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Year in Review: 2011 Virginia Women's Tennis

Record: 20-8 (7-4 ACC); advanced to NCAA Sweet Sixteen for first time in program history.

MVP: Lindsey Hardenbergh

Hardenbergh played at #1 singles for most of the year, compiling a stellar 9-1 record at that spot and an incredible 24-3 record overall, including 11-0 in ACC competition. She was also part of two doubles teams, teaming with Caryssa Peretz to go 2-0 at #3 doubles and with Erin Vierra to go 18-4 (6-3 at #1, 9-1 at #2 and 3-0 at #3). She finished the season ranked as the #27 player in the country.

Overview: The women's tennis team has looked to be "almost there" for a number of years now. This year they finally showed that they are here, notching the most wins in program history (20) and going as deeper into the NCAA tournament than any Virginia team had gone before (Sweet 16). And they did it without a single senior on the roster. The two best players, Emily Fraser and Lindsey Hardenbergh were both juniors. Most of the other contributors were sophomores and even a few freshmen got in the mix. This is a team on the move.

Highlight(s): I'll throw two out here: 1) Beating #3 Baylor to start the ITA National Team Indoors. Although they subsequently lost to #6 Duke, I don't think anyone expected the hosting Cavaliers to advance past the Bears. 2) Winning the Charlottesville Regional to advance to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time in program history.

Lowpoint(s): I'll give two here as well. 1) Losing to Maryland in College Park back in March. The Cavaliers were on a roll and the Terrapins were the underdogs even at home. 2) Losing to FSU in the first round of the ACC tournament. Once again, the Cavaliers were on a roll, having just defeated #12 Clemson and #13 Georgia Tech - both on the road and in consecutive days. But the 'Hoos faltered and dropped a 3-4 decision to the Seminoles. 

Future Outlook: It doesn't take much of a fortune teller to predict this one. The outlook is very positive. The Cavaliers return every starter from the team that had the best performance in school history. It doesn't appear to be much of a stretch that the few lowpoints mentioned above would have been avoided by a more mature team... a team like the one we'll have next year. Mark Guilbeau has done a fantastic job of setting up this program has a true contender.