MADISON, Wisc. – Ashley Lahey is quickly getting the hang of this whole match-clinching routine.
For the second straight day the Pepperdine sophomore scored the decisive point in the match, as her three set victory over Vanderbilt’s Astra Sharma at No. 1 singles propelled the No. 4 Waves past the top-seeded Commodores 4-3 and into the ITA Division I National Women’s Team Indoor Championship final for the first time in program history.
“Every day we are building and getting better,” said Lahey. “It’s all just icing on the cake for all of the training that we’re putting in.”
Down 1-0 after doubles, Pepperdine jumped ahead 2-1 with wins at No. 2 singles (Mayar Sherif Ahmed def. Fernanda Contreras 7-5, 6-0) and No. 4 singles (Laure Gulbe def. Emma Kurtz 6-0, 6-3). Vanderbilt responded with wins at No. 3 singles (Christina Rosca def. Evgeniya Levashova 6-3, 6-4) and No. 6 singles (Amanda Meyer def. Adrijana Lekaj 6-2, 7-6 (3)) to move within a point of advancing to its first National Team Indoor final since 2002.
The Waves, though, responded with a three-set victory at No. 5 singles (Dzina Milovanovic def. Summer Dvorak 4-6, 6-3, 6-1) to even the match and set the stage for Lahey’s heroics.
While Pepperdine is making its first appearance in the championship match, North Carolina is making it an annual appointment. The No. 3 Tar Heels advanced to their fourth consecutive National Team Indoors final with a tough 4-1 victory over rival Duke on Sunday.
North Carolina earned the doubles point, but saw its lead vanish when No. 7 Duke’s Meible Chi topped Jessie Aney 6-2, 6-4 at No. 5 singles. Sara Daavettila moved the Tar Heels back out in front with a 6-2, 6-2 win at No. 2 singles against Kaitlyn McCarthy, and Alexa Graham bested Ellyse Hamlin 7-6 (3), 6-1 at No. 4 singles. Makenna Jones secured North Carolina’s fourth point of the match with a 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 win at No. 3 singles over Saturday’s hero for Duke, Kelly Chen.
“It was so exciting,” said Jones of scoring the match-clinching point. “I tried not think about it, but I knew it could come (my way).”
For updated draws, results, live scoring and video, daily video highlights and photo galleries, head to the ITA Division I National Women’s Team Indoor Championship event page. On social media, be sure to follow @ITA_Tennis on Twitter and Instagram and use the hashtag #ITAIndoors to join the conversation. Intercollegiate Tennis Association is proud to work with allies Tennis-Ticker on live scoring and PlaySight for live streaming.
#ITAIndoors Semifinal Results
No. 3 North Carolina def. No. 7 Duke 4-1
No. 4 Pepperdine def. No. 1 Vanderbilt 4-3