How sweet it is. The Virginia’s Women’s Tennis team is moving on to the third round of the NCAA tournament after a big weekend of play in Charlottesville. The Hoos opened the postseason with a dominating 4-0 win over LIU and followed it up with an exciting 4-2 win over Tennessee to earn their spot in the next round. This is Virginia’s first time in the Round of 16 since 2017.
The Hoos swept LIU, winning the doubles point and getting three singles points from Hibah Shaikh, Rosie Johanson, and Emma Navarro.
“This was a great start to the tournament for us. I thought the team was definitely ready to go from the first point in doubles and they feel like they didn’t take their foot off the gas and really wanted to go out there with something to prove,” Virginia head coach Sara O’Leary said after Virginia’s win over LIU in the opening round. “That’s what it’s about right now for us. We’re really just going after something so we’re excited. I think it just shows their focus right now, and that they’re just really excited for this challenge. They’re putting everything into every point in every game and again not taking their foot off the gas.”
Tennessee, which was unseeded in the tournament but is the No. 15 ranked team nationally, provided a tougher test on Saturday. Once again, the Hoos won the doubles point as the duos of Navarro and Johanson and Shaikh and Vivian Glozman picked up victories on courts one and three.
In singles, Natasha Subhash and Navarro gave Virginia a 3-1 lead before a Tennessee win on court six pulled the Vols within one. Shaikh clinched the win for Virginia with a 6-1 score in the second set.
“I think that we’re a dangerous team. We’ve proven where we can play really well at the top of our lineup,” O’Leary stated after Virginia defeated the Vols. “I thought we played well in doubles, especially at one and three, and just kept our foot on the gas. So, I think we’re a dangerous team when we really believe in ourselves and we keep working the way we’ve been working for the past few months.”
Check out all the match points from Virginia’s win over Tennessee here:
Virginia is the No. 14 seed in the tourney, and now will head to the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Florida to face No. 3 Georgia. The match is set for 10am on May 16.