In Friday’s NCAA Semifinals in Orlando, Fla., the season got here to an finish for No. 7 Stanford ladies’s tennis (25-3, 10-0 PAC 12) as No. 3 NC State (28-4, 10-3 ACC) defeated the Cardinal 4-0.
Stanford fell behind early, dropping the doubles level for the primary time in 15 matches. Thereafter, the Cardinal had alternatives to grind out a victory in singles, however the Wolfpack decisively shut the door for the win.
In doubles, the Cardinal’s first pair, No. 16-ranked senior Angelica Blake and freshman Alexis Blokhina, was by no means in rivalry towards the Wolfpack’s lead workforce of No. 4 Diana Shnaider and Alana Smith. Down 5-2, Blake and Blokhina misplaced their set 6-3 with Shnaider dominating her service video games, a portent of what was to return. Blake and Blokhina beforehand had been 6-0 towards ranked opponents. Subsequent, on courtroom two, graduate pupil Sara Choy and sophomore Alexandra Yepifanova engineered a powerful win over No. 9 Nell Miller and Amelia Rajecki. From 0-2 down they received the set 6-3. Choy and Yepifanova’s victory was towards their highest ranked opponents this season.
Sadly, the Cardinal couldn’t construct on that win. On courtroom three, Stanford’s sophomore tandem of Connie Ma and Valencia Xu, who had received 12 consecutive matches, couldn’t dig out from an early deficit and misplaced 6-2 to Sophie Abrams and Abigail Rencheli, securing the doubles level for the Wolfpack.
After the singles commenced, one other level quickly went NC State’s means. The Cardinal’s No. 29 Yepifanova was overcome by No. 7 Shnaider 6-1, 6-0. Shnaider, who’s at present No. 104 on the planet tennis rankings, employed her highly effective and well-placed serves and all-court sport to dominate the encounter.
With the Wolfpack two factors from victory, the Cardinal resistance stiffened. On courtroom three, No. 44 Blake was concerned in a back-and-forth battle towards No 26 Rajecki. Blake was forward early and served for the primary set at 5-3 however couldn’t maintain. Then she fell behind 5-6 earlier than night the rating. Within the ensuing tiebreaker Blake was down 5-2 earlier than charging again to win it 7-5. Enjoying within the fourth slot No. 84 Blokhina, displaying wonderful courtroom protection, jumped out to a 3-0 lead towards No. 87 Rencheli and held on to win the primary set, 7-5. Xu, on courtroom 5, reeled off 4 straight video games to take her first set 6-3.
Within the meantime, No. 18 Ma, within the second place, got here again from 2-4 towards No. 13 Smith to tie her first set at 5 earlier than dropping it 7-5. Then Ma mounted a livid comeback in her second set. Displaying her grit, she stormed again from 0-5 to tie the set at 5, saving 4 match factors within the course of. On courtroom six, Choy, who had misplaced her first set 6-3, was forward 3-0 within the second towards the Wolfpack’s Gina Dittmann.
At this juncture, it appeared that the Cardinal had a preventing probability to tug out a victory. But it surely was to not be. Ma’s comeback fell quick and he or she misplaced the second set 7-5, bringing the Wolfpack to inside one level of a win. Quickly after, Choy took her second set right into a tiebreaker however was down all through, with Dittmann successful a lot of the lengthy rallies and besting Choy 6-3, 7-6, gaining the Wolfpack’s clinching level. It was the ultimate match of Choy’s illustrious Stanford tennis profession.
Within the different matches, Blake was coming into a 3rd set after dropping the second 6-4. Xu misplaced her second set 7-5 after getting back from 2-4 and was starting her third set when the match was known as. Blokhina was forward in her second set 5-3 and appeared headed to a straight-set victory as the competition ended.
4 Cardinal gamers will stay in Orlando for this week’s NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships. Blake will play in singles and doubles, Yepifanova and Ma shall be within the singles draw and Blokhina will play within the doubles.