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Women's Tennis Opens Season with Doubleheader Sweep

Lindsay Hardenbergh, courtesy UVa Media RelationsThe Virginia women's tennis team started on the road to a perfect season by opening with a doubleheader sweep of No. 33 Illinois 4-3 and Richmond 7-0 on Sunday at the Boar's Head Sports Club in Charlottesville. 

"We are so proud of this team," said head coach Mark Guilbeau. "Today was a great day to start the dual match season, especially as we had five first-years getting their first dual match experience today. Not only did they do a great job of competing, but they also led the team both on and off the courts."

In the first match, the Cavaliers (2-0) edged Illinois (0-2) by a 4-3 score. Lindsey Hardenbergh and Erin Vierra teamed at No. 2 to capture an 8-5 victory.  Meanwhile, Jennifer Stevens and Emily Fraser clinched the opening point with an 8-4 win at No. 1.

Vierra extended the Cavalier lead to 2-0 with her 6-2, 6-1 win over Leigh Finnegan at No. 3 singles. After the Illini cut the lead to 2-1, No. 72 Hardenbergh made the score 3-1 with her 6-4, 6-2 win over 33rd-ranked Rachael White at No. 1 singles. Hana Tomljanovic (Boca Raton. Fla.) clinched the victory with her 6-4, 6-2 win over Breanne Smutko at No. 5 singles.

In the nightcap, the Cavaliers shutout in-state rival Richmond (0-1). Vierra and Hardenbergh won at No. 1 doubles and Tomljanovic and Neela Vaez (Perrysburg, Ohio) won at No. 2 doubles to give Virginia a 1-0 lead. The Cavaliers swept all six singles matches against the Spiders, all in straight sets. Hardenbergh, Stevens, Vierra, Tomljanovic, Katie Gater (Dunblane, Scotland) and Maria Fuccillo (Rockville, Md.) recorded the wins for Virginia.

"I am proud of the leadership of our captains, Emily and Lindsey," said Guilbeau. "We had a great week of practice and this was the best we have done of having what we do in practice carry over to matches."

The Cavaliers travel to Fresno, Calif. next weekend for the ITA Kickoff Weekend, which serves as a qualifying tournament for ITA National Team Indoors. Virginia opens play Saturday against Florida State.

Courtesy of