The Virginia women’s tennis team is headed back to the NCAA round of 16 for the fourth consecutive season after a 4-1 win over Kentucky Saturday at Boar’s Head Sports Club. The match was originally scheduled outdoors at Snyder Tennis Center, but was moved indoors due to rain.
No. 4 Virginia (23-5) dropped the doubles point, but reeled off four consecutive singles wins to punch its ticket to the NCAA Sweet 16 in Athens, Ga., on Thursday.
Stephanie Nauta, Julia Elbaba, Rachel Pierson and Maci Epstein posted singles wins in the victory.
“Even though we lost the doubles point, the fact that our girls fought back in the doubles was great,” Virginia head coach Mark Guilbeau said. “I think it would have been a different dynamic had they not done that. We had an unbelievable start in singles, but Kentucky came back and really made us work for this victory. I’m really proud of the team and we look forward to the round of 16 in Athens next week.”
Kentucky captured the hotly contested doubles point with wins at Nos. 2 and 3. No. 56 Aldila Sutjiadi and Nadia Ravita upset No. 7 Elbaba and Pierson 8-3 on court one. Edmee Morin-Kougoucheff and Kirsten Lewis defeated Danielle Collins and Epstein 8-6 on court three. No. 34 CeCe Witten and Caitlin McGraw held a 5-2 lead over Nauta and Li Xi in the tiebreaker on court one when the Wildcats clinched the doubles point.
No. 53 Nauta evened the score with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Kelsey Dieters on court three. No. 4 Elbaba beat No. 47 Ravita 6-4, 6-0 on court two and No. 76 Pierson beat Morin-Kougoucheff 6-1, 7-6 (7-5) moments later on court four. Epstein clinched the win with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 win over Lewis on court five.
The Cavaliers will play No. 13 Baylor or No. 20 Rice in the NCAA round of 16.
#4 Virginia 4, #32 Kentucky 1
1. #34 Witten/McGraw (UK) vs. Nauta/Xi (UVa) vs. 7-7 (5-2), DNF
2. #56 Sutjiadi/Ravita (UK) def. #7 Elbaba/Pierson (UVa) 8-3
3. Morin-Kougoucheff/Lewis (UK) def. Collins/Epstein (UVa) 8-6
1. #4 Julia Elbaba (UVa) def. #47 Nadia Ravita (UK) 6-4, 6-0
2. #32 Danielle Collins (UVa) vs. #125 Aldila Sutjiadi (UK) 6-1, 3-6, 3-1, DNF
3. #53 Stephanie Nauta (UVa) def. Kelsey Dieters (UK) 6-3, 6-4
4. #76 Rachel Pierson (UVa) def. Edmee Morin-Kougoucheff (UK) 6-1, 7-6(5)
5. Maci Epstein (UVa) def. Kirsten Lewis (UK) 6-3, 4-6, 6-2
6. Caryssa Peretz (UVa) vs. Caitlin McGraw (UK) 6-3, 5-7, 3-1, DNF