No. 10 Virginia Falls 4-3 At No. 29 Wake Forest
Box Score March 20, 2016
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – It was a tight match throughout, but No. 29 Wake Forest (14-4, 4-3 ACC) picked up a straight set win on court five and rallied for the win in a third set on court three to down No. 10 Virginia (10-6, 5-2 ACC) by a score of 4-3 on Sunday.
It was the third match in four days for the Cavaliers as part of a road trip that saw Virginia make a swing through the Deep South. The Cavaliers faced No. 4 Georgia on Thursday before playing No. 42 NC State on Saturday.
Virginia got singles wins from No. 4 Danielle Collins (St. Petersburg, Fla.), No. 13 Julia Elbaba (Oyster Bay, N.Y.) and Meghan Kelley (Falmouth, Me.) to take the lead on Wake Forest after dropping the doubles point. The Deacons would rally for the win, however, with victories in the final two singles matches.
“Full credit to Wake Forest,” said Virginia head coach Mark Guilbeau. “Their girls were assertive and determined. It was clear from the first point of doubles they were willing to take it to us. We still have plenty of positives and great skills to trust and rely on. It’s just a matter of us choosing this mindset and implementation in matches without being forced by opponents or forced through coaching. At the simplest level, there is nothing more valuable than taking on pressure and a challenge in the correct manner – and being our best in these moments.”
It came down to court three in a tightly contested match for the doubles point after Elbaba and Skylar Morton (Bethesda, Md.) won 6-2 on court two, but the No. 25 pairing of Collins and Kelley fell 6-3 on court one.
After trailing, the duo of Cassie Mercer (Huntington, W.V.) and Stephanie Nauta (Galveston, Texas) fought back to take a 6-5 lead. Wake Forest mounted a rally of its own, however, and forced the set into a tiebreak before claiming the doubles point with a 7-6 win on court three.
The Cavaliers fell behind by two points in the overall score when Nauta dropped a 6-1, 6-3 decision on court four in singles play.
Elbaba got Virginia on the board moments later, however, as she closed out a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Emma Davis on court two. Collins then evened the match score with a 6-4, 6-4 win on court one over No. 50 Kimmy Guerin in the only matchup of ranked foes.
Kelley put the Cavaliers on top, storming back in the third set to pick up the win. She defeated Luisa Fernandez 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.
Wake Forest pushed back in front and grabbed the match, closing out a straight-set victory on court five and rallying in the third set on court three. Samantha Asch defeated Victoria Olivarez (Virginia Beach, Va.) 7-6, 6-2 on court five and Anna Ulyashchenko rallied in the third set for a 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 win over Morton on court three to clinch for the Deacons.
“More than ever, we look forward to the next matches and the opportunity to allow a positive, confident focus, implementation and execution to show in our tennis,” Guilbeau said. “Every season has its ups and downs. We can use this moment to push us in the right direction, stick with what is working, change and adjust where needed, and gain some excitement and success ahead.”
Virginia returns to action next weekend, continuing to play on the road with matches at Miami and Florida State.
No. 29 Wake Forest 4, No. 10 Virginia 3
Guerin/Ulyashchenko def. No. 25 Collins/Kelley, 6-3
Elbaba/Morton def. Asch/Davis, 6-2
Fernandez/Retolaza def. Mercer/Nauta, 7-6
Order of Finish: 2,1,3
No. 4 Danielle Collins def. No. 50 Kimmy Guerin, 6-4, 6-4
No. 13 Julia Elbaba def. Emma Davis, 6-4, 6-2
Anna Ulyashchenko def. No. 64 Skylar Morton, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4
Joanna Zalewski def. No. 83 Stephanie Nauta, 6-1, 6-3
Samantha Asch def. Victoria Olivarez, 7-6, 6-2
Meghan Kelley def. Luisa Fernandez, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2
Order of Finish: 4, 2, 1, 6, 5, 3