ITA Kickoff: UVA women advance, men come up short

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

The No. 20 Virginia women’s tennis team secured a berth in the ITA National Team Indoor Championships after rallying for a 4-3 victory over No. 22 Tennessee at the ITA Kickoff regional hosted by Kansas at the Jayhawk Tennis Center on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the No. 23 UVA men’s team dropped a 4-1 decision to No. 17 NC State on Sunday in the regional finals at the Boar’s Head Sports Club.

Women:

After dropping the doubles point and falling behind 3-1 in the overall match score, Virginia (3-0) got victories from the back half of the lineup to complete the comeback. Junior Vivian Glozman, senior Chloe Gullickson and sophomore Sofia Munera all battled to three-set victories to lock up the win for the Cavaliers.

Munera, who is the No. 78 ranked player in singles, claimed her match with a third-set tiebreak as she clinched the victory with a 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4) win over Johanna Silva at the fourth spot in the lineup.

Freshman Natasha Subhash, who is ranked No. 30 nationally in singles, provided the other point for the Cavaliers as she swept through her match at the top of the lineup in straight sets.

“Congratulations to Tennessee on an incredible college match,” said Virginia head coach Sara O’Leary. “They competed really well and the match came down to a few points. I am extremely proud of my team and the determination and grit displayed through two very tough, tight matches (this weekend). Their belief in their games and in each other never wavered. It was a complete team effort and we are looking forward to competing in Chicago in a couple of weeks.”

Tennessee (3-1) took the early advantage in the dual by securing the doubles point with victories on courts one and three. The Lady Vols’ pairing of Carly Briggs and Ariadna Riley won 6-1 on court three before Virginia would take the win on court two as Munera and Subhash won 6-2 over Tennessee’s duo of Hadley Doyle and Rebeka Mertena. The 15th-ranked pairing of Tenika McGiffin and Kaitlin Staines then clinched the doubles point for Tennessee with a 6-2 victory on court one.

With the doubles point in hand, Tennessee extended the lead to 2-0 with a straight set victory on court two  by No. 76 Mertena before Subhash would get the Cavaliers on the board with her 6-2, 6-3 win over No. 72 Staines. The Lady Vols would then pull to within a point of clinching the dual behind a straight-set victory on court three from Carly Briggs.

With the match hanging in the balance, Gullickson and Munera both battled to force a third set on courts six and four, respectively, while Glozman fought to finish off her match as McGiffin of Tennessee pushed her to a third set on court five.

Glozman put the first of the next three points on the board with a 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 victory over McGiffin at line five before Gullickson would battle to finish off Doyle with a 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 victory at line six. Munera then capped the comeback with her victory on court four.

With the victory, the Cavaliers advance to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships hosted by Illinois (Feb. 7-10). Virginia will be one of 16 teams vying for the ITA National Women’s Team Indoor Championship.

Prior to that, the Cavaliers will return home to host Richmond in a 3 p.m. match on Thursday at the Boar’s Head Sports Club before hitting the road to open ACC play at Boston College on Sunday.

Singles
1. No. 30 Natasha Subhash def. No. 72 Kaitlin Staines (UT) – 6-2, 6-3

2. No. 76 Rebeka Mertena (UT) def. No. 35 Rosie Johanson – 6-1, 6-3

3. Carly Briggs (UT) def. Amber O’Dell – 6-4, 6-0

4. No. 78 Sofia Munera def. Johanna Silva (UT) – 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4)

5. Vivian Glozman def. Tenika McGiffin (UT) – 6-2, 4-6, 6-3

6. Chloe Gullickson def. Hadley Doyle (UT) – 4-6, 6-3, 7-5

Order of Finish: 2, 1, 3, 5, 6, 4

Doubles
1. No. 15 McGiffin/Staines (UT) def. Gullickson/O’Dell – 6-2

2. Munera/Subhash def. Doyle/Mertena (UT) – 6-2

3. Briggs/Ariadna Riley (UT) def. Glozman/Johanson – 6-1

Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1

Men:

The Wolfpack (6-0) grabbed the doubles point with wins on courts two and three to take the 1-0 lead into singles. By virtue of the win, the Wolfpack advance to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships.

With NC State holding to a 2-0 lead in the overall dual score following a win at line three, freshman Christian Alshon picked up a 6-4, 6-0 win on court five over Robert Turzak to get the Cavaliers (3-2) on the board. NC State would then clinch the win with wins at line six and one, respectively.

“Congrats to NC State,” said Virginia head coach Andres Pedroso. “They deserve the win. I thought we had opportunities across the board in singles, but we just came up a little short on certain courts. As I said at the start of the season, this team will get better as the season progresses. I have total faith in this team.”

Virginia will return to action on Friday, when the Cavaliers host Boston College in a 5 p.m. match at the Boar’s Head Sports Club.

MATCH NOTES

  • Ryan Goetz led 3-1 in the third set at line two and William Woodall led 5-3 in the second set when the match was clinched.
  • Christian Alshon is 4-0 in singles this spring for the Cavaliers.

Singles
1. Alexis Galarneau (NCSU) def. Carl Soderlund – 7-6 (7-3), 6-2

2. No. 115 Ryan Goetz vs. Tadas Babelis (NCSU) – 6-3, 4-6, 3-1, unfinished

3. Yannai Barkai (NCSU) def. No. 68 Gianni Ross – 6-4, 6-1

4. William Woodall vs. Rafa Izquierdo Luque (NCSU) – 7-6 (7-3), 5-3, unfinished

5. Christian Alshon def. Robert Turzak (NCSU) – 6-4, 6-0

6. Robin Catry (NCSU) def. Ammar Alhaqbani – 7-5, 6-2

Order of Finish: 3, 5, 6, 1

Doubles
1. Soderlund/Matthew Lord vs. No. 32 Babelis/Barkai (NCSU) – 3-5, unfinished

2. Galarneau/Turzak (NCSU) def. No. 53 Ross/Woodall – 6-2

3. Luque/Collin Shick (NCSU) def. Alshon/Goetz – 6-1

Order of Finish: 3, 2

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