ROME, Ga. – Fourth-seeded Virginia (14-6) suffered a 4-1 loss against No. 1 North Carolina (25-0) in the semifinals of the 2021 ACC Women’s Tennis Championship on Saturday (Apr. 24) in a match played on the indoor courts at the Rome Tennis Center in Rome, Ga.
Sophomore Natasha Subhash (Fairfax, Va.) picked up UVA’s point with a win on singles court two.
In doubles, North Carolina won all three courts to take the early 1-0 lead. The Tar Heels added straight-set victories on singles courts five and six to take a 3-0 lead.
Virginia, making its first ACC semifinal appearance since 2015, would not go out without a fight.
Subhash and No. 24 Cameron Morra were deadlocked in the first set before Subhash won a tiebreaker 7-4. Subhash took the second set 6-3 to put the Cavaliers on the board.
On court three, senior Rosie Johanson (Vancouver, Canada) had dropped her first set 6-3 against No. 34 Alexa Graham. With her team trailing 3-0, she and Graham headed to a tiebreaker to decide the second set, with Johanson outlasting Graham 13-11 to force a third set and kept the Cavaliers in the match.
The top court featured a showdown between the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked singles players in the country. No. 1 Sara Daavettila of North Carolina took the first set 6-3. Freshman Emma Navarro (Charleston, S.C.), who is currently ranked No. 2 but has also held the top spot in the rankings this season, took the second set 6-2. Navarro was up a break in the decider when play was halted.
Freshman Hibah Shaikh (Teaneck, N.J.) took No. 23 Makenna Jones to a tiebreaker to decide their first set on court four, but Jones came away with the 8-6 win. Shaikh battled through a long second set before falling 6-4, giving the match to the Tar Heels.
Johanson’s match was abandoned in the third set.
FROM HEAD COACH SARA O’LEARY
“First off, congrats to UNC on the win today and an incredible season so far. They played well and really pushed us and challenged us in every single match. I thought we bounced back well after not playing our best in doubles and losing that point. Our focus this weekend was about bouncing back from whatever adversity we faced within our matches. I saw so much of that today from Emma and Rosie losing their first sets against opponents who were playing at an extremely high level. Rosie faced five match points in her second set tiebreaker and came through to force a third winning 13-11. Natasha was up big in her first set, her opponent came back but she stayed steady and won the set in a tiebreaker. Hibah was down 7-6, 5-2 40-15 and played three of the toughest points that included 20-30 ball rallies to stay in the match. Yesterday, Sofia and Amber played so courageously and came up huge for us against Duke. We got better this weekend and are looking forward to getting back to Charlottesville to keep working and preparing for NCAAs.”
- Virginia is No. 13 in this week’s ITA rankings. North Carolina has been the top-ranked team all season
- This was Virginia’s first semifinal appearance since winning the ACC Championship in 2015
- This was the first meeting between Emma Navarro and Sara Daavettila. Daavettila did not compete when UVA and UNC played in February
- This was the second time Natasha Subhash topped Cameron Morra this season after also winning their match-up in February
- The Cavaliers will have next week off before learning their postseason fate on Monday, May 3 when the NCAA Selection Show streams online on NCAA.com at 6 pm
- NCAA Singles and Doubles Championship selections will be announced via press release on Tuesday, May 4
#1 North Carolina 4, #13 Virginia 1
- #1 Sara Daavettila (NC) vs. #2 Emma Navarro (VA) 6-3, 2-6, 4-5, unfinished
- #9 Natasha Subhash (VA) def. #24 Cameron Morra (NC) 7-6 (7-4), 6-3
- #34 Alexa Graham (NC) vs. #100 Rosie Johanson (VA) 6-3, 6-7 (11-13), 3-2, unfinished
- #23 Makenna Jones (NC) def. Hibah Shaikh (VA) 7-6 (8-6), 6-4
- #31 Fiona Crawley (NC) def. Amber O’Dell (VA) 6-2, 6-1
- Reilly Tran (NC) def. Sofia Munera (VA) 6-3, 6-0
- #3 Sara Daavettila/Cameron Morra (NC) def. #29 Emma Navarro/Rosie Johanson (VA) 6-2
- #12 Elizabeth Scotty/Makenna Jones (NC) def. #16 Natasha Subhash/Sofia Munera (VA) 6-4
- #32 Alle Sanford/Reilly Tran (NC) def. Vivian Glozman/Hibah Shaikh (VA) 6-4
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (5,6,2,4)