Virginia Advances to ACC Semifinals with a 4-2 Win over Duke
Box Score April 22, 2016
RALEIGH, N.C. – The fifth-seeded Virginia women’s tennis team (16-9, 9-5 ACC) advanced to the semifinals of the 2016 ACC Women’s Tennis Championship with a 4-2 victory over 4-seed Duke (18-6, 11-3 ACC ACC) on Friday (April 22).
The Cavaliers will take on top-seeded North Carolina (27-2, 14-0 ACC) on Saturday at 10 a.m. The match will stream live online on ESPN3.
“This was, by far, the most complete match from our team this season,” said Virginia head coach Mark Guilbeau. “Every single player was giving 100 percent the entire time. I don’t know that there was a blip at any point. They were doing it for each other. They were aware of the entire environment. They were locked in. If you could put a power rating on what the synergy was between the six players, this was at the highest level. Parts of this season, we were maybe 50 percent. Today we were at 100. They have just experienced the power of a group of people working together with a purpose, with the right heart, the right mind and with the physical part coming together. I am so happy for them to experience that. I know it is just one match, but it is a big match and a big step. Most importantly, they are absolutely determined to play their brains out tomorrow against North Carolina.”
Doubles began at the Cary Tennis Center in Cary, N.C., the host site for the tournament, but play was halted ten minutes into the competition and the matches had to be moved indoors to N.C. State’s J.W. Isenhour Tennis Facility because of thunderstorms hitting the area. After a two-hour delay, play resumed with the Cavaliers clinching the doubles point. Seniors Danielle Collins (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and Julia Elbaba (Oyster Bay, N.Y.) picked up dominant straight-set victories at No. 1 and 2 to give UVA a 3-0 lead. Duke rallied, picking up wins at courts three and four to make it 3-2 when sophomore Cassie Mercer (Huntington, W.V.) finished off a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Christina Makarova at court six to secure the victory for the Cavaliers.
Elbaba’s 6-0, 6-2 victory over Kaitlyn McCarthy was the 128th singles victory of her collegiate career, giving her more singles wins than any other player in program history. Elbaba came into the match tied with Lindsey Hardenbergh (2009-12), but now holds the Virginia career wins record alone.
Elbaba got the first win of the day for the Cavaliers, partnering with freshman Erica Susi (Vero Beach, Fla.) to win 6-2 over Duke’s Ellyse Hamlin and Jessica Ho at No. 3 doubles. Senior Stephanie Nauta and Mercer battled to win a tiebreaker 7-2 at No. 2 doubles to secure the point.
Collins started singles off with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Chalena Scholl, finishing a few minutes before Elbaba logged her historic victory over McCarthy. Because the Isenhour Tennis Facility only has four courts, No. 5 and No. 6 singles did not begin until after No. 1 and 2 singles were completed and those courts were vacated. Mercer’s victory at No. 6 that clinched the victory for the Cavaleirs happened five hours and 41 minutes after the match first began.
Virginia is playing for its third-consecutive ACC championship after claiming its second league title last season. Virginia has now advanced to the semifinals in five-straight seasons and eight times overall (1993, 2001, 2003, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016) since 1990 when the single-elimination format with no playback was established.
#16 Virginia 4, #8 Duke 2
1. #2 Danielle Collins (VA) def. #55 Chalena Scholl (DU) 6-2, 6-1
2. #16 Julia Elbaba (VA) def. #52 Kaitlyn McCarthy (DU) 6-0, 6-2
3. Samantha Harris (DU) def. #85 Stephanie Nauta (VA) 7-6 (7-5), 1-6, 6-3
4. Ellyse Hamlin (DU) def. Meghan Kelley (VA) 3-6, 6-2, 6-4
5. Jessica Ho (DU) vs. Erica Susi (VA) 6-2, 2-5, unfinished
6. Cassie Mercer (VA) def. Christina Makarova (DU) 6-2, 6-1
1. Samantha Harris/Kaitlyn McCarthy (DU) def. #16 Danielle Collins/Meghan Kelley (VA) 6-5
2. Stephanie Nauta/Cassie Mercer (VA) def. Chalena Scholl/Alyssa Smith (DU) 7-6 (7-2)
3. Julia Elbaba/Erica Susi (VA) def. Ellyse Hamlin/Jessica Ho (DU) 6-2
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (1,2,3,4,6)