The final pairing is set for the 2008 NCAA Women’s Tennis Singles Championships. Top-seed Siobhan Finicane of Pomona-Pitzer prevailed over Grace Baljon of Williams 6-4, 6-0, while fifth-seed Cary Gibson of Williams defeated Meghan McCooey of Tufts 6-3, 6-2. Finicane faced Gibson during the team competition, in which both players split the first two sets and Gibson led the third set 4-3 when play was halted.
Finicane and Baljon were 2-2 in the first set, when Finicane won the next three games to go up 5-2. However, Baljon battled back to win the next two service games to tighten the match 5-4. Finicane and Baljon exchanged the first two points on Finicane’s serve before she won the next two points to win the set 6-4.
Baljon went up 30-0 in the first game of the second set, but Finicane took the next four points to break serve and go up 1-0. Finicane won the next five games to win the match and punch her ticket for the final. Finicane was a semifinalist in the 2007 championships, and lost to eventual national champion Liz Bondi. The last singles champion to come from Pomona-Pitzer was Claire Turchi in 1994.
Cary Gibson got out to a quick 5-1 start in the other semifinal contest over Meghan McCooey. After settling down, McCooey rattled off two straight games to close the margin to 5-3. In Gibson’s next service game, McCooey fought off two set points to bring the game to deuce before Gibson won the next two points to go up one set 6-3.
McCooey got an early break in the second set for a 2-0 lead, but Gibson won the two straight games to tie the set at 2-2. McCooey led the next game 30-15 before Gibson rallied to break McCooey to pull ahead 3-2. Gibson went on to win the next three games to close out the set and the match. Gibson was eliminated in the second round of the 2007 championships by Jordan Hook of Wheaton. Williams has never had a NCAA women’s tennis singles champion.
Finicane and Gibson will face off at noon CDT on Sunday. The match will be webstreamed through the Gustavus website.