NC State 'takes revenge' on North Carolina to face Michigan in ITA semifinals

University of Michigan beat University of Virginia, to qualify for the first time at the ITA National Indoor semifinals

by Lorenzo Ciotti
NC State 'takes revenge' on North Carolina to face Michigan in ITA semifinals
© NC State website

The North Carolina State University women's tennis team advanced to the semifinals of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships, taking revenge on rivals University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill by beating them 4-3 in Saturday night's quarterfinals at the Nordstrom Tennis Center of Seattle.

With the victory, the Wolfpack prepares to face the University of Michigan, today at 3:00 pm. from the Nordstrom Tennis Center for a chance to participate in their first ITA Indoor Championship final.

The No. 5 University of Michigan women's team advanced to the semifinals of the ITA National Indoor Team Championship for the first time in program history, defeating No. 11 University of Virginia, 4-1, at the Nordstrom Tennis Center.

NC State beats UNC

In what was the first of two meetings this season and a rematch of last season's NCAA championship, it means the Wolfpack's fifth win over UN in program history, the last coming in the ACC championship last season. The Tar Heels entered the tournament having won the previous four ITA Indoor championships and had appeared in the finals dating back to 2014.

The comeback was led by seniors Amelia Rajecki, Sophie Abrams and Abigail Rencheli, who all earned singles victories to spur the comeback. Sophomore Anna Zyryanova took the match. Zyryanova beats Anika Yarlagadda 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (8-6). A two-and-a-half-hour battle saw the Sophomore fight off two match points to come from 4-6 down in a third-set tie-break to win 8-6 and clinch the match for the Wolfpack.

Rajecki tied the match at 1-1 after winning in straight sets 6-3, 7-5 over Fiona Crawley. Abrams reacted in the first set to win 7-6 (10-8) and then the second set 6-4. Rencheli won four straight sets to continue the Wolfpack's momentum, winning 6-3, and then again down three games to two in the second set, Rencheli rattled off four straight sets to win 6-3.

The Wolfpack's two singles losses came from Maddy Zampardo, who fell in three sets 2-6, 6-2, 2-6. Gina Dittmann had a chance to win for the Wolfpack in the third set, going up 5-3, but Theadora Rabman held off two match points to win 5-7, 6-3, 7-5.

They missed out on the doubles for only the second time this season, when Rajecki and Zampardo lost 6-4, while Broadfoot and Rencheli lost 6-3. The sixth-ranked doubles team of Abrams and Zyranova fell short of remaining undefeated on the season.

Women's singles

No. 10 Amelia Rajecki (NCSU) def. No. 28 Fiona Crawley (UNC) 6-3, 7-5
No. 40 Abigail Rencheli (NCSU) def. No. 8 Carson Tanguilig (UNC) 6-4, 6-3
No. 39 Anna Zyryanova (NCSU) def. No. 7 Anika Yarlagadda (UNC) 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (8-6)
No. 33 Sophie Abrams (NCSU) def. No. 62 Abbey Forbes (UNC) 7-6 (10-8), 6-4
No. 45 Theadora Rabman (UNC) def. Gina Dittmann (NCSU) 7-5, 6-3, 7-5
No. 34 Reilly Tran (UNC) def. Maddy Zampardo (NCSU) 6-2, 2-6, 6-2

Women's doubles

No. 11 CRAWLEY, Fiona / TANGUILIG, Carson (UNC) vs. No. 6 ABRAMS, Sophie / ZYRYANOVA, Anna (NCSU) 5-5 Unfinished
SCOTTY, Elizabeth / YARLAGADDA, Anika (UNC) def. No. 9 RAJECKI, Amelia / ZAMPARDO, Maddy (NCSU) 6-4
FORBES, Abbey / TRAN, Reilly (UNC) def. BROADFOOT, Gabriella / RENCHELI, Abigail (NCSU) 6-3

Michigan beat Virginia

Michigan girls Jaedan Brown and Kari Miller got the break they needed at 3-2 and rallied in the next game on Miller's serve. From there on out it was all Michigan as the Wolverines didn't lose another game winning 6-2.

The freshman pair of Piper Charney and Reese Miller put the finishing touches on doubles point, rolling to a 6-3 victory at No. 3. It was all up front for Michigan as the pair jumped out to a 5-1 lead. UM had two match points in each of the next two games but failed to convert. The Wolverines converted on their fifth chance, beating Virginia for the 6-3 victory.

In singles, the team split the first sets as Virginia took the first three spots and Michigan took the first sets.

Gala Mesochoritou extended Michigan's lead to 2-0 behind a 6-4, 6-1 lead. She used a break late in the first set to get the win and carried that momentum into the second set to clinch her second win of the tournament.

Lily Jones also moved to 2-0 in singles play at the tournament, extending Michigan's lead to 3-0 with a 7-6 (2), 6-2 victory. Jones earned the tie-break victory in the first, one of three first-set tiebreakers in the six matches. She lost just two games in the second set, leaving the court in straight sets to keep the scoreboard pressure on Virginia.

Virginia rallied a point to win first place. Michigan had an opening set in hand, with Virginia winning early sets as the path to victory came into focus.

Brown did the honors for Maize and Blue, recovering from a 6-1 defeat in the first set to record a pair of 6-2 victories. Brown never found his rhythm in the first set, but quickly put it behind her to get the split and head to a third set. She won four of the first five games in the deciding set and never looked back to put Michigan's fourth point on the board.

Women's singles:

No. 1 -- No. 41 Hibah Shaikh (Virginia) d. No. 9 Kari Miller (UM), 6-3, 6-4
No. 2 – No. 18 Julia Fliegner (UM) vs. No. 101 Annabelle Xu (Virginia), 6-7 (5), 4-4 abandoned
No. 3 – Jaedan Brown (UM) d. No.72 Sara Ziodato (Virginia), 1-6, 6-2, 6-2
No. 4 -- No. 124 Gala Mesochoritou (UM) d. Natasha Subhash (Virginia), 6-4, 6-1
No. 5 -- No. 57 Lily Jones (UM) d. Elaine Chervinsky (Virginia), 7-6 (2), 6-2
No. 6 – Piper Charney (UM) vs. No. 93 Melodie Collard (Virginia), 7-6 (4), 4-6 abandoned

Women's doubles:

No. 1 – No. 5 Jaedan Brown/Kari Miller (UM) d. No. 44 Melodies Collard/Elaine Chervinsky (Virginia), 6-2
No. 2 – Anna Ross/Lily Jones (UM), 7-6 (5) vs. No. 60 Natasha Subhash/Hibah Shaikh (Virginia), 3-5 dropped
No. 3 – Reese Miller/Piper Charney (UM) d. Annabelle Xu/Sara Ziodato (Virginia), 6-3

NC State University Of Virginia