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No. 10 Virginia's Rally Falls Short at No. 16 Alabama

Rachel Pierson

Feb. 15, 2014

Box Score

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - No. 10 Virginia erased a 3-0 deficit, but lost 4-3 to No. 16 Alabama in women's tennis action Saturday (Feb. 15) at Roberta Alison Baumgardner Tennis Facility.

The Cavaliers (5-2) received singles wins from No. 4 Julia Elbaba (Oyster Bay, N.Y.), No. 107 Stephanie Nauta (Galveston, Texas) and No. 39 Rachel Pierson (Princeton, N.J.).

Alabama (5-2) claimed the doubles point with wins at Nos. 1 and 2. Mary Anne Daines and Danielle Spielmann beat Nauta (Galveston, Texas) and Maci Epstein (Winter Park, Fla.) 8-2 at No. 2 and No. 20 Maya Jansen and Erin Routliffe clinched the point with an 8-5 win over No. 3 Elbaba and Pierson at No. 1.

The Crimson Tide increased their lead to 3-0 as Luicelena Perez beat freshman Marie Faure (Toulouse, France) 6-0, 6-2 at No. 6 and Spielmann beat No. 53 Danielle Collins (St. Petersburg, Fla.) 6-1, 6-3 at No. 2.

Elbaba started Virginia's comeback with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Daines at No. 1 singles. Nauta made it 3-2 with a 7-5, 7-6 win over No. 62 Routliffe at No. 4 and Pierson tied it with a 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 win over No. 59 Jansen at No. 3.

Just as Pierson was making the team score 3-3, Epstein continued her own incredible fight back on court No. 5. Epstein trailed 2-0 in the third set, but fought all the way back to take a 5-3 lead and earned a match point vs. Zabor's serve. However, Zabor showed equal toughness and ultimately clinched the win for the Crimson Tide with a 7-2 score in a third set tiebreaker en route to a 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 win.

"Our primary focus is on the incredible fight and resiliency shown by the team and these players in coming back," Virginia head coach Mark Guilbeau said. "Credit to Alabama on grabbing a huge lead and ultimately not allowing us to take the win. It was a great college match and we are confident that this type of determination to fight back can lead us to an even higher level of effort and execution at all times. Although a very tough loss, we will learn from it and continue to build in a positive manner moving forward."

 

 

Virginia hosts top-ranked Duke on Friday, Feb. 21. First serve is set for 3:30 p.m. at Boar's Head Sports Club.

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Jeff White

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jwhite@virginia.edu

A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.

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