and today the Gators were better and I was very impressive by that. We're real excited to be in the finals tomorrow."

Stanford leads the all-time series against Florida, 15-11, including last year's 4-3 Gator heartbreaker in the NCAA Team Final. Florida, however, holds a 7-2 advantage in the series when played at the National Team Indoor Championships.

Florida (10-0) was once again impressive early and captured the doubles point with wins on courts Nos. 1 and 3. Sofie Oyen and Allie Will got things started with their 8-3 victory against Ellah Nze and Monica Gorny. The freshmen pair of Alex Cercone and Olivia Janowicz then posted an 8-2 decision against Reka Zsilinszka and Elizabeth Plotkin to clinch the win and give the Gators a 1-0 lead in the team scoring. The rookie tandem raced out and won the first seven games before capturing its third victory in as many days.

UF's No. 2 doubles team of Lauren Embree and Joanna Mather seemed to be coming out on the short end of their match, before staging a brilliant rally, as they fought back from
a 5-1 deficit for a 6-5 lead against Nadine Fahoum and Hanna Mar when play was abandoned after Florida secured the doubles point.

Will proved again to be too tough for Duke's 38th-ranked Fahoum, as the seventh-ranked Gator sophomore gave Florida a 2-0 after her 6-0, 6-2 victory on court No. 1. The win was Will's third in as many days at the top singles position, as she improved her career dual match record to 35-1.

Florida seemed to be well on its way to a quick route of Duke, winning the first set on four of the courts, including Will's. The Blue Devils fought back, however, and tightened the match.

Mather stepped up and provided the second singles victory of the day, as she defeated Ellah Nze, 6-2, 7-5 at the No. 3 position. Mather found herself down 3-1 in the second set and finally earned a break in the 10th game and held for 6-5, before earning another break to seal the straight-set win and give Florida a 3-0 lead.

Oyen battled back in her No. 4 singles match against Duke senior Elizabeth Plotkin, as the Gator freshman forced a third set after falling behind in the second after losing the first. She wasn't able to complete the full comeback and lost 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, as the Blue Devils closed the deficit to 3-1.

That's when Cercone, one of three freshmen in UF's singles lineup, stepped up and earned a huge break in the second set that was on-serve entering the 12-th game and defeated Mary Clayton, 6-3, 7-5, clinching the dual match victory.

Florida handed Duke (8-2) its only other dual match loss this season exactly one week ago, taking the 4-2 victory in Durham on Feb. 13.

The Gators are 44-10 all-time at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships, including the three victories over the last three days. Florida has won the National Indoor title six times, with the last championship coming in 1999.

No. 2 Florida 4, No. 6 Duke 1
1. #1 Will/Oyen (UF) def. Nze/Gorny (DUKE), 8-3
2. #30 Embree/Mather (UF) def. Fahoum/Mar (DUKE), 6-5 DNF
3. Cercone/Janowicz (UF) def. Plotkin/Zsilinszka (DUKE), 8-2

1. #7 Allie Will (UF) def. #38 Nadine Fahoum (DUKE), 6-0, 6-2
2. #36 Lauren Embree (UF) vs. #9 Reka Zsilinszka (DUKE), 5-7, 6-1 DNF
3. #19 Joanna Mather (UF) def. #48 Ellah Nze (DUKE), 6-2, 7-5
4. #86 Elizabeth Plotkin (DUKE) def. Sofie Oyen (UF), 6-4, 3-6, 6-1
5. #57 Rachel Kahan (DUKE) vs. #31 Olivia Janowicz (UF), 3-6, 6-2, 4-3 DNF
6. #40 Alex Cercone (UF) d. #42 Mary Clayton (DUKE), 6-3, 7-5*


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