ATHENS, Ga. -
The Virginia women's tennis team had two players continue play at the NCAA Individual Championships on Thursday. Seniors Lindsey Hardenbergh (Fairfax Station, Va.) and Emily Fraser (Rye, N.Y.) were victorious in the first round of doubles, but Hardenbergh lost earlier in the day in the second round of singles.
Hardenbergh and Fraser, ranked No. 18 nationally, defeated No. 42 Millie Nichols and Olivia Smith of TCU 6-2, 7-6(3) in the doubles first round. In singles, Hardenbergh, ranked No. 43 nationally, fell to No. 2 seed Beatrice Capra of Duke, 6-2, 4-6, 6-1.
In doubles, Hardenbergh and Fraser led 2-1, on serve, in the first set when they broke Nichols' serve for a 3-1 lead. They held that advantage until they broke Nichols' serve again to close out the set 6-2. The start of the second set mirrored the first, with the Cavalier duo breaking Nichols' serve for a 3-1 lead. However, the Horned Frog team broke Hardenbergh's serve in the ensuing game to get back on serve. Both teams held serve the remainder of the set, including Smith saving two match points on her serve at 5-4, to set up a tiebreaker. The breaker was tied 2-2 before the Virginia team won five of the next six points to seal the 6-2, 7-6(3) win. Hardenbergh and Fraser will play No. 10 Natalie Pluskota and Kata Szekely of Tennessee in the second round. The Lady Vol duo upset third-seeded Shinann Featherston and Lauren McHale of North Carolina in the first round.
"It took a little bit of getting used to," said Fraser about teaming with Hardenbergh for the first time in nearly a month. "I know any time I play with Lindsey, I know we will have a great effort out there. Even though we haven't practiced much recently, we have played enough this year to be comfortable as a team. We played well today and I am confident about our chances to keep advancing."
In singles, Hardenbergh lost in three sets to Capra, the ACC Player of the Year, becoming just the second ACC player to win a set off Capra this season. In the first set, Capra broke Hardenbergh's serve twice to take a 3-0 lead, but Hardenbergh rebounded to win the next two games to get back to 3-2. Capra answered by winning the next three games to win the first set. Capra broke Hardenbergh's serve to open the second set too, taking a 2-0 lead, but Hardenbergh drew even at 2-all. The set remained on serve until Hardenbergh broke for a 5-3 lead. She was broken by Capra as she served for the set, but broke back again to take the set 6-4. Capra jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the third set and won it 6-1 to complete the three-set win.
Hardenbergh ends her Cavalier singles career with a school-record 127 wins. Her three career NCAA Singles Championship victories are also a school record.