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MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The No. 9 Virginia women’s tennis team reached the final of the 2011 Blue Gray Tennis Classic with a 4-1 semifinal victory over No. 43 Ohio State Saturday afternoon at Lagoon Park in Montgomery. The Cavaliers (10-1) will meet No. 19 Notre Dame in the championship match on Sunday at noon CT (1 p.m. ET).

Virginia took the early 1-0 lead in the match by winning the doubles point. Lindsey Hardenbergh (Fairfax Station, Va.) and Erin Vierra (Norwell, Mass.) topped Kelsey Haviland and Gabby Steele 8-3 at No. 2 and Maria Fuccillo (Rockville, Md.) and Rashmi Teltumbde (Mumbai, India) won 8-4 at No. 3 over Kara Cecil and Noelle Malley.

In singles, the Buckeyes evened the match at 1-1 as Fidan Manashirova topped Fuccillo 6-3, 6-3at the No. 5 position. Hardenbergh gave Virginia the lead again, 2-1, as she completed a 6-4, 6-0 win at No. 2 over Haviland. Emily Fraser (Rye, N.Y.) added a 6-4, 6-4 win over Paloma Escobedo at the top spot before Vierra clinched the win with her three-set victory at No. 3 over Cecil.

“This was an awesome match in a lot of ways,” said head coach Mark Guilbeau. “Both teams showed an incredible amount of spirit and hunger to win.
After our squad won a solid doubles point, the intensity was definitely raised in the singles. Ohio State came out very strong on every court and pushed us to the late stages of the first sets throughout. It was great to see our players buckle down and finish three of the first sets on the leading end. It was even better to see the fight our players showed across the board to put away the matches we could in straight sets and also push two of the three remaining matches to third sets. Ohio State fought hard and deserves a lot of credit for playing a smart, intense match. I am so proud of our entire team for sticking with it and helping each other as a team to pull away a bit in the end and finish a very strong 4-1 victory. We are excited and eager for tomorrow’s first ever women’s tennis final at the Blue Gray Classic. It has been a fun weekend so far and an extremely well run tournament.
I am really impressed by the energy and intensity our players are showing throughout every stage of these matches. We have learned a lot and are putting forth a strong, strong effort and level of play every time out.”

The Blue Gray Tennis Classic has been held in Montgomery every year since 1949. This year marks the first time there has been a women’s tournament in conjunction with the men’s tournament.

#9 Virginia 4, #43 Ohio State 1

1. #10 Fraser/Tomljanovic (UVa) led Escobedo/Hubbs (OSU) 7-4 DNF
2. #67 Hardenbergh/Vierra (UVa) def. Haviland/Steele (OSU) 8-3
3. #51 Fuccillo/Teltumbde (UVa) def. Cecil/Malley (OSU) 8-4

1. #41 Emily Fraser (UVa) def. Paloma Escobedo (OSU) 6-4, 6-4
2. #67 Lindsey Hardenbergh (UVa) def. Kelsey Haviland (OSU) 6-4, 6-0
3. #54 Erin Vierra (UVa) def. Kara Cecil (OSU) 7-6, 4-6, 6-1
4. Hana Tomljanovic (UVa) led Gabby Steele (OSU) 6-7, 6-4, 3-2 DNF
5. Fidan Manashirova (OSU) def. Maria Fuccillo (UVa) 6-3, 6-3
6. Caryssa Peretz (UVa) led Cami Hubbs (OSU) 3-6, 7-6, 5-3 DNF

Order of Finish:
Doubles: 2,3
Singles: 5,2,1,3

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