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Women's tennis topples No. 1 UNC

After narrow Duke loss snaps 5-game streak, squad upsets Tar Heels, thrashes NC Central

The No. 27 Virginia women’s tennis team faced perhaps its toughest series of duals of the season this weekend, facing off against No. 7 Duke Friday before playing No. 1 North Carolina and North Carolina Central Saturday. The Blue Devils were able to halt the streaking Cavaliers’ (10-7, 4-1 ACC) five-match winning streak by a tight 4-3 score, but Virginia quickly rebounded to knock off the nation’s top-ranked squad 4-3 and trample North Carolina Central 6-0 the next day.

The Cavaliers jumped out to an early 1-0 lead on Duke (16-3, 4-0 ACC) after the powerful combination of freshman Julia Elbaba and senior Hana Tomljanovic clinched the doubles point with an 8-5 victory against Duke’s veteran pairing of junior Hanna Mar and senior Mary Clayton.

Virginia stretched its lead to 2-0 when junior Caryssa Peretz crushed Blue Devil senior Nicole Lipp 6-0, 6-0 at the no. 6 position. Duke quickly rallied, though, winning the next three matches to slingshot into a 3-2 lead. Although No. 15 Elbaba tied the score with a thrilling three-set victory against No. 52 sophomore Ester Goldfield, Duke’s No. 19 Mar edged No. 65 freshman Stephanie Nauta in an 8-6 third-set tie break to seal the Blue Devils’ victory.

Virginia travelled to Chapel Hill the next day to attempt to upset North Carolina (17-2, 3-1 ACC). For the second consecutive day, the Cavaliers swept two of three doubles matches to lurch to a 1-0 advantage.

No. 25 Tar Heel freshman Whitney Kay knotted the score at 1-1 by defeating Virginia junior Li Xi 6-1, 6-1. Virginia wasted no time in regaining regaining the lead, however, as Peretz and Elbaba supplied a two-point cushion with lopsided two-set victories. Ultimately, Virginia senior Erin Vierra’s comeback 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 victory against freshman Kate Vialle on the fifth court clinched the monumental upset.

Later in the day, Virginia steamrolled North Carolina Central (10-6, 4-1 Mid-Eastern). The dual did not feature a doubles point, and the Eagles failed to field a sixth singles contestant, forfeiting the sixth court to the Cavaliers.

Virginia returns home this weekend to play Wake Forest and NC State.


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