In its first-ever home match in the NCAA Tournament, the Virginia women's tennis team advanced to the second round with a thrilling 4-3 win over Princeton Friday at the Snyder Tennis Center. The Cavaliers (15-9) will meet reigning champion Duke on Saturday at 4 p.m. for a trip to the round of 16.
"This win was a total team effort and I am extremely proud of this group," said head coach Mark Guilbeau. "We knew this was going to be a close, close match where a point here or there was going to decide it. I was pleased with how we rose to the occasion today."
The Cavaliers opened the match by winning a close doubles point, which proved to be crucial. Princeton (20-6) went up an early break on all three courts and recorded an 8-2 win at No. 1 where Taylor Marable and Hilary Bartlett downed Hana Tomljanovic (Boca Raton, Fla.) and Katie Gater (Dunblane, Scotland). However, the Cavaliers rallied at the bottom two positions. Lindsey Hardenbergh (Fairfax Station, Va.) and Maria Fuccillo (Rockville, Md.) drew Virginia even with their 8-5 win at No. 3 over Blakely Ashley and Monica Chow. With the opening point on the line, Emily Fraser (Rye, N.Y.) and Erin Vierra (Norwell, Mass.) completed an 8-6 come-from-behind win at No. 2 against Meilssa and Rachel Saiontz.
In singles, Princeton evened match at 1-1 as Bartlett topped Hardenbergh at the top position. Fraser gave the Cavaliers the lead again, 2-1, with her 6-2, 6-3 win over Melissa Saiontz at No. 2, only to have the Tigers draw even at 2-2 with Ashley's win over Gater at No. 5. Vierra's 6-2, 6-4 win over Rachel Saiontz at No. 3 gave Virginia a 3-2 lead with the final two matches remaining in the third set.
The Tigers tied the match at 3-3 as Chow rallied from dropping the first set to defeat Fuccillo at the No. 6 position. With the dual match on the line, Tomljanovic rallied from losing the first set and from down a break in the third set to top Marable 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 to send Virginia to the second round.
"Emily, Erin and Hana have come up big for us all season long and today was no different," said Guilbeau. "The fact that those players are two freshmen and a sophomore makes it even more impressive. For this young group, we had two sophomores and four freshmen in our lineup today, this was a great win to build upon."
Virginia will meet Duke in the second round on Saturday at 4 p.m. at the Snyder Tennis Center. The Blue Devils defeated Long Island 4-0 in the other first round match in Charlottesville. The match will be the final match of a NCAA Tournament tripleheader Saturday at the Snyder Tennis Center. Action begins at 10 a.m. with the first round match between the Wake Forest and Columbia men, followed by the Virginia and Navy men at 1 p.m.
No. 27 Virginia 4, No. 33 Princeton 3
1. #27 Bartlett/Marable (Prin) def. Tomljanovic/Gater (UVa) 8-2
2. Fraser/Vierra (UVa) def. M.Saiontz/R.Saiontz (Prin) 8-6
3. Hardenbergh/Fuccillo (UVa) def. Ashley/Chow (Prin) 8-5
1. #78 Hilary Bartlett (Prin) def. #50 Lindsey Hardenbergh (UVa) 6-0, 6-2
2. Emily Fraser (UVa) def. Melissa Saiontz (Prin) 6-2, 6-3
3. Erin Vierra (UVa) def. Rachel Saiontz (Prin) 6-2, 6-4
4. Hana Tomljanovic (UVa) def. Taylor Marable (Prin) 3-6, 6-3, 7-5
5. Blakely Ashley (Prin) def. Katie Gater (UVa) 6-1, 6-3
6. Monica Chow (Prin) def. Maria Fuccillo (UVa) 1-6, 6-3, 6-3
Order of Finish:
No. 10 Duke 4, Long Island 0
1. #32 Nze/Granson (Duke) def. Babic/Pavlovic (LIU) 8-0
2. #38 Gorny/Clayton (Duke) led Blessington/Sjogren (LIU) 5-3 DNF
3. #73 Plotkin/Zsilinszka (Duke) def. Elie/Lahens (LIU) 8-0
1. #47 Ellah Nze (Duke) led #121 Selma Babic (LIU) 6-1, 3-0 DNF
2. #81 Elizabeth Plotkin (Duke) def. Linn Sjogren (LIU) 6-0, 6-0
3. Amanda Granson (Duke) led Aleksandra Pavlovic (LIU) 6-1, 3-1 DNF
4. Monica Gonry (Duke) def. Taysha Blessington (LIU) 6-0, 6-0
5. Mary Clayton (Duke) def. Stephanie Elie (LIU) 6-0, 6-1
6. Jessica Stiles (Duke) led Dara Lahens (LIU) 6-0, 2-1 DNF
Order of Finish: