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No. 9 women's tennis splits weekend road trip

Cavaliers earn share of first ever ACC regular-season title

	<p>Stephanie Nauta is the 50th ranked singles player in the nation.</p>

Stephanie Nauta is the 50th ranked singles player in the nation.

Despite splitting the last two regular season matches, the No. 9 Virginia women’s tennis team earned a share of their first ACC women’s tennis regular-season title.

The Cavaliers (18-5, 12-2 ACC) share the conference title with No. 7 North Carolina (23-4, 12-2 ACC), No. 17 Clemson (20-5, 12-2 ACC) and No. 15 Miami (18-4, 12-2 ACC). Virginia shut out No. 44 Florida State 4-0 Friday before finishing its season with a 5-2 loss to the Hurricanes Sunday.

Looking to extend their win streak to nine, the Cavaliers travelled to Tallahassee Friday to face the Seminoles (13-11, 5-8 ACC). Sophomores Danielle Collins and Maci Epstein put up the first doubles win for Virginia, defeating the Florida State duo of senior Kristina Schleich and Daniela Schippers, 8-5. After dropping the match at top court, senior Li Xi and sophomore Stephanie Nauta were able to secure the doubles point with an 8-2 victory.

Nauta earned the first singles point for the Cavaliers when she bested junior Mia Vriens. Third-ranked sophomore Julia Elbaba then extended Virginia’s lead to 3-0 by defeating No. 117 junior Kerrie Cartwright 6-2, 6-1. With a 6-1, 6-0 defeat of Schleich at No. 5, Epstein was able to clinch the win for the Cavaliers, giving them a program-best 12-1 conference record.

After shutting out No. 60 Virginia Tech, the Hurricanes played host to Virginia Sunday. Miami struck first, sweeping up the doubles point with victories at Nos. 1 and 2. The No. 21 duo junior Monique Albuquerque and sophomore Clementina Riobueno upset No. 11 Elbaba and sophomore Rachel Pierson, 8-5. No. 40 senior Melissa Bolivar and partner sophomore Kelsey Laurente then defeated Nauta and Xi 8-6 to clinch the doubles point for the Hurricanes.

Virginia drew even when Epstein defeated Bolivar 6-4, 6-1. Refusing to let the Cavaliers establish a lead, Miami immediately responded when senior Caryssa Peretz fell 6-2, 7-5 to Albuquerque. Collins recorded Virginia’s other singles point, defeating Laurente 7-5, 7-5. Riobueno then defeated Pierson 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 to clinch the win and hand the Cavaliers their second conference loss of the season.

The Cavaliers will travel to Cary, N.C. to participate in the ACC Tournament April 23-27. Their first game with be a quarterfinal match Friday.