banner
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.

7 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • 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*

TV
  • SEC: Arkansas at Missouri

    Today at 2:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • HSFB: Football Friday with Tom Suiter

    Tonight at 11:35 on WRAL-TV

Scoreboard
Local
Final
UNC 78
UCLA 56
12:00pm Today
NCCU
EILL
 
7:00pm Tonight
NCSU
BSU
 
7:00pm Tonight
PIT
CAR
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
GSW
 
8:00pm Tonight
UF
UNC
 
8:30pm Tonight
TULSA
ECU
1:00pm Today
BOS
CHI
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
GSW
 
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
DAL
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
MIL
 
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
NOP
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
LAC
 
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
NYK
 
8:00pm Tonight
IND
ORL
 
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
SAC
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
PHO
 
10:00pm Tonight
POR
MEM
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
MIN
 
Final
TEXAM 17
LSU 23
Final
TEX 10
TCU 48
11:00am Today
WMICH
NILL
12:00pm Today
SMU
HOU
12:00pm Today
IOWA
NEB
12:00pm Today
SFLA
UCF
12:00pm Today
MARS
WKENT
1:00pm Today
KSU
AKR
1:00pm Today
BGU
BST
1:00pm Today
UMASS
BUF
1:00pm Today
EMICH
TOL
2:30pm Today
MIZZ
ARK
3:00pm Today
SALABAMA
NAVY
3:30pm Today
ARZ
ARST
3:30pm Today
AFA
COLST
3:30pm Today
UCLA
STAN
8:00pm Tonight
VT
UVA
8:30pm Tonight
TULSA
ECU
Final
TENN 64
SCU 57
Final
RMU 71
LAMON 54
Final
BUT 46
OKLA 59
Final
BRO 58
PEAY 79
Final
UTEP 62
PRIN 56
Final
CHAT 78
CCAR 67
Final
RIU 60
KU 76
Final
USCU 68
FIU 53
Final
GEOR 65
WISC 68
Final
USB 73
LIU 54
Final
XAV 82
SDU 71
Final
INDST 62
ILL 88
Final
WRST 62
CSFU 67
Final
STJOE 59
WKENT 62
Final
RIDE 45
MSU 77
Final
UNC 78
UCLA 56
Final
WMICH 55
LBSU 73
Final
GT 70
MARQ 72
Final
PVU 61
STEPH 73
Final
MERC 77
RICE 71
Final
UF 56
UAB 47
Final
WASH 78
SJST 56
Final
MEM 47
BAY 71
Final
UCSB 71
WASU 43
12:00pm Today
NCCU
EILL
 
12:00pm Today
KU
TENN
 
1:00pm Today
TEXAM
NO
 
1:30pm Today
NCAT
RAD
 
2:00pm Today
GEOR
BUT
 
2:30pm Today
BRO
PVU
 
2:30pm Today
RIU
SCU
 
2:30pm Today
NARZ
SOUTH
 
3:00pm Today
DART
MAST
 
3:30pm Today
WRST
FIU
 
3:30pm Today
XAV
UTEP
 
4:00pm Today
OSU
JMU
 
4:00pm Today
TXSOU
LAM
 
4:00pm Today
TAMCC
MVSU
 
4:00pm Today
AKAN
MIZST
 
4:00pm Today
BUCK
PSU
 
4:00pm Today
PROV
YALE
 
4:30pm Today
UGA
MINN
 
4:30pm Today
WISC
OKLA
 
5:00pm Tonight
Terriers
NORST
 
5:00pm Tonight
PEAY
STEPH
 
6:00pm Tonight
FSU
CSOU
 
6:00pm Tonight
VALPO
DRAK
 
6:00pm Tonight
CIN
MTST
 
6:00pm Tonight
SDU
PRIN
 
6:00pm Tonight
CSFU
USCU
 
6:15pm Tonight
WASU
RICE
 
6:30pm Tonight
GT
RIDE
 
7:00pm Tonight
TXPA
ALAST
 
7:00pm Tonight
NCSU
BSU
 
7:00pm Tonight
TCU
BRAD
 
7:00pm Tonight
WAKE
DELST
 
7:00pm Tonight
HART
EMERSON
 
7:00pm Tonight
STJ
GONZ
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLEM
HIGH
 
7:00pm Tonight
SYR
HC
 
7:00pm Tonight
MD
MON
 
7:00pm Tonight
JVST
SAV
 
7:00pm Tonight
MIAMI
SALA
 
7:00pm Tonight
RUTG
VANDY
 
7:30pm Tonight
PETE
TENST
 
8:00pm Tonight
MARS
CLST
 
8:00pm Tonight
JST
HOF
 
8:00pm Tonight
INDST
MEM
 
8:00pm Tonight
UF
UNC
 
8:00pm Tonight
LATU
SAMF
 
8:00pm Tonight
TULA
SELA
 
8:00pm Tonight
NEB
TENNM
 
8:30pm Tonight
MISS
CREI
 
8:30pm Tonight
PORT
MURST
 
9:00pm Tonight
MARQ
MSU
 
9:00pm Tonight
ARK
UNT
 
9:00pm Tonight
NCOL
STET
 
9:00pm Tonight
IND
UNCG
 
9:00pm Tonight
SJST
WMICH
 
9:05pm Tonight
MNTST
TXARL
 
9:30pm Tonight
UVA
LAS
 
9:30pm Tonight
STLU
MSST
 
9:30pm Tonight
COLST
PAC
 
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
NDAK
 
10:30pm Tonight
ILL
BAY
 
10:30pm Tonight
UAB
UCLA
 
11:30pm Tonight
WASH
LBSU
 
11:59pm Tonight
UCSB
MERC
 
Final
NAS 1
EDM 0
1:00pm Today
PHI
NYR
 
4:00pm Today
ANA
CHI
 
5:00pm Tonight
WAS
NYI
 
7:00pm Tonight
PIT
CAR
 
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
DET
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
MON
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
VAN
 
7:00pm Tonight
BOS
WIN
 
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
OTT
 
8:00pm Tonight
STL
EDM
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
MIN
 
Final
DET 34
CHI 17
Final
DAL 10
PHI 33
Final
SFX 3
SEA 19