COLUMBUS, Ohio The No. 29 Virginia women’s tennis team improved to 4-1 on the season as it won 4-3 at No. 31 Ohio State on Friday. For the second time this season, Neela Vaez (Perrysburg, Ohio) won a decisive last match on the courts to give the Cavaliers a victory.
"It looks like 4-3 is going to be the theme for us this season," said head coach Mark Guilbeau. "It is great that we are working hard enough and competing hard enough to earn our share of victories in these type of matches. This team has shown a great willingness to make adjustments and additions to their games and much of it was applied in this match."
The Cavaliers jumped out to a 1-0 lead by winning the doubles point. Amanda Rales (Bethesda, Md.) and Vaez topped Julie Blackmore and Paloma Escobedo 8-2 at No. 2 doubles. After the Buckeyes won at No. 3 doubles, Emily Fraser (Rye, N.Y.) and Jennifer Stevens (Miami, Fla.) downed Christina Keesey and Kirsten Flower 8-5 at No. 1 doubles to clinch the opening point for the Cavaliers.
In singles, the Buckeyes drew even as Angela DiPastina topped Karoline Steiro (Oslo, Norway) 6-4, 6-3 at No. 5 singles. Virginia retook the lead, 2-1, as Fraser defeated Cami Hubbs 6-2, 7-5 at the No. 3 position. The Buckeyes drew even again as Flower topped Stevens 6-4, 6-3 at No. 1 singles. Lindsey Hardenbergh (Fairfax Station, Va.) gave the Cavaliers the lead at 3-2 as she downed Blackmore 6-3, 6-2 at the No. 4 position. Ohio State would tie the match once more, at 3-3, when Escobedo defeated Rales 6-3, 6-4 at No. 2 singles. The match would be decided at No. 6 singles, where Vaez rallied from losing the first set to win the second against Keesey. In the third set, Vaez won 7-5 to win the deciding match 5-7, 6-3, 7-5. Vaez also won the last match on to give Virginia a 4-3 win over No. 25 TCU two weeks earlier.
"I am so proud of the team, and Neela in particular, for their effort today," said Guilbeau. "It was a fun match played in a great atmosphere. Ohio State is a great team and we have the utmost respect for their program."
Virginia will resume its road trip on Sunday as they visit No. 22 Tennessee. The Cavaliers lost to the Lady Vols 5-2 last weekend in an ITA National Indoor qualifier in Coral Gables, Fla.
No. 29 Virginia 4, No. 31 Ohio State 3
1. #32 Fraser/Stevens (UVa) def. Keesey/Flower (OSU) 8-5
2. Rales/Vaez (UVa) def. Blackmore/Escobedo (OSU) 8-2
3. DiPastina/Hubbs (OSU) def. Steiro/Yahner (UVa) 8-5
1. Kirsten Flower (OSU) def. #42 Jennifer Stevens (UVa) 6-4, 6-3
2. Paloma Escobedo (OSU) def. Amanda Rales (UVa) 6-3, 6-4
3. #82 Emily Fraser (UVa) def. Cami Hubbs (OSU) 6-2, 7-5
4. Lindsey Hardenbergh (UVa) def. Julie Blackmore (OSU) 6-3, 6-2
5. Angela DiPastina (OSU) def. Karoline Steiro (UVa) 6-4, 6-3
6. Neela Vaez (UVa) def. Christina Keesey (OSU) 5-7, 6-3, 7-5
Order of Finish