The No. 14 Virginia women’s tennis team recorded its highest-ranked victory of the season, downing No. 33 South Carolina 5-2 Sunday afternoon. The Cavaliers remained unbeaten on the season at 3-0.
“We knew we were going to be in for a tough match against a very good team,” said head coach Mark Guilbeau. “They are very athletic and in a lot of cases we were the ones who needed to create the offense and did a good job of that. Any win against a quality opponent is a good win and we will take it and now get ready for National Indoors.”
The Cavaliers took a 1-0 lead by winning the doubles point. Sophomores Maci Epstein and Stephanie Nauta gave Virginia the early advantage with a 6-2 win at No. 3. Eighth-ranked Julia Elbaba and Rachel Pierson clinched the opening point with a 7-5 win at No. 1.
In singles, Virginia extended its lead to 2-0 as Elbaba cruised to a 6-1, 6-3 victory at the top spot. Pierson made the score 3-0 with her 7-6(6), 4-6, 10-5 win at No. 3 singles. Marie Faure clinched the win with a 6-2, 6-4 victory at No. 6. Nauta closed out the match with a 6-4, 7-5 win at No. 4.
Virginia will return to action next week as it hosts the 2014 ITA National Team Indoor Championships, Feb. 7-10 at the Boar’s Head Sports Club. The Cavaliers’ first round match will be Friday at 6:30 p.m. Virginia will learn its opponent early this week when the tournament draw is announced.
#14 VIRGINIA 5, SOUTH CAROLINA 2
1. #8 Elbaba/Pierson (UVa) def. Lechemia/Blevins (SC) 7-5
2. Collins/Xi (UVa) vs. Folland/Popova (SC) 3-4 DNF
3. Epstein/Nauta (UVa) def. Dailey/Siles Luna (SC) 6-2
1. #11 Julia Elbaba (UVa) def. Elixane Lechemia (SC) 6-1, 6-3
2. Katerina Popova (SC) def. #28 Danielle Collins (UVa) 6-4, 4-6, 10-3
3. #43 Rachel Pierson (UVa) def. #113 Brigit Folland (SC) 7-6(6), 4-6, 10-5
4. #85 Stephanie Nauta (UVa) def. Ximena Siles Luna (SC) 6-4, 7-5
5. Meghan Blevins (SC) def. Maci Epstein (UVa) 6-3, 7-5
6. Marie Faure (UVa) def. Caroline Dailey (SC) 6-2, 6-4