May 26, 2005
ATHENS, Ga. -
Coming off one of their most grueling matches of the year yesterday, Audra Cohen and Cristelle Grier advanced to the NCAA Doubles Semifinals fairly easily Thursday by knocking out William & Mary's Candice Fuchs and Megan Moulton-Levy in straight sets 6-4, 6-0.
The win sets up a semifinal match against Stanford's Amber Liu and Anne Yelsey Friday, May 27 for the right to play for the NCAA Doubles Championship on Saturday. Liu and Yelsey -- one of two Stanford teams in the semis -- defeated what head coach Claire Pollard considers to be the best doubles team in the nation right now: fourth-seeded Daniela Bercek and Riza Zalameda of UCLA.
"It will be a tough match tomorrow," Pollard said. "Liu and Yelsey are playing some really good tennis right now to be able to beat the team from UCLA. We need to minimize our mistakes and take advantage of every opportunity."
Cohen is the only player still alive in the both singles and doubles semifinals -- a first since 2002. Only two players have won both the singles and doubles titles in the same year -- Keri Phebus of UCLA in 1995 and Linda Gates of Stanford in 1985.
Thursday against William & Mary, Cohen and Grier turned in a nearly spotless match, highlighted by both players' return game.
In the first six games, each player held serve, bringing the set to a 3-3 tie. In the seventh game, Grier got surgical with her returns, as she rifled them deep into the Tribe's territory to keep them at the baseline. At break point, Grier pinpointed a return down the line to break Moulton-Levy and put the `Cats ahead 4-3.
The Tribe broke Cohen in the next game, but Grier responded in the following game with some tough volleys and nearly perfect return game. The `Cats broke again to go up 5-4. Grier then held serve to wrap up the first set 6-4.
William & Mary was simply outmatched in the second set. The Wildcats were on their game, breaking the Tribe in the first, third and fifth games, before Grier brought home the duo's 37th win of the season by holding serve.
"I don't think the length of the match matters too much at this point in the tournament," Grier said. "Everyone remaining is playing such great tennis. Still, after a long match yesterday, it was nice to have a pretty quick one
Tomorrow, Cohen will be given at least one hour of rest in between her 10 a.m. CT singles match and her doubles match to follow.
Live scoring and daily results are available at UGA's tournament website and the NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Championship page .
2005 NCAA Doubles Championships Quarterfinal Results
#2 Audra Cohen/Cristelle Grier (NU) def. Candice Fuchs/Megan Moulton-Levy (W&M), 6-4, 6-0
Cohen and Grier's Semifinal Match
vs. Amber Liu/Anne Yelsey (STAN) @ not before 11:30 a.m. CT Friday, May 27
** NCAA DOUBLES NOTES **
Audra Cohen is the only player still alive in the singles and doubles draws -- a first since 2002. In 2002, Stanford's Gabriela Lastra and Erin Burdette and Florida's Jessica Lehnhoff all made it to the semis in both singles and doubles. Only two players have won both the singles and doubles titles in the same year -- Keri Phebus of UCLA in 1995 and Linda Gates of Stanford in 1985.
Stanford senior Erin Burdette, one of the nation's top double players during her collegiate career, has advanced to the NCAA semifinals for the first time ever. As a freshman in 2002, Burdette and Lauren Barkinow were unseeded but advanced to the quarterfinals. In 2003 and 2004, Burdette and Barnikow were the top-seeded team in the NCAA draw but lost in the quarterfinals and first round, respectively.
Stanford's doubles teams of Alice Barnes and Erin Burdette and Amber Liu and Anne Yelsey both advanced to Friday's semifinals, marking the fourth time the Cardinal has supplied half of the final four teams in the draw. In 2001,
Stanford's duos of Laura Granville and Gabriela Lastra lost in the championship match, while Lauren Barnikow and Lauren Kalvaria fell in the semfinals. In 1996, Cardinal pairs of Julie Scott and Kim Shasby and Ania Bleszynski and Katie Schlukebir both lost in the semifinals. In 1990,
Stanford provided both teams in the championship match, with Meredith
McGrath and Teri Whitlinger defeating Sandra Birch and Debbie Graham, 4-6, 7-5, 6-2. Stanford now has supplied 12 doubles semifinalist teams in the 24-year history of the NCAA Tennis Championships.