The No. 25 women’s tennis team ended its season with a split of its final two ACC games. The Jackets took on Virginia and Virginia Tech, falling 5-2 to the Cavaliers on Saturday, April 17 and sweeping the Hokies 7-0 on Sunday, April 18.
Tech finishes the year 14-9 overall, with a 5-5 mark in ACC play that put them in seventh place in the conference.
After concluding the home schedule the previous weekend, the Jackets traveled north to Charlottesville, Va. to face No. 31 Virginia, which was a spot above Tech in the ACC standings.
The match got off to a rough start for the Jackets, who dropped all three doubles matches. Freshman Elizabeth Kilborn and sophomore Viet Ha Ngo were the first to fall, dropping their match 8-5 against Emily Fraser and Katie Gater. UVA’s other two tandems were both ranked; No. 55 Lindsey Hardenbergh and Erin Vierra held off Tech sophomores Lynn Blau and Hillary Davis 8-5, and the No. 38 pair of Jennifer Stevens and Hana Tomljanovic held off sophomore Irina Falconi and junior Sasha Krupina 8-4.
Though the Cavaliers held the early 1-0 advantage, Tech evened the score in singles play behind the effort of Falconi, who remains the No. 1 singles player in the nation. Falconi, facing No. 44 Hardenbergh on court one, cruised to a 6-0, 6-3 victory.
The next three matches to finish, though, decided the match in UVA’s favor. Fraser took down Krupina in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2, and Tomljanovic defeated Blau 6-4, 6-2.
Kilborn and UVA’s Stevens had a well-contested match on court five, with each of the first two sets going to a tiebreaker, but Stevens eventually pulled away in the third set. Her 6-7 (4), 7-6 (6), 6-2 victory clinched the match for the Cavaliers.
With the outcome set, the teams split the final two matches. Gater and Davis saw their match go to three sets, but Gater took the final two sets to win 7-5, 5-7, 6-4.
Ngo overcame an early deficit on court three to give Tech its second point. The sophomore dropped the first set but came back to defeat Vierra 3-6, 6-2, 7-5.
Despite the loss, the Jackets looked to bounce back and reach .500 in conference play the following day in Blacksburg, Va. They had a fortunate matchup as their opponent, Virginia Tech, entered the match on an eight-game losing streak.
Doubles play went well for the Jackets, who won two matches to secure the opening point.
On court three, Kilborn and Ngo rolled to an 8-0 sweep against Emily Lauten and Courtney Rauscher. The Hokies evened the score, with Shannon Betts and Martha Blakely topping Blau and Davis 8-2. In the decisive court one match, the No. 25 tandem of Falconi and Krupina rolled to an 8-3 win over Yasmin Hamza and Holly Johnson, securing the doubles point for the Jackets.
Singles play was a clean sweep for the Jackets, who won three matches in straight sets and took the other three via superset tiebreakers.
Falconi managed to take down Hamza 6-3, 6-4 in their first-flight matchup. Blau and Kilborn also won their matches in straight sets; Blau cruised past Lauten 6-2, 6-3, and Kilborn dispatched Rauscher 6-1, 6-4.
In each of the other three matches the Hokie player took the first set, but the Jackets went on to win all three.
Ngo dropped her first set against Blakely, but she won the second set decisively and rolled in the superset tiebreaker. The final tally had Ngo winning 4-6, 6-1, 10-4. Davis won in similar fashion, facing a stiffer challenge in the second set but ultimately defeating Johnson 3-6, 7-5, 10-4.
In the second-flight matchup, Krupina earned the victory when Betts retired due to injury with the score even in their tiebreaker.
As the No. 7 seed in the ACC Tournament, the Jackets earned a rematch against the Hokies in their first-round battle on Thursday. The tournament is being held in Cary, N.C.