2006 NCAA TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS
Stanford University - Palo Alto, California
May 18-29, 2006
May 21, 2006-Day Four
First up in the morning on stadium court was Miami (7) vs. Southern California (3). The doubles matches were good, with each court having its own leader. By a mile it was Audra Cohen/Melissa Applebaum who took the first one for Miami over Dianne Matias/Carine Vemeulen (8-4), but the others were not quick to follow. It was awhile later before Luana Magnani/Lindsey Nelson got the second for USC, and even longer before teammates Judy DeVera/Amanda Fink would secure the doubles point. None of the singles were able to finish before the rain came, however, Miami had picked up the majority of the first sets, leaving the match running close for its Monday restart.
It was a "you had to be there" spectacular with the crowds overflowing the stairs, the balcony, and anywhere else they could find a spot. I was able to stay down by the courts and watch the action when -- at 2-1 Ohio State -- the Buckeyes shouted as Steve Moneke gave them a 3-1 lead. It wasn't long before the gap closed as Roger Gubser took one for Texas and all eyes followed the final two. Longhorn Travis Helgeson pulled the third set out from Bryan Koniecko to tie it all at 3-3 and it was all up to Dennis Mertens and Michael Reyes Valera, also in the third set. The semifinal berth was left to a third set tiebreaker. The Ohio State crowd cheered as Dennis had it up to 5-2, but as quickly as the lead came it was gone and Texas amazingly came back to win it 7-5.
I managed stayed on my feet in that hallway for four hours of great matches that continued for hours after that. In the end, it was No. 1 Georgia left to face No. 5 Baylor and No. 3 Texas to go against No. 2 Pepperdine in the semis. A near perfect seeding.
The women's matches were postponed until Monday, leaving the finals for both men and women to take place on Tuesday (the exact schedule has not yet been released). The forecast is looking a little better and the outlook in Taube Stadium at Stanford is certainly a bright one as four of the top teams in college tennis will take the stage.Until Tomorrow,
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