CHARLOTTESVILLE - The ninth-ranked Virginia women's tennis team dropped its opening match of the 2012 ITA National Team Indoor Championships, falling 4-2 to No. 12 Northwestern Friday night at the Boar's Head Sports Club. The Cavaliers (5-1) suffered its first loss of the season, while the Wildcats improve 4-1.
"Obviously the match didn't go the way we wanted it to," said head coach Mark Guilbeau. "Give a lot of credit to Northwestern, they have probably been focused on this match since last year [when Virginia defeated Northwestern at the 2011 NTI]. I know we are better than when we got the 4-3 wins over Tennessee and Texas last month in New York. The scoreboard doesn't always show that. We made some good adjustments and that is part of the big picture. In singles, we didn't have our best day, but I was proud of how we kept fighting."
The Cavaliers opened the match strong by winning the doubles point. Maria Fuccillo (Rockville, Md.) and Lindsey Hardenbergh (Fairfax Station, Va.) gave Virginia the early edge with an 8-6 win at No. 3 over Kate Turvy and Brittany Wowchuk. Emily Fraser (Rye, N.Y.) and Li Xi (Kunming, China) clinched the opening point with their 8-5 win at No. 1 over Linda Abu Mushrefova and Veronica Corning.
The Wildcats rallied in singles, winning three matches in straight sets to take a 3-1 lead. Corning topped Hana Tomljanovic (Boca Raton, Fla.) 6-2, 6-2 at No. 4, Nida Hamilton downed Fuccillo at No. 6 6-1, 6-3 and Wowchuk defeated Hardenbergh 7-6(5), 6-1 at No. 2. Virginia answered with Fraser's 6-0, 7-6(3) win at No. 1 to cut the lead to 3-2. Northwestern clinched the match at No. 5 where Abu Mushrefova scored a 4-6, 6-2, 6-0 win over Erin Vierra (Norwell, Mass.).
Virginia will continue play at the tournament in the consolation draw on Saturday. The Cavaliers will meet Georgia Tech at 6:30 p.m. Admission to the tournament is free.
#12 NORTHWESTERN 4, #9 VIRGINIA 2
1. Fraser/Xi (UVa) def. Abu Mushrefova/Corning (NU) 8-5
2. Tomljanovic/Vierra (UVa) led Hui/Hamilton (NU) 7-5 DNF
3. Fuccillo/Hardenbergh (UVa) def. Turvy/Wowchuk (NU) 8-6
1. #29 Emily Fraser (UVa) def. #26 Kate Turvy (NU) 6-0, 7-6(3)
2. #86 Brittany Wowchuk (NU) def. #30 Lindsey Hardenbergh (UVa) 7-6(5), 6-1
3. Belinda Nui (NU) led Li Xi (UVa) 5-7, 6-1, 3-1 DNF
4. Veronica Corning (NU) def. #85 Hana Tomljanovic (UVa) 6-2, 6-2
5. Linda Abu Mushrefova (NU) def. #75 Erin Vierra (UVa) 4-6, 6-2, 6-0
6. Nida Hamilton (NU) def. #76 Maria Fuccillo (UVa) 6-1, 6-3
Order of Finish:
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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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