After knocking out the second overall seed in the quarterfinal of ITA Nationals tournament this weekend, seniors Chema Carranza and Joe Dodridge were in uncharted territory. The talented doubles pair became the first players from Wisconsin to ever make the national semifinals.
Carranza and Dodridge played some of the best tennis of their careers over the course of the week, opening play with a dramatic 4-6, 6-3, 10-7 come-from-behind win against Florida in the opening round, and then downing the No. 3-seeded duo from Florida State 6-1, 6-4 in the Round of 16.
The pair’s victory against Florida State was especially sweet, as they had lost to this exact team in straight sets earlier this season.
"Joe and Chema were really excited to play this team again," assistant coach Scoville Jenkins said. "When they played them in Tulsa, they didn't play well and they came out like they had something to prove. They took it to them."
In the quarterfinal, Carranza and Dodridge dispatched the No. 2-ranked pair from Georgia, Robert Loeb and Jan Zielinski, 6-2, 6-3, to advance to the semifinal.
The seniors fought to the very end in a heartbreaking semifinal that they ended up losing 6-2, 3-6, 12-10 to No. 4 seeded Texas.
The loss ended an improbable run for Carranza and Dodridge that included winning nine straight matches, becoming the first team in UW history to win ITA Regionals, and becoming the first UW doubles team to ever win a main draw match at Nationals.