The No. 11 Virginia women’s tennis team (12-3, 5-1 ACC) had a strong weekend at the Boar’s Head Resort and Sports Club in Charlottesville topping No. 24 Notre Dame (10-6, 1-4 ACC) Friday and Louisville (8-8, 0-6 ACC) Sunday.
Match 1 – Virginia 4, Notre Dame 3
Before the Friday matches, the Intercollegiate Tennis Assocation’s computerized rankings for this week were released. The Cavaliers remained at No. 11 after winning their last four matches, including their most recent 4-1 win against Central Florida.
Notre Dame has been ranked as high as No. 14 this season but fell to No. 24 in this week’s rankings after recently losing to Duke and North Carolina.
The Cavaliers started the weekend off strong in their matches against Notre Dame, winning 4-3. The Fighting Irish initially took the lead in the match and were ahead 3-1 after the doubles point. However, Virginia secured the victory on the home court by winning the final three singles courts.
Sophomore Melodie Collard and graduate student Julia Adams opened doubles play with a 6-2 win for the Cavaliers. Unfortunately, Notre Dame won the next two matches by scores of 7-5 and 6-2 on courts two and three, respectively, to secure the point.
Notre Dame went on to score another point on singles court one, but Virginia was not finished. Senior Natasha Subhash won a point for the Cavaliers by beating Notre Dame’s junior Julia Andreach 6-4, 6-2 on singles court two.
The Fighting Irish won another point on court five, but sophomore Elaine Chervinsky brought the overall score to 3-2 by winning 7-6, 6-2 on court two.
The match came down to the final two singles courts. Both went to simultaneous tiebreakers to decide their second sets.
Collard tied the match up 3-3 with a 7-4 victory on court six. Junior Hibah Shaikh won the clincher for the Cavaliers, winning her tiebreaker on court four with the same score as Collard.
After this hard-fought victory against another ranked team, Virginia was ready to face Louisville Sunday with the goal of closing out the weekend with another home win.
Match 2 – Virginia 6, Louisville 1
Luckily, the Cavaliers did not have nearly as much trouble putting away the Cardinals to end Sunday on a high note.
Virginia won the doubles point, with Subhash and Chervinsky starting the day with a 6-2 win on doubles court two. Collard and Adams once again won their doubles match and clinched the point with their 6-4 victory.
Subhash then put Virginia ahead 2-0 with a 6-2, 6-2 win in her singles match on court two. Collard followed with her own 6-2, 6-2 victory on court six.
Junior Sara Ziodato split her first two matches with Louisville’s senior Maria Campos on court five. She broke their tie in the third set winning it 6-0. This concluded Virginia's initial 4-0 lead against Louisville.
The Cardinals earned a point on court one, but the Cavaliers won the remaining two matches for a 6-1 victory. Shaikh and Chervinsky closed out the match with their three-set victories on courts three and four.
These ACC matches will continue to help determine where the Cavaliers stand nationally. As of right now, they have multiple singles players ranked, including No. 44 Adams, No. 69 Annabelle Xu, No. 78 Subhash and No. 89 Shaikh. Two of Virginia’s doubles teams are also nationally ranked — No. 7 Collard and Adams and No. 6 Subhash and Chervinsky. Virginia is currently the only school with two doubles teams in the top ten. Singles and doubles rankings will update Tuesday.
Looking forward to the next set of matches, Virginia will have a tall test ahead. The Cavaliers will be on the road next weekend, playing at No. 13 Miami Friday before heading to Tallahassee, Fla. to face No. 32 Florida State Sunday afternoon. In order to keep their file as one of the top teams in the ACC, winning the doubles point will be key, as the Hurricanes in particular have a solid pairing to go against Virginia’s strength.
The first match Friday against Miami is set to begin at 1 p.m.