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North Carolina

Tar Heels advance past Duke in NCAA Women's Tennis

Posted May 22, 2010

ATHENS, Ga. --- North Carolina's Sanaz Marand topped Duke's Ellah Nze in a three-setter for the third time in 2010 and the second-ranked Tar Heels advanced to the national semifinals for the first time in program history with a 4-3 win over the 10th-seeded Blue Devils Saturday afternoon at the University of Georgia's Dan Magill Tennis Complex. Katrina Tsang, Gina Suarez-Malaguti and Zoe De Bruycker were also singles winners for Carolina, who will face No. 3 Florida in Monday's semis.

It was a dream start to doubles for Duke (22-7), as the Blue Devils got early breaks on all three courts and quickly led 4-0 at Nos. 1 and 2.

No. 32 Ellah Nze and Amanda Granson were first off at No. 1, as the Duke pair topped UNC's 13th-ranked Marand and Sophie Grabinski, 8-5. Nze and Granson led 7-2 before the Tar Heels won three straight games to pull back all but one break, but Granson served out the victory.

On court two, No. 31 Tsang and Shinann Featherston quickly righted the ship and were up a break at 6-5 after winning six of seven games. But No. 38 Mary Clayton and Monica Gorny got the break back on Featherston's serve and took the final three games of the match to give Duke the doubles point.

Jelena Durisic and Jocelyn Ffriend also rallied from an early deficit and were up 7-5 against Reka Zsilinszka and Elizabeth Plotkin on court three when the match was abandoned.

Just as they had done in the regular season win in Durham, the Tar Heels entered singles needing to take four of the six matches to advance.

No. 54 Tsang ensured Carolina (30-4) would not have to wait long to get on the scoreboard, as the Raleigh, N.C., senior dismissed No. 81 Plotkin in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3. The win was Tsang's ninth in her last 11 matches and her third victory this year in NCAA play.

Only one other match would not require the full three sets, as No. 34 Zsilinszka posted a 6-2, 6-3 win over Grabinski on court three to restore the Blue Devil lead.

From there it was a quartet of three-setters that would decide the third meeting between the two familiar rivals.

De Bruycker, who had not appeared in the UNC singles lineup since April 10, was slow out of the gate in her match against Duke's Clayton on court six. After dropping the opening set, 6-2, the Saratoga, Calif., freshman was nearly flawless in rattling off 12 of the final 14 games for a 2-6, 6-2, 6-0 win that tied the team score at 2.

Carolina got its first lead of the afternoon from its other freshman on court four. Suarez-Malaguti, who has now won a match in all four Tar Heel victories in the event, toughed out a grueling opening set in a tiebreak before running away from Granson in the second, 7-6 (1), 6-1. The rookie from Pembroke Pines, Fla., is now 16-2 on the spring and the win was her seventh of the year in the No. 4 position.

After Duke's Gorny outlasted Featherston on court five, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3, the match inevitably came down to the two seniors on court one.

No. 21 Marand showed no ill effects from the doubles loss as she stormed out to a 5-0 lead in the opening set. No. 47 Nze would not go quietly, however, as the veteran won three straight games to pull within two at 5-3. Marand would hold on to serve out the set, but it appeared the momentum had shifted in the latter part of the frame.

Nze then took the second set, 6-3, and for the third time in 2010, Marand and Nze would play a third set that would decide the dual.

Marand took the advantage to start, getting an early break to go up 3-1 just as the matches on the lower courts were concluding. Nze responded, however, winning the next three games to go up a break at 4-3.

Marand bounced right back, breaking Nze at love to make it 4-all and then securing a crucial hold to go ahead 5-4.

At 15-all, Nze appeared to break a string before sending a ball long to make it 15-30. After changing racquets, Nze committed an unforced error to bring up the first match point for Marand. The Duke senior spoiled the first match point, but at 30-40, Nze sent a ball just long and Marand and the Tar Heels celebrated their first win in the NCAA quarterfinals in four tries.

The victory means Carolina now faces third-seeded Florida Monday at 1 p.m. for a spot in the national championship match. The Gators (28-2) are one of just four teams to defeat UNC, as the SEC champions scored a 6-1 victory over Carolina in Gainesville in March.

The win also extends the Tar Heels' school record for single-season victories to 30, after Thursday's win eclipsed the 1980 mark of 28.

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  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 May 24, 8:00 a.m.

    Heh heh! No, I've just shown too much love to the Blue Devils lately. But they're the enemy, too. :)

  • StunGunn May 24, 4:16 a.m.

    Congratulations, Heels. Suck it, Blue Devils!

    — Posted by TruthBKnown Banned Again02

    ok, now thats just funny as hell coming from you :)

    — Posted by Rdi73162

    Yeah - maybe TBK is finally seeing the light (blue). Nah:-)

  • StunGunn May 24, 4:14 a.m.

    Congratulations, Heels. Suck it, Blue Devils!

    — Posted by TruthBKnown Banned Again02

    That's what I'm talkin'...........

  • Rdi73162 May 23, 3:42 p.m.

    Congratulations, Heels. Suck it, Blue Devils!

    — Posted by TruthBKnown Banned Again02

    ok, now thats just funny as hell coming from you :)

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 May 23, 3:41 p.m.

    Congratulations, Heels. Suck it, Blue Devils!

  • heelman73 May 23, 3:22 p.m.

    hooray for the tarholes. They FINALLY won something. Let's hear it for the lady tarho's tennis... View More

    — Posted by jackieflash42

    By "finally", I guess you mean since the two national championships we already won this year. Another failed attempt at a put down by the little girl from Raleigh. Why do you even bother to try, sweetie? You should probably just stick to making cookies and cupcakes with mommie.

  • jackieflash42 May 23, 4:43 a.m.

    hooray for the tarholes. They FINALLY won something. Let's hear it for the lady tarho's tennis team. Maybe ole Roy should coach the girl's team. *lol*

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 17
CLE 13
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
CAR
Final
TOR 118
NYK 108
3rd
CLE 71
MEM 66
 
6:00pm Tonight
MIA
BOS
1st
BRK 0
DET 0
 
6:00pm Tonight
SAC
LAL
1st
ORL 0
PHI 0
 
1st
WAS 2
PHO 0
 
7:00pm Tonight
MIN
IND
7:00pm Tonight
OKC
NOP
Final
UVA 76
HARV 27
Final
BGU 68
FERST 82
 
Final
ARMY 72
MAINE 69
 
Final
QUIN 60
ORST 52
Final
CLST 69
USF 65
 
Final
CARK 55
CCAR 72
 
Final
UWGB 66
ARKLR 46
 
Final
RAD 74
CORN 61
 
Final
UNT 62
CREI 58
Final
CAN 67
HC 48
 
Final
USB 67
GHND 52
 
Final
OKST 64
MD 73
Final
WINT 100
REIN 72
 
Final
UGST 68
SMISS 55
Final
NEOM 77
TXPA 72
 
Final
STLU 58
VERM 55
 
Final
UNCA 62
WCU 66
 
Final
EVAN 81
ALAST 63
 
Final
HART 82
FIU 69
 
Final
VALPO 82
GOSHEN 55
 
Final
LIP 69
PEAY 63
 
Final
DEN 46
BRY 48
 
Final
MONT 62
SD 67
 
Final
MTST 65
TENST 47
Final
SAMF 64
LAMON 50
 
Final
SCAR 78
COKR 52
 
Final
HAMP 75
NARZ 66
 
Final
SDU 71
SDCHR 61
 
Final
BC 71
USC 75
 
2nd
NICST 49
TROY 53
 
2nd
BRAD 47
UCI 51
 
1st
UGA 14
SHU 4
 
6:30pm Tonight
ALA
APP
7:00pm Tonight
KSU
NDST
 
7:00pm Tonight
WASU
SJST
9:00pm Tonight
UTEP
ALCOR
 
10:00pm Tonight
SEAT
SACST
 
1st
DET 0
COL 0
 
1st
EDM 0
DAL 0
 
7:00pm Tonight
BOS
BUF
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
CAR
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
TOR
9:00pm Tonight
WIN
PHI
Final
NOS 14
ATL 30
Final
HOU 25
BAL 13
Final
CAR 17
CLE 13
Final
CHI 14
DET 20
Final
TAM 3
GBP 20
Final
PIT 20
KAN 12
Final
MIA 37
MIN 35
Final
NYJ 16
NEP 17
3rd
STL 13
NYG 27
 
Half
OAK 13
BUF 10
 
3rd
DAL 28
IND 0
 
8:30pm Tonight
ARI
SEA