No. 4 Tar Heels Fall To No. 1 Stanford In ITA Semis
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. --- No. 4 North Carolina saw its run in the ITA National Team Indoor Championships end at the hands of top-ranked Stanford, 4-0, Sunday at the Boar's Head Sports Club. The Cardinal won a tight doubles point before getting a trio of singles victories to advance to Monday's final against No. 2 Florida.
Stanford (8-0) took 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.
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. 21 Gibbs was first off, defeating No. 119 Durisic on court two in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1. No. 2 Barte took the opening set from No. 13 De Bruycker in a tiebreak before closing out the win at the top of the lineup, 7-6, 6-2.
No. 22 Burdette then put the Cardinal into the final with a hard-fought 6-2, 6-7, 6-1 win over No. 75 Featherston at No. 2.
McHale, Gina Suarez-Malaguti and Haley Hemm were all locked up in tight three-setters when the match was halted.
Carolina will resume its grueling non-conference schedule Feb. 26 when the Tar Heels visit Evanston, Ill., to face Northwestern for the second time in eight days.
No. 1 Stanford 4, No. 4 North Carolina 0
1. #3 Barte/Burdette (S) def. #6 Featherston/McHale (UNC), 9-7
2. Ahn/Gibbs (S) def. Durisic/Lyons (UNC), 8-0
3. De Bruycker/Stone (UNC) def. Tan/McVeigh (S), 8-4
Order of finish: 2, 3, 1*
1. #2 Hilary Barte (S) def. #13 Zoe De Bruycker (UNC), 7-6, 6-2
2. #22 Mallory Burdette (S) def. #75 Shinann Featherston (UNC), 6-2, 6-7, 6-1
3. Gina Suarez-Malaguti (UNC) vs. #20 Kristie Ahn (S), DNF
4. #21 Nicole Gibbs (S) def. #119 Jelena Durisic (UNC), 6-2, 6-1
5. #93 Lauren McHale (UNC) vs. #87 Stacey Tan (S), DNF
6. Haley Hemm (UNC) vs. Jen Yen (S), DNF
Order of finish: 4, 1, 2*