CARY, N.C. -
For the second time in five days, the No. 26 ranked Virginia women's tennis team had its upset bid of No. 8 Clemson fall just short as it suffered a 4-2 loss in an ACC quarterfinal at the Cary Tennis Park. The Tigers (22-4), who edged the Cavaliers 4-3 in the regular season finale last Sunday in Charlottesville, advance to Saturday's semifinals, while the Cavaliers (14-9) will now await an NCAA Tournament bid.
The Tigers took a 1-0 lead by winning the doubles point. Virginia got a win at No. 3 from Katie Gater (Dunblane, Scotland) and Emily Fraser (Rye, N.Y.), who topped Nelly Ciolkowski and Caroline Magnusson 8-6. But the Tigers got wins at No. 1 and No. 2 to take the opening point.
In singles, Virginia drew even as Jennifer Stevens (Miami, Fla.) topped Laurianne Henry 6-4, 6-0 at the No. 5 position. Clemson retook the lead, 2-1, as Josipa Bek defeated Lindsey Hardenbergh (Fairfax Station, Va.) in straight sets at No. 1. The Cavaliers tied the match again, at 2-2, when Gater completed a 6-4, 6-1, win over Magnusson at No. 6.
The final three matches all went three sets. At No. 4, Ciolkowski gave Clemson the lead again at 3-2 with her 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 win over Hana Tomljanovic (Boca Raton. Fla.). Keri Wong clinched the Tiger victory with her 6-3, 5-7, 7-5 win over Fraser at the No. 2 position.
"The result today was certainly not for a lack of effort or a lack of really good tennis," said head coach Mark Guilbeau. "You have to give Clemson a lot of credit. We are going through a process with a young team. This was the most intense and focused we have ever approached a match and I am so proud of that. As a coach, you understand that you need to approach more matches this way before it pays dividends. It is nothing but a positive and it is just the learning curve. We have played some matches at a high level of intensity and focus, but this was by far the greatest. I wanted this win so much for them. When you see them work so hard and play that well, you want it even more than normal."
The Cavaliers will return to action next month in the NCAA Tournament. The selection show is slated for May 4.
No. 8 Clemson 4, No. 26 Virginia 2
1. #9 Bek/Hadziselimovic (Clem) def. #26 Stevens/Tomljanovic (UVa) 8-5
2. Wong/Henry (Clem) def. #45 Hardenbergh/Vierra (UVa) 8-4
3. Gater/Fraser (UVa) def. Ciolkowski/Magnusson (Clem) 8-6
1. #19 Josipa Bek (Clem) def. #50 Lindsey Hardenbergh (UVa) 6-4, 6-3
2. #74 Keri Wong (Clem) def. Emily Fraser (UVa) 6-3, 5-7, 7-5
3. #121 Ina Hadziselimovic (Clem) led Erin Vierra (UVa) 6-4, 6-7(6), 5-2 DNF
4. #94 Nelly Ciolkowski (Clem) def. Hana Tomljanovic (UVa) 6-3, 4-6, 6-2
5. Jennifer Stevens (UVa) def. Laurianne Henry (Clem) 6-4, 6-0
6. Katie Gater (UVa) def. Caroline Magnusson (Clem) 6-4, 6-1
Order of Finish: