Ladies’s tennis falls to NC State in NCAA Semifinals

In Friday’s NCAA Semifinals in Orlando, Fla., the season got here to an finish for No. 7 Stanford girls’s tennis (25-3, 10-0 PAC 12) as No. 3 NC State (28-4, 10-3 ACC) defeated the Cardinal 4-0.

Stanford fell behind early, dropping the doubles level for the primary time in 15 matches. Thereafter, the Cardinal had alternatives to grind out a victory in singles, however the Wolfpack decisively shut the door for the win.

In doubles, the Cardinal’s first pair, No. 16-ranked senior Angelica Blake and freshman Alexis Blokhina, was by no means in rivalry in opposition to the Wolfpack’s lead workforce of No. 4 Diana Shnaider and Alana Smith. Down 5-2, Blake and Blokhina misplaced their set 6-3 with Shnaider dominating her service video games, a portent of what was to return. Blake and Blokhina beforehand had been 6-0 in opposition to ranked opponents. Subsequent, on court docket two, graduate scholar Sara Choy and sophomore Alexandra Yepifanova engineered a powerful win over No. 9 Nell Miller and Amelia Rajecki. From 0-2 down they gained the set 6-3. Choy and Yepifanova’s victory was in opposition to their highest ranked opponents this season.

Sadly, the Cardinal couldn’t construct on that win. On court docket three, Stanford’s sophomore tandem of Connie Ma and Valencia Xu, who had gained 12 consecutive matches, couldn’t dig out from an early deficit and misplaced 6-2 to Sophie Abrams and Abigail Rencheli, securing the doubles level for the Wolfpack.

After the singles commenced, one other level quickly went NC State’s means. The Cardinal’s No. 29 Yepifanova was overcome by No. 7 Shnaider 6-1, 6-0. Shnaider, who’s at the moment No. 104 on the earth tennis rankings, employed her highly effective and well-placed serves and all-court sport to dominate the encounter.

With the Wolfpack two factors from victory, the Cardinal resistance stiffened. On court docket three, No. 44 Blake was concerned in a back-and-forth battle in opposition to No 26 Rajecki. Blake was forward early and served for the primary set at 5-3 however couldn’t maintain. Then she fell behind 5-6 earlier than night the rating. Within the ensuing tiebreaker Blake was down 5-2 earlier than charging again to win it 7-5. Taking part in within the fourth slot No. 84 Blokhina, displaying glorious court docket protection, jumped out to a 3-0 lead in opposition to No. 87 Rencheli and held on to win the primary set, 7-5. Xu, on court docket 5, reeled off 4 straight video games to take her first set 6-3. 

Within the meantime, No. 18 Ma, within the second place, got here again from 2-4 in opposition to No. 13 Smith to tie her first set at 5 earlier than dropping it 7-5. Then Ma mounted a livid comeback in her second set. Displaying her grit, she stormed again from 0-5 to tie the set at 5, saving 4 match factors within the course of. On court docket six, Choy, who had misplaced her first set 6-3, was forward 3-0 within the second in opposition to the Wolfpack’s Gina Dittmann.

At this juncture, it appeared that the Cardinal had a preventing likelihood to drag out a victory. Nevertheless it was to not be. Ma’s comeback fell brief and he or she misplaced the second set 7-5, bringing the Wolfpack to inside one level of a win. Quickly after, Choy took her second set right into a tiebreaker however was down all through, with Dittmann successful a lot of the lengthy rallies and besting Choy 6-3, 7-6, gaining the Wolfpack’s clinching level. It was the ultimate match of Choy’s illustrious Stanford tennis profession.

Within the different matches, Blake was coming into a 3rd set after dropping the second 6-4. Xu misplaced her second set 7-5 after getting back from 2-4 and was starting her third set when the match was referred to as. Blokhina was forward in her second set 5-3 and appeared headed to a straight-set victory as the competition ended.

4 Cardinal gamers will stay in Orlando for this week’s NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships. Blake will play in singles and doubles, Yepifanova and Ma will likely be within the singles draw and Blokhina will play within the doubles.