Jan. 27, 2018
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The top of the order came through for the Cavaliers in singles on Saturday as the Virginia (2-2) women’s tennis team defeated Nebraska (0-2) by a score of 4-2 in the consolation match at the ITA Kickoff Weekend hosted by Vanderbilt.
The Cavaliers grabbed the doubles point to get things started, then picked up singles wins from Rosie Johanson (Abbotsford, British Columbia), Cassie Mercer (Huntington, W.Va.) and Meghan Kelley (Falmouth, Maine) to lock up the victory.
“I’m extremely proud of the team today,” said Virginia head coach Sara O’Leary. “Yesterday we were up and down emotionally, and we let our emotions get the best of us. We spoke about it a lot after the match yesterday and responded so well today. The team showed amazing composure and resilience no matter what adversity they faced.
“I was really proud of the leadership our two seniors showed in doubles. Cassie and Dora were up 4-1 and their opponents really stepped up and played some great, fearless tennis. They could have gotten down on themselves or panicked, but they stayed focused and showed a lot of toughness. To pull through that doubles match 11-9 in the tiebreak after facing that adversity really set the tone for the rest of the match.”
In doubles play, the No. 14 doubles team of Johanson and Kelley won 6-2 on court one, before Nebraska would pick up a 6-3 win on court three to shift all the attention to court two. In the deciding doubles match, the Virginia duo of Mercer and Teodora Radosavljevic (Belgrade, Serbia) battled through a tiebreak to clinch the doubles point with a 7-6 (9) victory.
The Cavaliers extended the lead in singles action with Mercer picking up a 6-2, 6-1 win on court two over Nebraska’s Claire Reifeis. The Cornhuskers would then get on the board with a straight-set win on court four as Brianna Lashway defeated Chloe Gullickson (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) by a score of 6-1, 6-3.
Virginia moved out to a 3-1 lead in the match score with a win on court three as Kelley, who is ranked No. 111 nationally in singles, defeated Paula del Cueto Castillo, 6-1, 7-5.
Again, Nebraska cut the lead to one in the match score with a win on court five as Katerina Matysova defeated Erica Susi (Vero Beach, Fla.) 6-1, 6-3. However, Virginia clinched the match with a win on court one as Johanson, the No. 48 player nationally in singles, defeated Vasanti Shinde, 6-2, 7-6 (0).
The Cavaliers will return to action next weekend, hosting Syracuse in a 10 a.m. match on Saturday (Feb. 3) at the Boar’s Head Sports Club.
Virginia 4, Nebraska 2
1. No. 48 Rosie Johanson def. Vasanti Shinde (NU), 6-2, 7-6 (0)
2. Cassie Mercer def. Claire Reifeis (NU), 6-2, 6-1
3. No. 111 Meghan Kelley def. P. Del Cueto Castillo (NU), 6-1, 7-5
4. Brianna Lashway (NU) def. Chloe Gullickson, 6-1, 6-3
5. Katerina Matysova (NU) def. Erica Susi, 6-1, 6-3
6. Teodora Radosavljevic vs. M’Balia Bangoura (NU), 3-1 (unfinished)
Order of Finish: 2, 4, 3, 5, 1
1. No. 14 Johanson/Kelley def. del Cuerto Castillo/Lashway (NU), 6-2
2. Mercer/Radosavljevic def. Haakenstad/Reifeis (NU), 7-6 (9)
3. Matsyova/Shinde (NU) def. Bleser/Gullickson, 6-3
Order of Finish: 1, 3, 2