No. 14 Virginia Advances With 4-2 Win Over No. 3 North Carolina
Box Score May 19, 2016
TULSA, Okla. – The third time proved to be the charm as 14th-seeded Virginia (19-10) upset third-seeded North Carolina (31-3) by a score of 4-2 on Thursday at the NCAA Championships hosted by the University of Tulsa.
The Cavaliers avenged a pair of earlier losses to the Tar Heels this season with the 4-2 victory on Thursday. Virginia will now face sixth-seeded Vanderbilt (22-5) in the quarterfinals at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday. The Cavaliers and Commodores faced each other earlier this season in the ITA National Team Indoor Championships with Vanderbilt picking up the 4-0 win.
It marks the second time in program history for the Cavaliers to advance to the quarterfinals, matching the mark set by Virginia in the 2014 season. That season, the Cavaliers defeated Baylor before falling to Stanford in the quarterfinals.
“If the NCAA Tournament follows this path in terms of how exciting and tense this match was, this is going to be the most exciting tournament in the history of the NCAA Tournament,” said Virginia head coach Mark Guilbeau. “It’s hard to beat a match that was this competitive and this intense.
“I am so proud of our players – all of them,” Guilbeau said. “We learned a massive amount from (North Carolina) in doubles this year. The way we played that number one court in doubles was remarkable. It was some brilliant tennis. It’s not how you draw it up, but it worked. From there we had to keep battling at each court all the way through.”
For only the third time on the season, a team managed to wrest the doubles point away from the Tar Heels. Virginia got a 6-2 win on court two from the pairing of Nauta and Cassie Mercer (Huntington, W.V.), while the Cavalier duo of Elbaba and Erica Susi (Vero Beach, Fla.) fell 6-3 on court three.
The No. 18-ranked pairing of Danielle Collins (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and Kelley then clinched the doubles point on court one, picking up a 6-4 win over the No. 2 team of Hayley Carter and Whitney Kay to give Virginia the 1-0 lead in the match.
Virginia never trailed despite back-and-forth battles in singles play that included straight-set decisions on courts four, five and six.
North Carolina tied the match as Marika Akkerman defeated Susi 6-1, 6-1 on court five. The Cavaliers then moved back in front with a 6-3, 6-1 win by Meghan Kelley over Kate Vialle on court four. Moments later the overall match score was tied again as the Tar Heels’ Ashley Dai defeated Cassie Mercer 6-2, 6-3 on court six.
With three matches remaining in play, things looked favorable for the Tar Heels who had won the first set on all of the top three courts. The Cavaliers fought back, however, and forced a third set on all of them on the way to the win.
Nauta roared back on court three to push the Cavaliers into the lead in the overall score with a 3-6, 6-0, 6-1 win over Jessie Aney and the focus shifted back to the top two courts in the lineup.
Elbaba then sealed the deal for the Cavaliers, fighting back from a first set defeat to claim the second set in a tiebreak. She then surged ahead of Whitney Kay in the third set to clinch the match with a 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-3 win on court two.
For the second time this season, the contest between the top two singles players in the nation went unfinished as second-ranked Collins and top-ranked Carter were still battling in the third set on court one when the match was clinched.
No. 14 Virginia 4, No. 3 North Carolina 2
No. 1 Hayley Carter vs. No. 2 , 6-4, 2-6, 5-4 (unfinished)
No. 12 def. No. 41 Whitney Kay, 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-3
No. 97 def. No. 57 Jessie Aney, 3-6, 6-0, 6-1
def. Kate Vialle, 6-3, 6-1
Marika Akkerman def. , 6-1, 6-1
Ashley Dai def. , 6-2, 6-3
No. 18 Danielle Collins/Meghan Kelley def. No. 2 Hayley Carter/Whitney Kay, 6-4
Cassie Mercer/Stephanie Nauta def. Jessie Aney/Kate Vialle, 6-2
Ashley Dai/Chloe Oullett-Pizer def. Julia Elbaba/Erica Susi, 6-3