March 25, 2006
The Virginia women's tennis team posted the biggest win in school history Saturday, upsetting No. 10 Duke 5-2 at the Boyd Tinsley Courts at the Boar's Head Sports Club. The victory is the first ever win for the Cavaliers against a top ten opponent, as Virginia upset a top 20 opponent for the second consecutive match.
For the fourth consecutive match, the Cavaliers (8-5, 2-2 ACC) took an early 1-0 lead by winning the doubles point. After the Blue Devils (9-4, 2-1 ACC) had won at No. 3 doubles, the Cavaliers drew even when the team of Douglas Wink (Greensboro, N.C.) and Rachel DelPriore (Williamsville, N.Y.) downed Melissa Mang and Jennfier Zika 8-6 at No. 2 doubles. The No. 15 ranked team of Kristen James (Clifton, Va.) and Lori Stern (Ojai, Calif.) clinched the opening point for Virginia with their 8-4 win over Daniela Bercek and Jackie Carleton at No. 1 doubles.
In singles, the Blue Devils drew even in the match when Mang defeated DelPriore at the No. 3 position. The Cavaliers retook the lead when Stern defeated No. 66 ranked Tara Iyer 6-4, 6-4 at No. 4 singles. Less than ten seconds later, the lead increased to 3-1 when Wink upset Bercek, the nation's No. 2 ranked player, 6-4, 6-1 at the No. 1 position. Lindsey Pereira (Arlington, Texas) clinched the historic win for the Cavaliers at No. 5 singles, where she downed Kristin Cargill 6-3, 7-6. James added a ranked singles win of her own, at the No. 2 position, where she downed No. 29 ranked Carleton 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 to make the score 5-1. In the final match on the courts, Duke's Jessi Robinson won a close match at No. 6 singles over Amanda Rales (Bethesda, Md,), 5-7, 7-6, 7-6.
The win marks the highest ranked opponent the Cavaliers have ever beaten, topping the previous record of No. 14 when Virginia downed Kentucky in 2003. The win was also the Cavaliers' first win over Duke since October 3, 1980, snapping a 32-match Blue Devil win streak in the series.
"We are so happy for the individuals on this team," said Virginia head coach Mark Guilbeau. "The way the team played today, and the way they have been playing, and most importantly the way they have been practicing every day, it makes matches like this almost a win-win situation. The team is playing really well and it is great to watch."
"It all starts in practice," adds assistant coach Troy Porco. "We have been working hard and it is good to see the team experience the positive results of the hard work.
The Cavaliers will have another chance to take on a top ten opponent on Sunday as they host No. 5 North Carolina. Match time is 11:00 a.m.
No. 43 Virginia 5, No. 10 Duke 2
1. #15 James/Stern (UVa) def. Bercek/Carleton (DU) 8-4
2. DelPriore/Wink (UVa) def. Mang/Zika (DU) 8-6
3. Robinson/Cargill (DU) def. Hammond/Rales (UVa) 8-5
1. Douglas Wink (UVa) def. #2 Daniela Bercek (DU) 6-4, 6-1
2. Kristen James (UVa) def. #29 Jackie Carleton (DU) 6-2, 3-6, 6-1
3. #122 Melissa Mang (DU) def. Rachel DelPriore (DU) 6-4, 6-3
4. Lori Stern (UVa) def. #66 Tara Iyer (DU) 6-4, 6-4
5. Lindsey Pereira (UVa) def. Kristin Cargill (DU) 6-3, 7-6
6. Jessi Robinson (DU) def. Amanda Rales (UVa) 5-7, 7-6, 7-6