This past weekend, Virginia women’s tennis extended their winning streak to five matches as they defeated both Wake Forest and NC State. At the Virginia Tennis Facility at Boar’s Head Resort, the Cavaliers (16-4, 8-3 ACC) kick off their senior day with a 5-2 win against Demon Deacons (15-4, 7-3 ACC). They continued their streak on Sunday with a 4-3 nailbiter, in which the match came down to sophomore Sara Ziodato on the last singles court.
Before their first match on Friday, the Cavaliers celebrated senior day with honoring seniors Amber O’Dell and Sofia Munera.
The match against Wake Forest began strong in Virginia on the Doubles Court, possibly from an uncharacteristic first loss. 17 sophomore duo Emma Navarro and Hibah Shaikh, who were just barely defended by No. 13 sophomore Brooke Killingsworth and senior Anna Brylin.
The Cavaliers were still able to clinch the doubles point, as did the other pairs of Munera and Natasha Subhash, and freshman Elaine Chervinsky and O’Dell were able to pull through to Virginia. Wake Forest’s graduate student Samantha Martinelli and senior Peyton Pesavento, while Chervinsky and O’Dell fought off a tight match, ultimately defeated Wake Forest’s 6-3 defeat in a 7-5 win.
Virginia-dominated singles courts with no. 5 Navarro and No. 40 Subhash Defeating Their Most Opponent Number. 35 straight sets in senior Carolyn Campana and junior Anna Campana. Another point Munera quickly followed up with was Brylin, her Senior Day on the Cavaliers for Securing the Win.
At this point, Virginia was up 4-0 in the match, but the Demon Deacons were still fighting. Martinelli defeated Shaikh and Killingsworth on the Wake Forest to put on defeated O’Dell. Ultimately, the Cavaliers have one match point. Ziodato beat senior Saby Nihalani, securing Virginia’s 5-2 victory.
With seniors O’Dell and Munera securing the doubles and the last singles point, Coach Sara O’Leary could only offer praise.
“They really led the team today with their energy, confidence and toughness and determination to see where they are going with this last stretch of our season,” O’Leary said.
The Wolfpack (20-4, 7-3 ACC) faces off against its home court on Sunday. Once again, Navarro and Shaikh were defeated, this time by graduate student Jaeda Daniel and senior Nell Miller. This loss marked the pair’s second of the weekend and the entire season. Chervinsky and O’Dell tied the doubles match by winning their game, but Munera and Subhash were defeated. 26 sophomores Amelia Rajecki and Abigail Rencheli, giving the first point of the match to NC State.
On the singles courts, points were even more contested. Shaikh tied the match for Virginia with a win over sophomore Sophie Abrams in straight sets, but Rajecki defeated Munera shortly after to put the Wolfpack up again.
Navarro and Subhash hit back, quickly winning their respective games. 12 Daniel and No. 33 Rencheli. At this point, the Cavaliers were winning the match 3-2 and only needed one more point to secure the victory. However, No. 61 freshman Priska Nugroho pushed past a tie for Chervinsky.
Ultimately, all eyes fell on the game between Ziodato and Miller on the Sixth Court, which was the winner of the match. The first two sets were split, but the final set ended in a 6-1 victory over Ziodato, handing the match to Virginia.
“I think we’ve been knocking on the door with some of these top teams,” O’Leary said. “We had a healthy squad out there today, so that makes a big difference. I think that really helped with the energy today and we’re just moving forward. I think we’re just going to continue to build off of this. ”
Looking forward, the Cavaliers look to extend their winning streak on the road with their last two games of the regular season. They will face two final ACC opponents, Clemson on Friday in Clemson, SC and Georgia Tech on Sunday in Atlanta, Ga. The ACC Tournament picks up at the Rome Tennis Center in Rome, Ga.