The No. 41 Virginia women’s tennis team remained unbeaten on the season, upsetting No. 25 TCU 4-3 Saturday afternoon at the Boyd Tinsley Courts at the Boar’s Head Sports Club. Neela Vaez (Perrysburg, Ohio) rallied from losing the first set at No. 5 singles to win in three sets to clinch the Cavalier victory in the last match on the courts.
“I am really proud of this team,” said head coach Mark Guilbeau. “This was a complete team effort. Every player, whether they won or lost, did a great job of battling and keeping our team momentum going through the match.”
The Cavaliers (2-0) opened the match by sweeping the three doubles matches to take a 1-0 lead. Vaez and Amanda Rales (Bethesda, Md.) defeated Gaby Mastromarino and Nina Munch-Soegaard 8-4 at No. 2 doubles. At No. 1 doubles, Emily Fraser (Rye, N.Y.) and Jennifer Stevens (Miami, Fla.) defeated Anna Sydorska and Macall Harkins 8-5 to clinch the opening point. Lindsey Hardenbergh (Fairfax Station, Va.) and Maggie Yahner (Las Vegas, Nev.) completed the doubles sweep with their 8-4 win over Kayla Duncan and Katariina Tuohimaa at the No. 3 position.
“We are so pleased and impressed with the quality of doubles,” said Guilbeau. “Each of the six players was executing at a high level and together as pairs, they were working extremely well to be as effective as possible. That is a very encouraging step forward for this team.”
In singles, the Cavaliers extended their lead to 2-0 as Hardenbergh cruised to a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Sydorska at No. 3 singles. The Horned Frogs (0-1) rallied to tie the score at 2-2 as Munch-Soegaard defeated Stevens 6-4, 6-4 at No. 1 singles and Idunn Hertzberg topped Yahner 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 at No. 6 singles. Virginia retook the lead, 3-2, as Rales topped Tuohimaa 6-4, 7-5 at the No. 4 position. TCU drew even at 3-3 as Harkins defeated Fraser 6-1, 5-7, 6-4 at No. 2 singles. The dual match came down to the match at No. 5 where Vaez lost the first set to Mastromarino 7-6 but took the second set 6-4. Vaez won the decisive set 6-2 to give Virginia the 4-3 win.
“TCU came out in singles strong and turned the match around, almost in their favor,” said Guilbeau. “To fight through that will help us. We were able to stay composed, battle through it, and pick up a hard fought victory.”
Virginia will travel to Coral Gables, Fla. next weekend for play in a regional for the ITA National Team Indoor Championships. The Cavaliers play Tennessee on Saturday and either Miami or Utah on Sunday. No. 41 Virginia 4, No. 25 TCU 3
1. #32 Fraser/Stevens (UVa) def. Sydorska/Harkins (TCU) 8-5
2. Rales/Vaez (UVa) def. Mastromarino/Munch-Soegaard (TCU) 8-4
3. Hardenbergh/Yahner (UVa) def. Duncan/Tuohimaa (TCU) 8-4
1. #12 Nina Munch-Soegaard (TCU) def. #42 Jennifer Stevens (UVa) 6-4, 6-4
2. #49 Macall Harkins (TCU) def. #82 Emily Fraser (UVa) 6-1, 5-7, 6-4
3. Lindsey Hardenbergh (UVa) def. Anna Sydorska (TCU) 6-1, 6-0
4. Amanda Rales (UVa) def. Katariina Tuohimaa (TCU) 6-4, 7-5
5. Neela Vaez (UVa) def. Gaby Mastromarino (TCU) 6-7, 6-4, 6-2
6. Idunn Hertzberg (TCU) def. Maggie Yahner (UVa) 6-2, 2-6, 6-4
Order of Finish