May 20, 2010

Athens, Ga. - The No. 11 University of Miami women's tennis team rolled past No. 5 Northwestern, 4-1, on Thursday, advancing to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Women's Tennis Tournament, housed at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga. The University of Georgia is the host for this year's event.

Miami (20-5) opened the match taking the doubles point, earning wins at the No. 1 and No. 2 positions, respectively.

Northwestern (23-7), the No. 6 seed in this year's tournament, took the first doubles match at the No. 3 line, using the team of Samantha Murray and Kate Turvy to power past Miami's duo of Danielle Mills and Claudia Wasilewksi, 8-1.

The `Canes, seeded No. 11 in this year's tournament, bounced back at the No. 1 spot, as the sixth-ranked tandem of Gabriela Mejia and Laura Vallverdu posted their 11th consecutive win, turning in an 8-5 decision over Northwestern's 59th-ranked Linda Abu Mushrefova and Lauren Lui. The UM duo moved to 25-5 overall, and upped their record to 14-3 in the spring.

The point was clinched for the Hurricanes at the No. 2 line. That's where UM used the strength of 36th-ranked Anna Bartenstein and Bianca Eichkorn to move past the Wildcats' Elena Chernyakova and Maria Mosolova, 9-7. The win allowed the Bartenstein/Eichkorn team to improve to 18-3 on the 2009-10 season, and move to 14-1 in the spring. Together on the courts, the UM duo has registered 10 straight wins at the No. 2 set.

In singles play, Miami struck first with the help of 84th-ranked Anna Bartenstein walking off the courts after turning in a 6-2, 6-4 defeat of Northwestern's Lauren Lui at the No. 3 position. The win allowed Bartenstein, a sophomore playing in her first-ever "Sweet 16" match, to grab her 30th win of the year--giving her a record of 30-6 overall, with a 20-4 mark in the spring.

The `Canes advantage stretched to 3-0 following seventh-ranked Laura Vallverdu's 6-2, 6-3 defeat of the Wildcats' 13th-ranked Maria Mosolova on court one. Vallverdu never trailed in the match, and collected her team-leading 31st singles win of the 2009-10 season. The win boosted her spring record to 19-5, and allowed the three-time All-American the 17th win of the year against a nationally-ranked opponent.

Northwestern cut into the deficit at the No. 4 position, where Kate Turvy picked up a 6-4, 6-2 straight-set win from Miami freshman Danielle Mills. The loss dropped Mills' season record to 20-14, and lowered her spring performance to 15-8.

With UM down a set at the No. 5 and No. 6 positions, respectively, the crowd flowed to court three where UM's 40th-ranked Bianca Eichkorn led the `Cats 41st-ranked Samantha Murray at the No. 3 spot.

Eichkorn took the opener, 6-2, and trailed in the second set, 5-4. She then held serve to even the set, 5-5. That's when a nearly 20-minute deuce point ensued, with Eichkorn trying all the while to break the serve of Murray, and move ahead in the match, 6-5. With a double-fault, followed by an unforced error charged to Murray, Eichkorn eventually outlasted Murray and broke her serve, taking the 6-5 advantage in the second set.

Serving for the match, Eichkorn quickly fell behind to Murray, 40-love. Eichkorn, a two-time All-ACC and 2009 ITA All-American, quickly rebounded to force deuce with consecutive points. She then took the advantage on the deuce, before clinching the match for the `Canes with the 7-5 victory. The win kept Eichkorn's winning streak intact at 24 matches, and moved her season record out to 28-4 (23-0 in the spring). She has not lost a match since Jan. 17, in the Michigan Invitational.

Miami sophomore Gabriela Mejia and Northwestern's Linda Abu Mushrefova were locked in a tight match at the No. 5 line, eventually going unfinished due to the match-deciding point for the `Canes on the strength of Eichkorn. Mejia dropped the opening set, 6-2, but rebounded to lay claim to a 6-2 victory of her own in the second. Mejia led Mushrefova in the third, 2-0.

In No. 6 play, UM senior Claudia Wasilewski trailed the Wildcats' Stacey Lee, 7-5, 3-2.

With today's victory, UM women's tennis head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews picked up her sixth 20-win season in what is now her ninth year guiding the Hurricanes women's program. It serves as the sixth 20-win campaign since 2004 overall for Miami, while this is also the fourth time UM is advancing to the NCAA Quarterfinals in the past five seasons.

Last season, Miami advanced past UCLA, and rolled into the NCAA Quarterfinals, before falling to eventual national champion Duke.

Miami will now face the tournament's No. 3 seed, and third-ranked team nationally, the University of Florida in the NCAA Quarterfinals on Sat., May 22, in a match slated for a 1 p.m. start. The match will take place on the main grandstand courts at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.

There will be links to live scoring and live video of each match played at the NCAA Tournament Central page here: http://www.ncaa.com/sports/c-tennis/champpage/c-tennis-div1-index.html. That also includes live video of each match of the singles and doubles tournaments. If rain forces play to move indoors, then there will not be live video, and only live scoring.

No. 11 Miami 4, No. 5 Northwestern 1
NCAA Championships (Round of 16)
May 20, 2010
Dan Magill Tennis Complex (Athens, Ga.)
Attendance: 811

Singles
1. #7 Laura Vallverdu (UM) def. #13 Maria Mosolova (NU) 6-2, 6-3
2. #40 Bianca Eichkorn (UM) def. #41 Samantha Murray (NU) 6-2, 7-5
3. #84 Anna Bartenstein (UM) def. Lauren Lui (NU) 6-2, 6-4
4. Kate Turvy (NU) def. Danielle Mills (UM) 6-4, 6-2
5. Linda Abu Mushrefova (NU) vs. #113 Gabriela Mejia (UM) 6-2, 2-6, 0-2, unfinished
6. Stacey Lee (NU) vs. Claudia Wasilewski (UM) 5-7, 3-2, unfinished
Order of Finish: (3, 1, 4, 2*)
* Clinched match

Doubles
1. #6 Gabriela Mejia/Laura Vallverdu (UM) def. #59 Linda Abu Mushrefova/Lauren Lui (NU) 8-5
2. #36 Anna Bartenstein/Bianca Eichkorn (UM) def. Elena Chernyakova/Maria Mosolova (NU) 9-7
3. Samantha Murray/Kate Turvy (NU) def. Danielle Mills/Claudia Wasilewski (UM) 8-1
Order of Finish: (3, 1, 2*)