Women's Tennis Edged 4-3 By Top-Ranked North Carolina Cavaliers nearly pull off biggest win in school history
CHARLOTTESVILLE – The No. 34 Virginia women’s tennis team came up just short in its upset bid of No. 1 North Carolina, falling 4-3 Friday afternoon at the Snyder Tennis Center. The Cavaliers fall to 10-6 overall, 3-3 in the ACC with the loss, while the Tar Heels improve to 18-3 and remain unbeaten in ACC play at 4-0.
“It was a great college tennis match and both teams fought extremely hard,” said head coach Mark Guilbeau. “I am very proud of our team. We gave a great effort today and experienced the type of intensity and focus that will bring us to another level. The players did a great job of thinking through their points. Without question, some big wins are ahead for our team.”
The Cavaliers opened the match strong by winning the doubles point. Lindsey Hardenbergh (Fairfax Station, Va.) and Erin Vierra (Norwell, Mass.) recorded an 8-3 win over Sanaz Marand and Gina Suarez-Malaguti at No. 2 doubles. The opening point was clinched at No. 1 doubles, where Jennifer Stevens (Miami, Fla.) and Hana Tomljanovic (Boca Raton, Fla.) downed Katrina Tsang and Shinann Featherston 8-6.
In singles, the Cavaliers extended their lead to 2-0 when Hardenbergh cruised to a 6-1, 6-1 win over Tsang at the top position. The Tar Heels rallied for a 3-2 lead as Marand, Featherston and Suarez-Malaguti won at No. 2, No. 5 and No. 6 respectively. Virginia drew even at 3-3 as Vierra completed a 7-5, 7-5 win over Jelena Durisic at No. 3 singles. The dual match came down to the match at No. 4, where UNC’s Sophie Grabinski rallied from losing the first set and down 4-2 in the third set to defeat Tomljanovic 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.
Virginia returns to action on Saturday as it hosts No. 5 Duke, the reigning NCAA Champion. Match time is 1 p.m. at the Snyder Tennis Center and admission is free. Following the match, there will be a tennis clinic for youth 13 and under with the Cavalier players and coaches.