May 22, 2011
Stanford, Calif. - After falling in the deciding singles match against Duke in last season's NCAA Round of 16, senior Noelle Hickey enjoyed some sweet revenge on Sunday, as her three-set victory at No. 2 singles propelled the sixth-seeded UCLA women's tennis team to a 4-2 upset over the third-seeded Blue Devils in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships at Stanford's Taube South Courts. UCLA (22-5) moves on to Monday's semifinals where they will meet second-seeded Florida (29-1) at 4:00 p.m. The Gators downed Miami, 4-1 on Sunday.
"I'm very proud of my team," said UCLA head coach Stella Sampras Webster. "This Duke team is a tough team so we knew they were going to be very feisty and were not going to make it easy for us. We lost to them last year in the Sweet 16 and that was a tough loss for us. To be able to play them here and to now be in the Final Four, it's very sweet. We are ready to keep this going."
Similar to its round of 16 win over Virginia, UCLA came out firing in doubles on Sunday, clinching the point with wins at court Nos. 2 and 3. The Bruins registered a quick win at the No. 2 spot, where Noelle Hickey and McCall Jones downed Nadine Fahoum and Hanna Mar, 8-0. That win was quickly followed up by an 8-5 victory by Maya Johansson and Pamela Montez at court No. 3, clinching an early 1-0 lead for the Bruins heading into singles play.
With the doubles point in hand, UCLA moved out to a 3-1 lead following wins at court Nos. 1 and 4. Jones, ranked No. 57 nationally, upset the 39th-ranked Fahoum, 2-6, 6-2, 6-3 at court No. 1, while Montez pulled off an upset of her own, beating 72nd-ranked Elizabeth Plotkin, 7-5, 6-4 at court No. 4. The Blue Devils' lone point early in the match came at court No. 5, where Rachel Kahan downed Bruin freshman Courtney Dolehide, 6-4, 6-4.
Although the Bruins were just one win away from clinching the upset, Duke put up a strong fight. Mary Clayton made the score 3-2 when she downed Johansson, 6-0, 6-7(4), 6-3 at court No. 6, giving the Blue Devils some slight hope.
Things began to look even better for Duke when Reka Zsilinszka went up a break in the third set over Bruin senior Andrea Remynse at court No. 3. Zsilinszka would eventually go up 4-1 causing most of the pro-UCLA crowd to focus next door at court No. 2, where Hickey owned a 5-2 lead in the third set over Ellah Nze. Hickey would break Nze in the final game of the match, eventually taking a 7-6(4), 5-7, 6-2 victory to send UCLA into the semifinals for the first time since 2008.
It marks the fourth time in the last six years that UCLA and Florida will meet in the NCAA Tournament. The last NCAA meeting between the two teams was a 4-2 Bruin victory in the 2008 semifinals in Tulsa, Okla. UCLA went on to defeat Cal in the final that year. The Bruins and Gators also met in the round of 16 the last time Stanford hosted the NCAAs in 2006. Florida won that match 4-3.
#6 UCLA 4, #3 Duke 2
May 22, 2011 at Stanford, CA (Taube South Courts)
|1. #52 Kahan/Nze (DUKE) vs. #23 Dolehide/Remynse (UCLA) 4-4, unfinished|
|2. #24 Hickey/Jones (UCLA) def. #55 Fahoum/Hanna Mar (DUKE) 8-0|
|3. Johansson/Montez (UCLA) def. #90 Clayton/Monica Gorny (DUKE) 8-5|
|1. #57 McCall Jones (UCLA) def. #39 Nadine Fahoum (DUKE) 2-6, 6-2, 6-3|
|2. #41 Noelle Hickey (UCLA) def. #106 Ellah Nze (DUKE) 7-6(4), 5-7, 6-2|
|3. #20 Reka Zsilinszka (DUKE) vs. #76 Andrea Remynse (UCLA) 4-6, 6-3, 4-1, unfinished|
|4. #97 Pamela Montez (UCLA) def. #72 Elizabeth Plotkin (DUKE) 7-5, 6-4|
|5. #89 Rachel Kahan (DUKE) def. #77 Courtney Dolehide (UCLA) 6-4, 6-4|
|6. #83 Mary Clayton (DUKE) def. Maya Johansson (UCLA) 6-0, 6-7(4), 6-3|
|UCLA 22-5; National ranking #6|
|Duke 25-5; National ranking #3|
|Order of finish: Doubles (2,3); Singles (5,1,4,6,2)|