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Virginia Women’s Tennis: A look back at the 2017-18 season

Hoos fall in second round of NCAA tournament in Coach O’Leary’s first season as head coach.

Photos From Tennis’s 100th Consecutive ACC Victory

The University of Virginia women’s tennis team had a solid 2017-18 season under new head coach Sara O’Leary and director of tennis Andres Pedroso. Virginia went 16-9 overall (9-5 ACC) on the season before falling to No. 10 South Carolina in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

O’Leary joined the Virginia athletic department from Davidson, where she served as the head coach for three seasons. Prior to coaching the Wildcats, O’Leary served as an assistant for North Carolina.

Virginia finished the season ranked No. 23 in the Oracle/ITA Division I Women’s Rankings, and spent the last 12 weeks of the season in the top-30. The Hoos reached No. 18 on March 27, its highest ranking of the season.

Second year Rosie Johanson earned a spot on the All-ACC first team thanks to her 22-13 overall record and her nine wins over nationally ranked competition. This was the second straight year she was an All-ACC selection, making the second team as a first year. Third year Meghan Kelley was also an All-ACC honoree as a member of the third team. Kelley went 22-8 on the season and 11-3 in the ACC. Johanson and Kelley participated in the NCAA Doubles competition, and Johanson in the NCAA Singles tournament as well.

Here’s how the season played out for the Hoos:

Regular Season

Things got off to a rough start as the Hoos dropped their season opener to Old Dominion, 5-2, and lost two of their first three games. After that, however, the Hoos hit a hot streak as they won six straight matches. A loss to No. 3 Georgia Tech halted Virginia’s winning ways, and No. 2 Duke made it two straight losses for the Hoos.

Virginia went on another solid run, winning five straight matches before a second meeting with Florida State (they faced off in the third match of the year in the ITA Kickoff Weekend) got in the way of their second six-win streak.

The Hoos alternated wins and losses the rest of the regular season, picking up victories over Virginia Tech, NC State, and Wake Forest.

In the regular season, the Hoos went 6-1 against non-conference teams, with the lone loss coming against ODU to open the season.

Wins over No. 14 Michigan and No. 19 Miami were Virginia’s best on the season, but didn’t fare well against the top three, falling against No. 1 North Carolina, No. 2 Duke, and No. 3 Georgia Tech.

ACC Tournament

The Cavaliers earned the No. 6 seed in the ACC tournament and had to turn around and play No. 11 seeded Wake Forest for the second straight match, separated by just four days. The Demon Deacons got the better of the Hoos in the second matchup as Virginia was without Johanson. Wake picked up the doubles point to go ahead early, then won on courts one, three, and five to secure the victory.

NCAA Tournament

Just like the men’s team, the Cavaliers drew VCU in the first round of the tournament, facing the Rams in the Columbia, SC site. Virginia picked up a 4-2 win over VCU after victories in doubles and singles wins by Kelley, Chloe Gullickson, and Teodora Radosavljevic. The win earned Virginia a matchup with No. 10 and host team South Carolina. The Hoos struggled out the gate, eventually falling to the Gamecocks 4-0.

Outlook

Virginia returns eight of their 10 players next season, including Johanson and Kelley. Radosavljevic, who had a season record of 19-15, will graduate alongside fourth year Cassie Mercer (14-15). First years Lizzie Baker and Maya Das combined to go 5-13 overall in singles play.

(All individual records in this article reflect singles results only unless otherwise specified. An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Baker and Das did not play in any singles matches during the season.)