CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The No. 10 Virginia women’s tennis team kicks off the 2021 season this weekend in competition at the UNC Invitational. Members of the Cavalier squad will begin play on Saturday (Jan. 16) and the two-day event runs through Sunday.
Virginia players will compete in matches played on campus at North Carolina on Saturday and at NC State on Sunday. Also competing in the weekend event will be players from No. 1 North Carolina, No. 6 Duke and No. 8 NC State.
Admission is not open to the public at either North Carolina’s Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center or the J.W. Isenhour Tennis Center at NC State.
CAVALIERS IN THE TEAM RANKINGS
The Oracle/ITA Rankings were released this week with the Cavaliers coming in at No. 10 in the preseason team rankings. Virginia is one of five teams from the ACC ranked among the top 10 in the initial poll with North Carolina (No. 1), Duke (No. 6), NC State (No. 8) and Florida State (No. 9). It’s the highest preseason ranking for the Cavaliers since the 2016 spring season.
VIRGINIA IN THE INDIVIDUAL RANKINGS
The Cavaliers have five players ranked in the initial singles rankings this season, with sophomore Natasha Subhash (Fairfax, Va.) leading the way at No. 11. She is joined by senior Rosie Johanson (Abbotsford, British Columbia) at No. 47, freshman Emma Navarro (Charleston, S.C.) at No. 80, junior Sofia Munera (Pereira, Colombia) at No. 91 and junior Amber O’Dell (New Milford, N.J.) at No. 104.
The Cavaliers have one doubles pairing in the preseason rankings with the duo of Johanson and senior Vivian Glozman (Bellevue, Wash.) coming in at No. 31.
Navarro rounded out the individual rankings as she was tabbed the No. 5 newcomer nationally.
RETURNING FOR THE HOOS
Virginia returns five starters from last year’s squad that was ranked No. 11 nationally when the season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including a pair of seniors in Glozman and Johanson, and a pair of juniors in Munera and O’Dell. The ACC did not name annual award winners for the shortened season, but Subhash was named the National Rookie of the Year by the ITA and earned All-America honrs as she held a 26-6 singles record and posted 15 wins over nationally-ranked opponents.
A LOOK BACK AT 2020
Virginia held a 10-5 mark in the spring season when play was canceled and had beaten six top 25 opponents in those matches, including a big win over No. 3 NC State on the road. The Cavaliers had also claimed the ITA Kickoff Weekend regional at Kansas to advance to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships for the first time since the 2016 season.
UP NEXT FOR THE HOOS
Virginia will continue to play on the road next weekend, traveling to the 2021 ITA Kickoff Weekend in a four-team regional hosted by Ohio State. The Cavaliers will face Tennessee on Saturday, Jan. 23, while Ohio State and Washington will play in the other match. The winner of each match will then face off on Sunday for a spot in the ITA National Team Indoor Championship.