COLUMBIA, S.C. –The No. 21 Virginia women’s tennis team (18-9) ended its season in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday (May 4), dropping a hard-fought battle to No. 4 South Carolina (22-3) by a score of 4-1 at the Carolina Tennis Center.
The 18 wins this season is the seventh most in a single season for the Cavaliers, while the eight ACC wins was the sixth most in a single season.
Despite the team portion of the season ending for Virginia, two players will continue competition in the NCAA Women’s Singles and Doubles Championships May 20-25. Senior Meghan Kelley (Falmouth, Maine) will compete in the singles portion of the tournament and pair with Munera in doubles.
“I first want to congratulate South Carolina on a great match and an excellent season so far,” said Virginia head coach Sara O’Leary. “It was a battle on every court today in doubles and singles. Our number one doubles team played an amazing match against the third-ranked team and even had two match points at 6-5. In singles, we lost five first sets, but we stayed really composed and took three of those matches to third sets. As tough as today’s loss was, if we take it in the right way and learn from this match and season, it should give our team a lot of belief and motivation that it is just a few points separating us from finishing on the other side.”
“I really want to thank our two seniors for their incredible leadership over the past two years. They have given so much of themselves to improve the culture of our program as well as the level of our team. Their selflessness, work ethic and pride in UVA have changed this program for the better and will continue to have a tremendous impact on the program in the future.”
The teams split action on courts two and three doubles with the Gamecocks taking a 6-2 win on court two before the Cavaliers would answer with a 6-2 win on court three. Focus shifted to court one with the match tied 3-3 and the teams on serve. The teams battled to a tiebreak before the third-ranked South Carolina tandem took the match, and the doubles point, with a 7-6 (2) win.
Freshman Sofia Munera (Pereira, Colombia) got Virginia on the board with a straight-set win on court five against Silvia Chinellato. The Cavalier freshman won 6-1, 6-3 to even the dual score at a point each.
South Carolina then won the next two singles matches, taking victories on courts one and three to pull within a point of clinching the match. At the top of the lineup, No. 4 Ingrid Gamarra-Martins took a 6-4, 6-2 victory from No. 23 Kelley, while No. 81 Mia Horvit took a 6-5, 7-5 victory from No. 123 Amber O’Dell (New Milford, N.J.) on court three.
The attention then focused to the left side of the stadium as courts two, four and six all moved to third sets following second-set rallies by Virginia on all three courts.
With the Cavaliers’ holding leads on courts four and six, respectively, the Gamecocks closed out the match with a win on court two. In that matchup, No. 17 Paige Cline put together a solid third set to take the win from Vivian Glozman (Bellevue, Wash.) by a score of 6-2, 4-6, 6-1.
No. 4 South Carolina 4, No. 21 Virginia 1
1. No. 4 Ingrid Gamarra-Martins (USC) def. No. 23 Meghan Kelley – 6-4, 6-2
2. No. 17 Paige Cline (USC) def. Vivian Glozman – 6-2, 4-6, 6-1
3. No. 81 Mia Horvit (USC) def. No. 123 Amber O’Dell – 6-4, 7-5
4. Chloe Gullickson vs. Megan Davies (USC) – 3-6, 6-4, 3-2 (unfinished)
5. Sofia Munera def. Silvia Chinellato (USC) – 6-1, 6-3
6. Camille Favero vs. Rachel Rohrabacher (USC) – 5-7, 6-1, 4-3 (unfinished)
Order of Finish: 5, 1, 3, 2
1. No. 3 Ingrid Gamarra-Martins/Mia Horvit (USC) def. No. 50 Chloe Gullickson/Amber O’Dell – 7-6 (2)
2. No. 39 Megan Davies/Rachel Rohrabacher (USC) def. No. 90 Vivian Glozman/Sofia Munera – 6-2
3. Hunter Bleser/Meghan Kelley def. Paige Cline/Kennedy Wicker (USC) – 6-2
Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1