No. 12 Tigers Fall in Final Eight to No. 2 Florida
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – A day after completing a huge comeback against No. 7 UCLA, the No. 12 Tiger women’s tennis team didn’t have enough in the tank to overcome the deficit against No. 2 Florida in the Final Eight of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships. The Gators (9-0) ousted the Tigers (9-2), 4-0, on Saturday at the Boars Head Sports Club in Charlottesville, VA.
The match featured the nation’s top two doubles teams, as Florida’s Allie Will and Sofie Oyen checked in at no. 1, and Clemson’s Josipa Bek and Keri Wong at no. 2. Will and Oyen won the most recent matchup in the finals of the ITA Individual Indoor Championships in November, but Bek and Wong earned the upset in dual match action, an 8-4 win at flight one. It was Bek and Wong’s second win over a top-ranked team this school year, and they improved to 20-5 on the season together.
The Gators took the doubles point, but not until after a fight from the Tigers. Florida won at flight two, and Bek and Wong took the flight one match to send the decision to flight three. Florida’s Cercone and Janowicz defeated Clemson’s freshman pair of Klara Vyskocilova and Maria Belaya, 8-3, to earn the doubles point.
Florida got momentum going quickly in singles, as No. 31 Olivia Janowicz defeated Belaya, 6-2, 6-2 at flight five, and No. 7 Allie Will snapped No. 14 Josipa Bek’s 11-match winning streak with a 6-3, 6-2 win at flight one.
The Tigers forced a third set at flights two, four, and six, and Ciolkowski led her match at flight four, 7-6, 2-2 over Sofie Oyen whe play was halted. While Vyskocilova battled with No. 40 Alex Cercone in the third set, and Caroline Magnusson bounced back from a 6-1 first set loss to win the second 6-4, and grabbed the first game in the third set. Overall, Clemson led at flights three, four, and six, when No. 36 Lauren Embree defeated No. 37 Keri Wong, 7-5, 1-6, 6-2 to put an end to Clemson’s second straight comeback bid.
It was the first time in the five seasons of the ITA National Team Indoor Tournament that Clemson has advanced to the Final Eight. The Tigers will play in a consolation match on Sunday, with time and opponent to be determined.
No. 2 Florida (9-0) def. No 12 Clemson (9-2), 4-0
ITA National Team Indoor – Round of 8 – Feb. 18, 2011
1. #2 Bek/Wong (CU) def. #1 Will/Oyen (UF), 8-4
2. Embree/Hitimana (UF) def. Magnusson/Ciolkowski (CU), 8-1
3. Cercone/Janowicz (UF) def. Belaya/Vyskocilova (CU), 8-3
Order of Finish: 2,1,3
1. #7 Allie Will (UF) def. #14 Josipa Bek (CU), 6-3, 6-2
2. #36 Lauren Embree (UF) def. #37 Keri Wong (CU), 7-5, 1-6, 6-2
3. Nelly Ciolkowski (CU) led Sofie Oyen (UF), 7-6,2-2 DNF
4. Klara Vyskocilova (CU) led #40 Alex Cercone (UF), 6-4, 3-6, 3-2 DNF
5. #31 Olivia Janowicz (UF) def. Maria Belaya (CU), 6-2, 6-2
6. Caroline Magnusson (CU) led Caroline Hitimana (UF), 1-6, 6-4, 1-0 DNF
Order of Finish: 5,1,2 Did Not Finish: 3,4,6