NCAA Championships: Barry, Columbus State reach D2 men's final; D3 women's SFs set
The first final is set at this year's NCAA Championships, and it promises to be a good one on Monday evening at the USTA National Campus. On Sunday night, three-time defending champions Barry University and second seeds Columbus State booked their place in the Division II men's title match with battling victories against Valdosta State and the University of Indianapolis, respectively.
While Barry will be seeking its fourth consecutive and seventh overall national title, Columbus State will play for its second. The Cougars won their lone previous national crown in 2018 but were beaten by Barry in the 2019 and 2021 finals, either side of the COVID-shortened 2020 season.
Columbus State advanced to the championship match with a 4-2 win against UIndy, using a fast start in singles play to press home their advantage after claiming the doubles point.
"That was the best that I've ever seen us," said head coach Evan Isaacs, whose team won the opening set on four of the six singles courts. "But that's not sustainable. I knew Indianapolis was going to come back, and we talked about that. We talked about it last night that we know that they were going to come back, and we just kept fighting. We just kept in there."
Wins for Javier Cueto at No. 2, Pietro Martinetti at No. 4 and Armin Trklja at No. 5 clinched with win for the Cougars, who will play Barry for the title at 7 p.m. ET on Monday.
Barry continued its title defense with a 4-2 win against Valdosta State, avenging a regular season loss to the Blazers. After taking the doubles point with wins at the No. 2 and 3 positions, the Buccaneers clinched the match with three straight-sets singles wins. The singles points came from Allejandro Gallego at No. 1, Alessandro Giuliato at No. 3 and Tim Buttner at No. 6, with Gallego upsetting VSU's Luca Mack—the ITA No. 2—at the top spot.
Looking ahead to the title match, Barry head coach Thomas Hipp expects a match of razor-thin margins against Columbus State: "It's going to be a 50/50 match," he said. "They're going to be a good team. They are really loud and rowdy... and very energetic. They don't give in. They can handle the heat, too. We are also used to the heat. So I think it's going to be a super long match and it comes down to the details and who pulls off the close matches."
Undefeated Chicago charges into D3 women's SFs
The University of Chicago women extended their undefeated season to 22-0 with a 5-1 quarterfinal win against Carnegie Mellon University, a result that put the Maroons on the verge of a second straight Division III national final.
A rematch of the 2022 title match, also played at the USTA National Campus, could be in the cards with defending champs Claremont-Mudd-Scripps also through to the final four.
CMS defeated Amherst in a 5-4 thriller, coming back from 2-1 down after doubles play. With the match level at 4-4, Audrey Yoon ran away with the final set at No. 2 singles against Sophie Diop, her 6-1, 4-6, 6-0 victory keeping the Athenas' repeat hopes alive.
After a day off, CMS will face Emory University on Tuesday after the Eagles moved past Wesleyan 5-2. Tuesday's second semifinal will see Chicago meet Middlebury, who defeated Johns Hopkins 5-2.
For more information, including tickets, draws and schedule, visit the USTA's NCAA Championships homepage.