Monday’s showdown at the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center in New Haven, Connecticut, between No. 1 Florida and No. 2 North Carolina for the 2017 ITA Division I National Women’s Team Indoor Championship title certainly was worth the pre-match buzz.
A match full of twists and turns ultimately saw the Gators prevail 4-2, as freshman Ingrid Neel secured the championship-clinching point at No. 3 singles with a three-set victory over Jessie Aney 6-4, 1-6, 6-3. It is the seventh #ITAIndoors title for Gators, second-most in Division I Women’s history, trailing only Stanford (10).
The Gators secured the doubles point with victories at No. 3 doubles (Josie Kuhlman/Belinda Woolcock def. Rachael James-Baker/Chloe Ouellet-Pizer 6-0) and No. 2 doubles (Neel/Anna Danilina def. Aney/Cassandra Vazquez 6-2) to take the early 1-0 lead in the match.
Austin increased the Florida margin to 2-0 with a 6-1, 6-1 at No. 5 singles over Ouellet-Pizer. Sara Daavettila, the nation’s No. 3-ranked player, earned the first point of the match for the Tar Heels with a 6-1, 6-2 win at No. 2 singles against Danilina.
Kourtney Keegan’s three-set victory at No. 6 singles versus Vazquez 4-6, 6-0, 6-1 moved the Gators within a point of clinching the #ITAIndoors title. North Carolina’s Alexa Graham scored a 6-3, 7-6 (1) win at No. 4 singles over Kuhlman to score North Carolina’s second point of the match.
North Carolina’s Carter and Florida’s Woolcock split the first two sets in their No. 1 singles match, and Carter held a 4-0 advantage in the third set before their match was halted due to Neel clinching the contest at No. 3 singles.
To view complete results, daily video highlights and photo galleries, head to the Division I Women’s National Indoors event page.