May 12, 2013
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Junior Li Xi(Kunming, China) saved two match points during her match-clinching victory at No. 4 singles as No. 14 Virginia rallied for a dramatic 4-3 win over No. 18 Texas in the second of the NCAA Women's Tournament on Sunday (May 12) at Snyder Tennis Center.
The Cavaliers improve to 19-9 and advance to the NCAA Round of 16 for the third straight season. Virginia takes on Texas A&M on Friday, May 17. First serve at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex at the Atkins Tennis Center on the University of Illinois campus is set for 5 p.m. ET.
"I'm so happy for the kids, that's really what you think about," UVa head coach Mark Guilbeau said. "So happy they get to go and play another match and specifically, make the round of 16. We're going to prepare and be ready and have a great time going after it."
Texas captured the doubles point with wins at Nos. 1 and 2. Virginia won the first doubles match at No. 3 as Xi and senior Maria Fuccillo (Rockville, Md.) defeated Annat Rabinovich and Lina Padegimaite 8-4. Texas responded as Elizabeth Begley and Aeriel Ellis beat freshman Julia Elbaba (Oyster Bay, N.Y.) and senior Hana Tomljanovic (Boca Raton, Fla.) 8-2 at No. 2. No. 19 Breaunna Addison and Noel Scott clinched the point with an 8-4 win over senior co-captain Erin Vierra (Norwell, Mass.) and freshman Stephanie Nauta (Galveston, Texas) at No. 1.
Vierra tied the score at 1-1 with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Padegimaite at No. 5, but Texas gained a 2-1 lead as Addison posted a 6-2, 6-3 win over Nauta at No. 2.
Junior Caryssa Peretz (Cherry Hill, N.J.) tied the score at 2-2 with a 6-4, 6-2 decision over Lana Groenvynck at No. 6.
Tomljanovic gave the Cavaliers a 3-2 lead with a 6-2, 2-6, 7-6(4) win over Begley at No. 3 singles. Tomljanovic was down two breaks at 4-1 in the third set before rallying to force a third-set breaker. In the tiebreaker, Tomljanovic trailed 3-0 before winning seven of the next eight points to clinch her win.
Ellis tied the score at 3-3 with a 7-6(3), 7-5 win over Elbaba at No. 1.
After losing the first set, Xi was down a break at 4-2 in the second before getting the set to a tiebreaker. During the second-set tiebreaker, Xi saved match points at 5-6 and 6-7 before winning 9-7 to force a decisive third set. Like Tomljanovic, Xi also trailed by two breaks at 4-1 in the third set. Xi won the next three games to get back on serve and the set eventually went to a tiebreaker. Xi dominated the third-set tiebreaker, 7-0, to punch Virginia's third straight NCAA Sweet 16 berth.
"I told myself that I'm not going to lose this match," Xi said. "I'm just going to fight until the end. I tried to play well every point. I didn't think about the score. I just played."
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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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