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Virginia Tennis Update

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Two teams are heading in two very different directions as the postseason looms.

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The college tennis regular season wraps up this weekend for the Virginia tennis teams with a pair of home matches at the Snyder Tennis Courts on Friday and Sunday.

Men's Tennis

When We Last Left Our Heroes

The men's tennis team era of invincibility in the Atlantic Coast Conference was ended after over nine years when North Carolina knocked off the Hoos in the final of the National Team Indoor tournament. Virginia had previously won 140 straight matches against ACC competition.

How's It Going?

Not too bad actually. The Hoos followed up the loss to UNC with another loss at Illinois, but defending NCAA singles champion Ryan Shane was not in the lineup for Virginia. The Cavaliers are 9-1 in the ACC heading into this weekend, with the lone loss being a close road contest against the Tar Heels. UNC, however, has run into a bit of trouble recently, and has lost three conference matches, eliminating them from the regular season title picture.

North Carolina's recent struggles, coupled with some timely losses by other teams has put UVA back into the #1 spot in the national rankings. The Hoos will likely need to win the ACC Tournament to keep that spot, but they are in a fine position to get a favorable draw in the NCAA tournament.

What's Next?

The Hoos will battle the other national power in the ACC, Wake Forest at 3pm today. The Demon Deacons are also 9-1 in the conference, with a lone loss to NC State. The winner of the Wake-Virginia match will claim at least a share of the regular season crown, and lock up the #1 seed in next week's ACC tournament. The Hoos will conclude the regular season against Miami at 1:00pm on Sunday at Snyder.

Women's Tennis

When We Last Left Our Heroes

The women's tennis team was 4-3 after competing in the National Team Indoor tournament, albeit with a depleted roster.

How's It Going?

Well...not good.

The roster depletion that started with several players boldly returning to Grounds in the midst of a snowstorm from the team hotel - and being suspended for their efforts - has been made somewhat permanent. Seniors Skylar Morton and Maci Epstein both left the team as reported by Whitelaw Reid in the Daily Progress, and then to make matters worse, junior Victoria Olivarez followed them out the door a week later. All three players were suspended following the snow incident.

Morton's loss was huge for a team that was a preseason darkhorse candidate to go deep into the NCAA Tournament. She was playing well at #3 singles and was a key doubles contributor. Olivarez was a solid member of the singles lineup as well. The departures have forced Erica Susi and Cassie Mercer into the singles lineup, and left the Hoos with essentially no bench.

The Cavaliers have limped through the ACC season, and now own a 12-9 record overall, and are 7-5 in the ACC. They are ranked #13 in the country, and will need a strong performance in the next two weeks to avoid falling out of the top 16, which would mean they would travel to open the NCAA tournament.

What's Next?

Luckily for Virginia, the final two matches of the ACC season are winnable home matches against unranked Pittsburgh and #51 Notre Dame. The women play the Panthers at 3pm today at Snyder, and finish the regular season at 10am on Sunday at Snyder against the Irish.

Wait, You Made a Mistake There...

No I didn't. The women's match against Pitt and the men's match against Wake will be played at Snyder at the same time. There are 13 courts at Snyder, so it can handle a pair of college matches. You rarely see men's and women's matches played concurrently like this, so if you're in the Charlottesville area this afternoon, you might want to check it out.