Cavaliers Confident Entering NCAA Play


They finished second in the ACC regular season standings, upset the No. 1 team in the nation along the way and just missed making the ACC Championship Match.

By all accounts, 2013 has been a successful season for the Virginia women's tennis team, but the real fun begins this weekend.

The Cavaliers open NCAA Tournament play with a first round matchup with Fairleigh Dickinson on Saturday, the second year in a row these two have opened the Tournament.

"We're really excited to get going. We used these last few weeks after ACCs to rest up physically and mentally but also work on a lot of specific stuff for our opponents so we're ready to get going for the weekend," senior Erin Vierra said at practice Wednesday.

"I see a really good energy level this week. I'm happy the girls got through finals and were able to focus on that and now we're able to hone in and focus on having a good weekend of tennis," head coach Mark Guilbeau added.

Virginia is the No. 14 overall seed in the Tournament, marking the third consecutive year they have been nationally seeded. The Wahoos set a school record with nine ACC wins this season and reached the semifinals of the ACC Tournament for the second straight year.

The Cavs have been playing their best tennis of late, winning nine of their last 11, including an upset of then-No. 1 North Carolina.

"I think we've been toughened," Guilbeau said. "I think we've had a lot of tough matches, played in a great conference, finished second in the ACC regular season and beating (North Carolina) along the way. There's some experiences that if we choose to focus and draw upon them we can benefit greatly.'

"We know what our best tennis is like and when we find it we're like unstoppable and I think we'll find that for NCAAs," added freshman Julia Elbaba, the ACC Freshman of the Year.

The Cavs will face Fairleigh Dickinson in the opener for the second straight year, a team that gave Virginia trouble last year.

"Every team that's made it is extremely tough," Elbaba said. "We have to go out there and give it our all. We have to fight to the last point and give everything we have."

"Like Coaches have told us, it doesn't take more than what you've shown all season. We've shown that we can play at a really high level," Vierra added.


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