May 12, 2018
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The season came to an end for the No. 23 Virginia (16-9) women’s tennis team in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday, as the Cavaliers dropped a 4-0 match to No. 10 South Carolina at the Carolina Tennis Center.
The final score belied the closeness of the match as the two teams battled through several deuce points. Three singles matches were in or on the verge of a third set when the Gamecocks clinched the victory.
“Congratulations to South Carolina,” said Virginia head coach Sara O’Leary. “They played a great match today. Our team was right there in most of the matches. Our top three courts were in a third set or serving to force a third set. At five singles, Dora (Radosavljevic) was a point away from winning the first set, as well as a point away in the second set to reach 5-5. Our team showed incredible heart today, and all season long.
“They are tough, resilient and believe in themselves and each other. They have grown so much on and off the court, and I could not be prouder of them. I’m extremely grateful for the amazing effort from our seniors, Cassie (Mercer) and Dora. They have been tremendous leaders for this program, made an incredibly positive impact and we are going to really miss them.”
The home team pulled away late in doubles as South Carolina got on the board first, claiming the doubles point with wins on courts two and three. The Gamecock duo of Horvit and Martins won 6-1 on court two over the No. 16 duo from UVA of Rosie Johanson (Vancouver, British Columbia) and Meghan Kelley (Falmouth, Maine). South Carolina then clinched the point with a 6-3 win on court three from the pairing of Davies and Rohrabacher over Virginia’s Hunter Bleser (New Braunfels, Texas) and Teodora Radosavljevic (Belgrade, Serbia).
The match on court one went unfinished, with the No. 63 South Carolina duo of Berg and Cline leading Virginia’s No. 54 pairing of Chloe Gullickson (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) and Cassie Mercer (Huntington, W.Va.) by a score of 5-4.
The Gamecocks extended the lead with a win on court six in singles, taking the match score out to 2-0 as Rachel Rohrabacher picked up a 6-2, 6-3 win over Bleser. It was followed by a 6-2, 6-2 win on court four as Paige Cline defeated Gullickson to pull the home team within a point of clinching the match.
With the singles matches on courts one, two and three still in play, the Gamecocks clinched the match with a victory on court five. Megan Davies, the No. 113-ranked player, rallied in both the first and second sets to clinch the win with a 7-6 (3), 6-4 victory over Radosavljevic.
The remaining three singles matches went unfinished with Mercer leading in the third set on court two, Kelley about to start a third set on court three and Johanson on the verge of forcing a third set on court one.
Individual play will continue for a pair of Cavaliers at the NCAA Women’s Singles and Doubles Championships beginning on May 23. Johanson will compete in the singles tournament and pair with Kelley in the doubles championship at Wake Forest.
No. 10 South Carolina 4, No. 23 Virginia 0
1. No. 32 Rosie Johanson vs. No. 59 Ingrid Martins (USC), 4-6, 6-5 (unfinished)
2. Cassie Mercer vs. No. 34 Hadley Berg (USC), 2-6, 6-4, 2-1 (unfinished)
3. Meghan Kelley vs. Mia Horvit (USC), 6-4, 3-6, 0-0 (unfinished)
4. Paige Cline (USC) def. Chloe Gullickson, 6-2, 6-2
5. No. 113 Megan Davies (USC) def. Teodora Radosavljevic, 7-6 (3), 6-4
6. Rachel Rohrabacher (USC) def. Hunter Bleser, 6-2, 6-3
Order of Finish: 6, 4, 5
1. No. 63 Berg/Cline (USC) vs. No. 54 Gullickson/Mercer, 5-4 (unfinished)
2. Horvit/Martins (USC) def. No. 16 Johanson/Kelley, 6-1
3. Davies/Rohrabacher (USC) def. Bleser/Radosavljevic, 6-3
Order of Finish: 2, 3