CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The No. 20 Virginia women’s tennis team (1-0) opens the ITA Kickoff Weekend on Friday (Jan. 24), facing No. 17 California (0-0) in the first-round match of a four-team regional at Kansas. Virginia and Cal are scheduled for a 4 p.m. ET first serve from the Jayhawk Tennis Center.
Also competing in the weekend event are No. 19 Kansas (2-0) and No. 22 Tennessee (2-0). The winners of the two matches on Friday will advance to face each other on Saturday (Jan. 25), while the losers of the two matches on Friday will face off in a consolation match.
Fans can follow the action through live video streams of each court linked at VirginiaSports.com or by following the program’s official Twitter account (@UVAWomensTennis).
ABOUT THE ITA KICKOFF WEEKEND
The ITA Kickoff Weekend is the precursor to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships and is comprised of 16 Regionals of four teams each around the country. The winner of each regional will advance to compete at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships at Illinois (Feb. 7-10).
VIRGINIA IN THE ITA RANKINGS
The Cavaliers stayed at the No. 20 spot in the latest ITA Team Rankings following a sweep of Towson last weekend.
The singles and doubles rankings remain unchanged heading into the week, giving the Cavaliers three players ranked in singles with freshman Natasha Subhash (Fairfax, Va.) at No. 30, redshirt junior Rosie Johanson (Vancouver, British Columbia) at No. 35 and sophomore Sofia Munera (Pereira, Colombia) at No. 78.
SUBHASH NAMED ACC FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
Subhash was named ACC CO-Freshman of the Week following the opening week of competition as she posted a 6-0, 6-0 win at the top of the lineup in the Cavaliers’ victory over the Towson Tigers. She also paired with Munera on court two in doubles to take help clinch the doubles point in the sweep of the Tigers.
A LOOK AT THE CAL BEARS
Cal enters the weekend as the No. 16 team in the nation, moving up a spot from the initial rankings despite having not played a dual match yet this season. The Bears have four players in the ITA singles rankings, including No. 20 Valentina Ivanov, No. 21 Haley Giavara, No. 45 Julia Rosenqvist and No. 100 Anna Bright. In doubles, the pairing of Bright and Giavara is ranked No. 13, while Bright is ranked No. 55 when paired with Ivanov.
Cal is coming off a 13-9 season a year ago, but advanced to the second round of the NCAA Championships after defeating Long Beach State in the opening round before falling to Pepperdine in the second round.
THE SERIES WITH CAL
Virginia and Cal have faced each other one time in the history of the two programs with that meeting coming in the 2016 ITA National Team Indoor Championships. Then sixth-ranked Cal took a 4-1 victory over the seventh-ranked Cavaliers in the second round of the event.
A LOOK AT THE VOLUNTEERS
Tennessee enters the weekend with an overall record of 2-0 after a pair of shutout victories over North Alabama. The Volunteers have two nationally-ranked players in singles with No. 72 Kaitlin Staines and No. 76 Rebeka Mertena. In doubles, the Vols are led by the No. 15 pairing of Staines and Tenika McGiffin. Last season, Tennessee finished with a 20-8 record and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, defeating Furman before falling to NC State in the second round.
A LOOK AT THE JAYHAWKS
Kansas is 2-0 entering the ITA Kickoff Weekend after posting a pair of victories over Drake and Wichita State. The Jayhawks have a pair of players in the singles rankings with No. 63 Sonia Smagina and No. 93 Malkia Ngounoue. In doubles, the pairing of Smagina and Carmen Manu are ranked No. 42. Kansas went 27-5 and advance to the third round of the NCAA Championships, falling at eventual NCAA champion Stanford by a score of 4-3.
UP NEXT FOR THE CAVALIERS
Virginia will return to action at home next week, facing Richmond in a 3 p.m. match on Thursday, Jan. 30, before hitting the road to open ACC play at Boston College on Sunday (Feb. 2) in a 10 a.m. match.