Two North Carolina schools produced huge upsets Saturday at the fourth annual USTA Tennis On Campus Fall Invitational being played at Hilton Head Island's Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center.
N.C. State beat defending Fall Invite champion and ACC rival Duke 30-11 in the Round of 16 of the Gold Bracket, then downed James Madison 30-12 in the quarterfinal round to advance to Sunday's semifinals where the Wolfpack will meet Nationals finalist Florida. Meanwhile, North Carolina took out defending national champion Georgia 30-14 without dropping a set and winning two tiebreakers in the World Team Tennis co-ed format.
"We were there at Nationals watching them play in the final and I recognized a lot of their players when we got here," Tar Heels senior captain Megan Huang said in a release. "It was actually a little bit intimidating seeing them here and thinking, 'Wow, they're really good.' "
North Carolina will face 2011 Fall Invitational winner and last year's finalist Virginia in the other semifinal.
"I think we came in with a lot of fight," said Huang, whose team made the semifinals here two years ago and placed third, but did not play this event last year. "We cheer for each other and that helps a lot, especially during the tiebreakers."
N.C. State captain Nate Weiner credited the strong singles play of Justin Radloff as the key to the teams wins this weekend. "We've played Duke several times but this is our biggest margin of victory against them," Weiner said. "They are our conference rivals, them and UNC. We go at it pretty good with those guys."
Florida squeaked past Georgia Tech, 24-20, for a place in the semifinals.
"This is the first time we've played this event and it's great," Gators captain Adam Decker said minutes after teaming with partner Stephanie Cruz to win the mixed doubles in a competitive tiebreaker, 6-5. "It's like the fall nationals. It has the same feel as the Nationals. The matches feel just as important as nationals."
USTA Tennis on Campus Fall Invitational
Saturday at Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center
Round of 16
Florida def. Georgia College and State, 30-8
Georgia Tech def. Auburn, 30-19
Arizona def. Ohio State, 26-25
Virginia def. South Carolina, 23-20
James Madison def. Alabama, 25-23
NC State def. Duke, 30-11
Georgia def. College of Charleston, 28-16
UNC-Chapel Hill def. William and Mary, 30-9
Florida def. Georgia Tech, 24-20
NC State def. James Madison, 30-12
UNC-Chapel Hill def. Georgia, 30-14
Virginia def. Arizona, 22-16
Auburn def. Georgia College and State, 29-26
Duke def. Alabama, 27-19
William and Mary def. College of Charleston, 28-20
South Carolina def. Ohio State, 25-22
Tennessee def. Furman, 30-12
Georgia State def. Villanova, 23-18
Minnesota def. UNC-Greensboro, 24-15
Kentucky def. Colorado School of Mines, 28-18
Tennessee def. Georgia State, 29-16
Minnesota def. Kentucky, 22-21
Villanova def. Furman, 28-20
UNC-Greensboro def. Colorado School of Mines, 23-17
Dayton def. Ohio, 26-21
Wisconsin def. Old Dominion, 22-20
Vanderbilt def. Wake Forest, 26-11
Ferris State def. Pennsylvania, 24-23
Wisconsin def. Dayton, 28-19
Vanderbilt def. Ferris State, 25-16
Ohio def. Old Dominion, 21-15
Pennsylvania def. Wake Forest, 26-18
Final Pool Play Results
Kentucky def. Wisconsin-Madison, 29-17
Alabama def. William and Mary, 25-23
Virginia def. North Carolina-Greensboro, 29-15
Georgia College and State def. Ferris State, 27-16
Florida def. Vanderbilt, 30-8
Ohio State def. Furman, 30-7
N.C.-Chapel Hill def. Minnesota-Twin Cities, 24-23
South Carolina def. Old Dominion, 27-7
8 a.m.: Gold & Silver Bracket Playoffs
10 a.m.: Gold, Silver & Bronze Bracket Playoffs
10 a.m.: TOC National Fall Invitational Gold Bracket Championship Match