Cavs dominate VCU in first spring dual match
The No. 12 Virginia women’s tennis team defeated in-state rival No. 47 Virginia Commonwealth 5-2 Friday afternoon in Richmond. The dual match was the Cavaliers’ first of the 2013 spring season.
Virginia (1-0, 0-0 ACC) opened the proceedings with wins against the Rams (5-2, 0-0 Atlantic 10) on the first and third doubles courts. The No. 5 doubles team of senior Erin Vierra and freshman Maci Epstein took an 8-5 win in the No. 1 doubles category, while senior Maria Fuccillo and freshman Stephanie Nauta earned an 8-2 victory at No. 3 doubles. With the doubles point already secured, senior Hana Tomljanovic and freshman Julia Elbaba did not complete in their match at No. 2.
Leading 1-0 after doubles, the Cavaliers then took four of the six singles matches, with three of those wins coming from Virginia freshmen. No. 1 singles went to the fourth-ranked Elbaba when Ram’s sophomore Cindy Chala retired due to injury in the first set. Nauta and Epstein posted straight-sets wins at No. 2 and No. 3 singles, respectively. No. 43 Nauta downed No. 46 sophomore Salome Kvitashvili, VCU’s highest-ranked player, 6-3, 6-1. Virginia co-captain Vierra took the fifth-singles with a 6-2, 6-4 victory, but fellow senior co-captain Fuccillo lost at No. 6 singles, falling 6-3, 6-4. Tomljanovic was edged in three sets at No. 4 in the closest match of the day, 3-6, 6-3, 10-8.
Next weekend, Virginia will compete against many of the NCAA’s top teams in the ITA National Team Indoor Championships. The Cavaliers will host the tournament, which runs from Feb. 8-11 at Charlottesville’s Boar’s Head Sports Club. No. 44 junior Li Xi, who missed the VCU match due to illness, is expected to play.
—compiled by Matthew Morris