SYRACUSE, N.Y. –As has been the trend in matches between the Cavaliers and Orange, it came down to the wire, but it was No. 19 Virginia (5-1, 1-0 ACC) that emerged victorious with a 4-3 win at No. 10 Syracuse (4-1 0-1 ACC) on Friday (Feb. 1).
The Cavaliers claimed the doubles point and picked up singles wins from junior Hunter Bleser (New Braunfels, Texas), senior Meghan Kelley (Falmouth, Maine) and freshman Sofia Munera (Pereira, Colombia) to lock up the dual. Kelley, the nation’s No. 32-ranked singles player, clinched the win for Virginia with her victory at the top of the lineup over No. 43 Gabriela Knutson.
“I am so proud of my team and the determination they showed today,” said Virginia head coach Sara O’Leary. “We spoke a lot last week after our loss to Oklahoma State and our win over Illinois; I felt like we learned so much about ourselves and the identity of this team.
“The ladies came to Syracuse with such a purpose and it showed from the first ball that was struck in doubles. I am so proud of the leadership Meghan (Kelley) showed on the court. Knutson is a phenomenal player and to see Meghan down 5-2 in the first set, then come back to win in straight sets shows how tough she really is. Her first set comeback helped everyone around her and I am just really happy for her and this team. We can learn a lot from this match and have some time over the next two weeks to really work on some things and build off of this win.”
Virginia won the doubles point behind strong play on courts one and three. First, the duo of Bleser and Kelley finished first with a 6-1 win over Syracuse’s Dina Hegab and Guzal Yusupova on court three. The Cavaliers then clinched with a 6-2 win at the top spot from Chloe Gullickson (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) and Amber O’Dell (New Milford, N.J.) over the Orange’s tandem of Gabriela Knutson and Miranda Ramirez. Though it went unfinished, Virginia’s duo of Vivian Glozman (Bellevue, Wash.) and Munera led the No. 24-ranked tandem of Sofya Golubovskaya and Sofya Treshcheva on court two by a score of 5-4.
In singles action, Syracuse evened the match with a win on court three as Ramirez picked up the straight-set victory over Gullickson.
Virginia quickly pushed out to the 3-1 lead with back-to-back wins on courts five and six, respectively. Bleser pushed to the 6-3, 6-2 win over Treshcheva before Munera grabbed the 6-3, 6-0 victory over Hegab.
Syracuse cut the lead back to one point in the overall score with a win by Yusupova on court four.
With the singles match on court two in a third set, the only matchup of ranked players tightened up on court one. After rallying from a 5-2 deficit to win the first set, Kelley again went to work under pressure and forced a tiebreak in the second set. She then controlled the tiebreak to lock up the dual victory with a 7-5, 7-6 (3) win over Knutson.
Syracuse closed the match with the three-set victory on court two for the final 4-3 dual score.
Virginia will return to action on Saturday, February 16, when the Cavaliers host Boston College and George Mason in a doubleheader.
No. 19 Virginia 4, No. 10 Syracuse 3
1. No. 32 Meghan Kelley def. No. 43 Gabriela Knutson (SU) – 7-5, 7-6 (3)
2. No. 92 Sofya Golubovskaya (SU) def. Vivian Glozman – 3-6, 6-3, 7-5
3. Miranda Ramirez (SU) def. Chloe Gullickson – 6-2, 6-2
4. Guzal Yusupova (SU) def. Amber O’Dell – 6-4, 6-4
5. Sofia Munera def. Dina Hegab (SU) – 6-3, 6-0
6. Hunter Bleser def. Sofya Treshcheva (SU) – 6-3, 6-2
Order of Finish: 3, 5, 6, 4, 1, 2
1. Chloe Gullickson/Amber O’Dell def. Gabriella Knutson/Miranda Ramirez (SU) – 6-2
2. Vivian Glozman/Sofia Munera vs. No. 24 Sofya Golubovskaya/Sofya Treshcheva (SU) – 5-4 (unfinished)
3. Hunter Bleser/Meghan Kelley def. Dina Hegab/Guzal Yusupova (SU) – 6-1
Order of Finish: 3, 1