ROME, Ga. – The No. 7 Virginia women’s tennis team (20-4) defeated No. 1 North Carolina (24-2) by a 4-2 score in the semifinals of the 2022 Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Tennis Championship on Saturday (April 23) at the Rome Tennis Center in Rome, Ga.
UVA advances to the ACC Championship match where they will face two-seed Duke (18-3, 11-2 ACC) on Sunday, Apr. 24 at 2 p.m. It will be UVA’s first time playing in the final since 2015.
Junior Natasha Subhash won the clinching point for the Cavaliers.
North Carolina opened the match with a 6-1 win on doubles court two. Sophomore Elaine Chervinsky and senior Amber O’Dell evened it with a 6-4 win on court three. Sophomores Emma Navarro and Hibah Shaikh clinched the point with a 7-5 victory against the nation’s top-ranked doubles team Elizabeth Scotty and Fiona Crawley.
Navarro gave UVA a 2-0 lead with a 6-1, 6-0 win against No. 4 Cameron Morra on the top court. The Tar Heels came back to tie the match with straight-set victories on courts four and five. Sophomore Sara Ziodato put the Cavaliers back ahead with a 6-4, 6-1 win against Anika Yarlagadda on court six.
On court two, Subhash had won her first set 6-4 against Scotty, who is ranked No. 22 in the ITA singles rankings, but dropped her second 6-2. In the third set, Subhash jumped out to a 3-0 lead, but Scotty broke back to put it back on serve. Subhash broke Scotty in the final game, winning a deuce point to seal the victory.
FROM HEAD COACH SARA O’LEARY
“I am just so incredibly proud of this group! I think they just handled all the adversity that they faced today so well and they did it with such composure and determination. There were so many momentum switches from doubles to singles. They just kept believing in themselves and believing in each other. That’s what they’ve been doing the past couple of weeks and I’m just thrilled for them. I’m excited for them. And we’re, we’re really looking forward to tomorrow.”
- The Cavaliers have won their last nine matches, including two victories against No. 3 NC State and this one against No. 1 North Carolina
- This was the highest-ranked win for the program since defeating No. 1 Duke in 2014
- Last season, the Cavaliers advanced to the semifinals with a 4-2 win against Duke before falling 4-1 against North Carolina. Natasha Subhash had the lone point for the Cavaliers in the loss to the Tar Heels
- UNC has the previous eight meetings between the two teams. UVA’s last victory over the Tar Heels came in the Round of 16 of the 2016 NCAA Tournament
- Virginia head coach Sara O’Leary and associate head coach Gina Suarez-Malaguti are both UNC alumna
- Duke is ranked No. 5 in the latest ITA team rankings. Virginia is No. 7
- Duke won the regular-season meeting 4-3 in Durham
VIRGINIA & ACC CHAMPIONSHIP
- Virginia has made two trips to the finals since 1990 (the present format for the championship) in 2014 and 2015, winning the title both times under previous head coach Mark Gilbeau
- Danielle Collins was the 2014 ACC Championship MVP; Skyler Morton won the honor in 2015
- UVA also has two runner-up finishes in previous tournament formats in 1978 and 1989
- Sara O’Leary is looking for her first conference championship as a head coach. Her Davidson Wildcats made the conference final in her second of three seasons there (2016)
#7 Virginia 4, #1 North Carolina 2
- #1 Emma Navarro (VA) def. #4 Cameron Morra (NC) 6-1, 6-0
- #42 Natasha Subhash (VA) def. #22 Elizabeth Scotty (NC) 6-4, 2-6, 6-4
- #25 Reilly Tran (NC) vs #67 Elaine Chervinsky (VA) 7-6 (5), 6-6 (5-3), unfinished
- #55 Fiona Crawley (NC) def. Sofia Munera (VA) 6-3, 6-2
- #49 Carson Tanguilig (NC) def. Hibah Shaikh (VA) 6-1, 6-4
- Sara Ziodato (VA) def. Anika Yarlagadda (NC) 6-4, 6-1
- #8 Emma Navarro/Hibah Shaikh (VA) def. #1 Elizabeth Scotty/Fiona Crawley (NC) 7-5
- Alle Sanford/Carson Tanguilig (NC) def. Sofia Munera/Natasha Subhash (VA) 6-1
- Elaine Chervinsky/Amber O’Dell (VA) def. Reilly Tran/Cameron Morra (NC) 6-4
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (1,5,4,6,2)