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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. :)

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh 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:-)

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh 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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Local
Final
CREI 65
NCCU 45
 
Final
NCSU 68
SFLA 65
Final
MIA 94
CHA 93
Final
MIA 94
CHA 93
Final
MEM 107
LAC 91
Final
BOS 88
POR 94
4th
OKC 86
GSW 88
 
9:30pm Tonight
LAL
DEN
Final
GMAS 60
COC 61
Final
FSU 69
UMASS 75
Final
SHSU 53
WOFF 64
Final
UNCG 67
YOUNG 76
Final
CMICH 75
ARKPB 43
 
Final
ILLCH 60
SILL 67
Final
MORE 46
AMER 51
Final
CORN 59
DREX 61
Final
CCST 60
COOK 65
Final
ARKLR 94
CSNO 88
Final
LEH 44
CLMB 54
 
Final
USB 89
MERMAR 54
 
Final
NMU 51
TEXAM 64
Final
STLU 56
TAMCC 62
 
Final
FAIR 80
SD 72
Final
EMICH 79
LONG 48
Final
ND 74
PROV 75
Final
RAD 88
CATAWBA 52
 
Final
DEN 80
COPST 54
 
Final
UAB 58
JST 50
 
Final
WICHS 105
NWM 57
Final
OKLA 90
NWST 68
Final
KSU 59
YALE 66
Final
CREI 65
NCCU 45
 
Final
NCSU 68
SFLA 65
Final
UCR 102
STKAT 49
 
Final
PSU 63
USC 61
Final
HC 101
NICHOLSCOL 70
 
Final
BC 53
DAY 65
Final
MON 75
TOWS 79
Final
HOF 93
WAGN 71
 
Final
CIN 54
EILL 49
Final
UGA 74
FATL 61
Final
BRAD 58
NCAT 50
 
Final
LATU 76
PBY 48
Final
RUTG 76
Terriers 73
 
Final
SAMF 64
UMKC 55
Final
NAVY 70
BING 68
 
Final
SHU 85
GWEBB 67
Final
UNT 58
IONA 78
Final
KENT 86
MNTST 28
 
Final
FORD 57
MLOWELL 64
 
Final
UCF 76
USCU 69
 
Final
SCAR 63
AKR 68
 
Final
WVU 78
UCONN 68
 
Final
CALST 70
DEL 52
 
Final
HOW 78
HOOD 51
 
Final
OSU 106
SHU 48
Final
VANDY 78
TENST 46
2nd
NE 53
MAN 39
 
2nd
COLST 66
MERC 52
 
2nd
MISS 50
NARZ 48
 
2nd
WASH 49
PAC 38
 
2nd
LMU 72
SDCHR 51
 
1st
CHAR 14
MIAMI 12
 
1st
GAELS 14
UCI 11
 
1st
ILLST 12
ODU 2
 
10:00pm Tonight
UCLA
LBSU
10:30pm Tonight
SEAT
MONT
 
Final
WIN 2
STL 4
Final
NYR 5
MON 0
 
2nd
ANA 1
ARI 0
 
9:30pm Tonight
VAN
CHI
Final
HOU 13
CIN 22
Final
ATL 24
CLE 26
Final
NEP 34
DET 9
Final
MIN 21
GBP 24
Final
IND 23
JAC 3
Final
CHI 21
TAM 13
Final
PHI 43
TEN 24
Final
SEA 19
ARI 3
Final
SDC 27
STL 24
Final
DEN 39
MIA 36
Final
SFX 17
WAS 13
2nd
NYG 14
DAL 10