CHARLOTTESVILLE – The Virginia women’s tennis team posted the biggest win in school history on Friday, upsetting third-ranked Baylor 4-3 in the first round of the 2011 ITA National Team Indoor Championships at the Boar’s Head Sports Club. The No. 23 Cavaliers, the lowest ranked team in the field at No. 23, will meet sixth-ranked Duke in the quarterfinals on Saturday at 12:30 p.m.
“This was an incredible college tennis match,” said Virginia head coach Mark Guilbeau. “Our players are going to remember this match forever. There were so many ups and downs. We have been close many times before and this team really deserved to get a win like this. We did a lot of good things to get so close to finishing this match out, but give Baylor credit, they fought back and had team match points of their own. We had the composure to regroup, keep fighting, and pull out this win. It was almost like we had to win this match twice, but that desire and fight is what I am most proud of.”
Virginia (7-0) came out strong and dominated doubles play to take a 1-0 lead in the match. Maria Fuccillo (Rockville, Md.) and Rashmi Teletumbde (Mumbai, India) topped Abby Stainback and Karolina Filipiak 8-2 at No. 3 to give UVa a lead. Emily Fraser (Rye, N.Y.) and Hana Tomljanovic (Boca Raton, Fla.) clinched the opening point for the Cavaliers with their win at No. 1, defeating Sonia Novakova and Diana Nakic 8-1. In the match that was halted, Lindsey Hardenbergh (Fairfax Station, Va.) and Erin Vierra (Norwell, Mass.) led 6-2 at the No. 2 spot.
In singles, the Cavaliers extended their lead to 3-0 with a pair of straight set victories. Caryssa Peretz (Cherry Hill, N.J.) defeated Taylor Ormand 6-2, 6-2 at the No. 6 position and Tomljanovic posted a 6-2, 6-3 win over Nadina Secerbegovic at No. 3. The Bears (3-1) rallied as Jelena Stanivuk won in straight sets at No. 4 over Vierra and Filipiak and Novakova won in three sets at No. 5 and No. 1 respectively to tie the match.
With the score tied at 3-3, the dual match came down to the match at No. 2 singles. Hardenbergh had led 6-3, 5-1, but Nakic rallied to win six straight games to force a third set. Nakic led 5-1 in the final set and had two match points at 5-2, but Hardenbergh rallied and took a 6-5 lead. Hardenbergh had three match points in the 6-5 game, but Nakic saved them and forced a decisive tiebreaker. In the tiebreaker, Nakic had three match points as she took a 6-3 lead. After Hardenbergh saved the first of those three match points, Nakic double-faulted to make the score 6-5 in the breaker. On the next point Hardenbergh hit a shot down the line that Nakic called out, thinking she had clinched the match for Baylor. However, the call was overruled and since it was Nakic’s fourth overrule of the match, the game penalty gave Hardenbergh the tiebreaker and the victory.
“We both had leads and chances to win the match,” said Hardenbergh. “It was almost like we were both playing better match point down than match point up. It was certainly a dramatic way to win a match, but I am just so happy we got the victory.”
At 7-0, the Cavaliers continue their best start in school history. The victory over the third-ranked Bears marks the highest ranked opponent Virginia has ever beaten. The previous best was a 4-3 win over No. 6 Miami in 2006.
The ITA National Team Indoor Championships continue Saturday and run through Monday at the Boar’s Head Sports Club. Admission is free. Match times are 9 a.m., 12:30 p.m. (Virginia vs. Duke), 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
#23 Virginia 4, #3 Baylor 3
1. #10 Fraser/Tomljanovic (UVa) Novakova/Nakic (BU) 8-1
2. #67 Hardenbergh/Vierra (UVa) led Secerbegovic/Stanivuk (BU) 6-2 DNF
3. #51 Fuccillo/Teltumbde (UVa) def. Stainback/Filipiak (BU) 8-2
1. #12 Sona Novakova (BU) def. #41 Emily Fraser (UVa) 7-6(2), 4-6, 6-3
2. #67 Lindsey Hardenbergh (UVa) def. #30 Diana Nakic (BU) 6-3, 5-7, 7-6(6)
3. Hana Tomljanovic (UVa) def. #53 Nadina Secerbegovic (BU) 6-2, 6-3
4. Jelena Stanivuk (BU) def. #54 Erin Vierra (UVa) 6-2, 6-4
5. #116 Karolina Filipiak (BU) def. Maria Fuccillo (UVa) 7-6(1), 1-6, 6-3
6. Caryssa Peretz (UVa) def. Taylor Ormond (BU) 6-2, 6-2
Order of Finish: