Feb. 16, 2018
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The Cavaliers gutted out a win on Friday evening, coming back after losing the doubles point as Virginia (4-2) defeated No. 14 Michigan (4-4) by a score of 4-2 at the Boar’s head Sports Club.
It marks the first win over a nationally-ranked team under first-year head coach Sara O’Leary. It’s also the first win over a top 25 team by the Cavaliers since the 2016 season when Virginia defeated No. 3 North Carolina to advance to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Championships.
Senior Cassie Mercer (Huntington, W.Va.) clinched the match for the Cavaliers as she gutted through a three-set match, defeating No. 56 Chiara Lommer 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-1. Also picking up singles wins for Virginia were senior Teodora Radosavljevic (Belgrade, Serbia), sophomore Hunter Bleser (New Braunfels, Texas) and sophomore Chloe Gullickson (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.).
Gullickson’s win came in three sets over the defending NCAA singles champion, Brienne Minor.
“I’m extremely proud of the way the ladies handled themselves, especially after losing the doubles point,” said Virginia head coach Sara O’Leary. “They didn’t let it get to them. They stayed composed and battled for every single point and every ball in the singles matches. I think our fitness was a huge part of things. We were fit and strong in every third set we played. I’m proud of Cassie, a senior, clinching the match. And Dora, our other senior, finished her match so quickly. I’m proud of their resilience throughout the match.”
The Wolverines took the early lead in the match by picking up wins at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles. The victories, which came within moments of each other, gave Michigan the 1-0 lead in the overall match score.
The Cavaliers wasted no time in surging into the lead in the overall match as Radosavljevic and Bleser picked up straight-set wins at four and six singles. Radosavljevic defeated Mira Ruder-Hook by a score of 6-2, 6-1, while Bleser defeated Bella Lorenzini, 6-3, 6-2.
Gullickson then took the lead out to 3-1 in the overall score with her three-set win over Minor at three singles. She defeated the Wolverine junior 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.
Michigan cut back into the lead with a three-set win at the top of the lineup as No. 29 Kate Fahey defeated junior Meghan Kelley (Falmouth, Maine) by a score of 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.
Mercer then clinched the win, completing her comeback at two singles with the win over the nationally-ranked Lommer.
Virginia will return to action on Tuesday (Feb. 20) in a doubleheader as the Cavaliers face Charlotte at 2:30 p.m. and George Mason at 6:30 p.m. Both matches will be played at the Boar’s Head Sports Club.
Virginia 4, No. 14 Michigan 2
1. No. 29 Kate Fahey (UM) def. Meghan Kelley, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3
2. Cassie Mercer def. No. 56 Chiara Lommer (UM), 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-1
3. Chloe Gullickson def. Brienne Minor (UM), 6-2, 4-6, 6-3
4. Teodora Radosavljevic def. Mira Ruder-Hook (UM), 6-2, 6-1
5. Erica Susi vs. Alex Najarian (UM), 2-6, 7-6 (6), 4-3 (unfinished)
6. Hunter Bleser def. Bella Lorenzini (UM), 6-2, 6-2
Order of Finish: 4, 6, 3, 1, 2
1. Gullickson/Kelley vs. Fahey/Najarian (UM), 3-5 (unfinished)
2. Minor/Ruder-Hook (UM) def. Mercer/Radosavljevic, 6-3
3. Lommer/Patiuk (UM) def. Bleser/Susi, 6-2
Order of Finish: 2, 3