ROME, Ga. - Freshmen Kate Daugherty and Esther Bowers picked up a huge win in the quarterfianls of the ITA Oracle Cup, defeating the No. 4 national seed of Vinaya Rao and Melissa Strome of Carneige Mellon on Thursday afternoon at the Rome Tennis Center on campus of Berry College.
Formerly known as the Small College Nationals, the ITA Oracle Cup has history dating back to 1986, and it is the only singles and doubles national championship event for the Division II and NAIA levels. This year, more than 8,000 players took part in a total of 60 regional tournaments to gain entry into the ITA Oracle Cup field.
After falling behind 4-1 in the first set, Daugherty and Bowers stormed back to stun the No. 4 seed and win the first set, winning five games in a row for a 6-4 win.
After exchanging the first four game in set two, Daugherty and Bowers earned a key break in set two to take a 4-2 lead. However, this time Rao and Strome responded by winning four consecutive games and forcing a third set.
In a third set tiebreaker to 10, it was all Daugherty and Bowers as they stormed out to a 7-1 lead and cruised to a 10-5 third set victory for the win over the southeastern regional champions, and into the national semifinals.
Daugherty competed in singles action as she took on a tough matchup in No. 3 national seed Ysabel Gonzalez Rico of Emory. Rico proved to be too much as she won in straight sets, 6-3, 6-0.
Daugherty and Bowers will have stiff competition in the semifinals tomorrow at 3:30 PM ET as they take on No. 1 national seed and defending National Champions, Eudice Chong and Victoria Yu of Wesleyan.
On the singles side, Daugherty returns to action tomorrow afternoon against Anna Maria Buraya of NYU at 11:00 AM ET.