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Women’s tennis collects two more wins to close regular season

No. 8 Virginia defeated Clemson and Georgia Tech, with scores 7-0, 5-2 respectively to claim No. 4 spot in ACC Tournament

<p>Clinching dominant wins over two conference rivals will be key for the Cavaliers heading into the ACC Championships on Friday.&nbsp;</p>

Clinching dominant wins over two conference rivals will be key for the Cavaliers heading into the ACC Championships on Friday. 

On the road this past weekend, the No. 8 Virginia women’s tennis team extended their winning streak to seven matches as they defeated No. 57 Clemson in a 7-0 sweep and No. 31 Georgia Tech 5-2. The Cavaliers (18-4, 10-3 ACC) started the weekend Friday in Clemson, S.C., with a 7-0 sweep against the Tigers (12-12, 3-10 ACC). They continued their streak Sunday with a 5-2 defeat of the Yellow Jackets (13-9, 8-5 ACC). 

The match against Clemson started strong for Virginia on the doubles court, despite another uncharacteristic loss from No. 11 sophomore duo Emma Navarro and Hibah Shaikh, marking their third in a row. 

The Cavaliers were still able to clinch the doubles point on the other courts with success from the two other duos — senior Sofia Munera and junior Natasha Subhash on court two and freshman Elaine Chervinsky and senior Amber O’Dell on court three. Munera and Subhash defeated Clemson’s sophomore Christina Mayorova and junior Eleni Louka with a score of 6-4, while Chervinsky and O’Dell played a similar match beating sophomores Daniella Medvedeva and Jenna Thompson 6-2.

Virginia continued their success on the singles courts. No. 1-ranked Navarro, who is only the third player in program history to hold that distinction, defeated her opponent in straight sets. Additionally, sophomore Sara Ziodato, Munera and No. 34 Subhash all defeated their respective opponents in straight sets as well.

Shaikh and O’Dell continued to fight in their games, despite a secure Cavalier win. They prevailed over junior Ali DeSpain and sophomore Samantha Buyckx to finalize the 7-0 sweep.

Virginia continued their weekend against Georgia Tech in their final regular season match. The doubles matches started similarly to those against Clemson, with O’Dell and Chervinsky falling early to give the Yellow Jackets an early advantage.

However, the Cavaliers fought hard to gain the point, with Navarro and Shaikh pulling out the upset against No. 5 sophomore Carol Lee and freshman Kate Sharabura. Munera and Subhash also succeeded in an amazing defeat of No. 34 freshman Kylie Bilchev and sophomore Ava Hrastar to clinch the point.

“I think the doubles point was a big difference-maker today,” Coach Sara O’Leary said. “Sofia [Munera] and Natasha [Subhash] were down 2-6 in the deciding match tiebreaker. Sofia made one of the best gets I’ve ever seen on one of those match points and our entire team played with such determination, toughness and belief after that.”

On the singles courts, Ziodato carried out a quick defeat of junior Rosie Garcia Gross to put Virginia up 2-0 in the match. However, No. 62 Chervinsky and Munera were beaten by Hrastar and sophomore Mahak Jain, respectively, to tie the match. 

The momentum was shifted back towards the Cavaliers, as Navarro beat No. 32 Lee in straight sets. Subhash and Shaikh also won their matches to earn a 5-2 victory for Virginia.

With two more wins added to their register, the Cavaliers scored a No. 4 ranking in the ACC Tournament. They are set to play at 3:30 p.m. Friday against an opponent that is to be determined.