The Virginia women's tennis team will have to settle for matching the best season in program history.
For the second straight year, the Cavaliers were eliminated in the round of 16 of the NCAA Tournament. Virginia lost 4-1 to No. 3 seed Duke on Thursday to end its season at 20-8.
Those 20 wins match the school record for most in a season, also set last year.
Virginia took the doubles point before singles play was delayed for almost three hours by thunderstorms. Once play resumed, Duke took control of the match by winning five of the first six sets in singles. After tying the match at the No. 4 draw, ACC player of the year Beatrice Capra beat Emily Fraser 6-3, 6-2 at the No. position. The Blue Devils won the next two matches to secure the victory.
Early in singles the match was halted for over two-and-half hours as a band of thunderstorms hit Athens. Following the delay, the Blue Devils came out strong winning five of the six first sets. The Blue Devils drew even in the match at the No. 4 position, where Kahan posted a 6-4, 6-0 win over Tomljanovic. Duke took the lead as Capra, the ACC Player of the Year, topped Fraser 6-3, 6-2 at the No. 1 position. Clayton extended the lead, saving a set-point in the first set en route to a 7-5, 6-2 win at No. 5 over Vierra. Monica Turewicz clinched the Duke victory at No. 6, edging Caryssa Peretz (Cherry Hill, N.J.) 6-3, 7-6(3).
“I think when you win the doubles point, you can use that momentum to start singles,” said Guilbeau. “Maybe the rain took a little bit of that momentum away. Both teams handled the delay very well. Both teams came out focused and we just made a couple more errors than they did in singles.”
The Cavaliers tied their best showing in the NCAA Tournament by reaching the round of 16. Last year Virginia reached the round of 16 for the first time in school history.
Virginia’s two seniors, Fraser and Hardenbergh, will conclude their collegiate careers next week as they compete in the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships. Play at the individual championships will begin on Wednesday in Athens.
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