“We really give a lot of credit to Michigan,” said Virginia associate head coach Troy Porco. “They were fighting so hard and got ahead of us as well as coming back after behind a couple of times. We give credit to our kids for hanging in there and staying composed and working through the ups-and-downs of the matches to give ourselves the chance to come out on top.”
The Cavaliers started strong in doubles with senior Danielle Collins (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and freshman Meghan Kelley (Falmouth, Me.), currently ranked No. 25 in doubles, earning a 6-1 victory over 11th-ranked Mira Ruder-Hook and Brienne Minor on court one. Seniors Julia Elbaba (Oyster Bay, N.Y.) and Skylar Morton (Bethesda, Md.) followed with a 6-2 victory at No. 2 to secure the doubles point.
Morton, currently ranked No. 64 in singles, took out unranked Alex Najarian 6-2, 7-5 to put the Cavaliers up 2-0. Michigan came back to tie the match, 2-2, after both Collins and Elbaba fell on courts one and two. Kelley, who had cruised to a 6-0 victory in her first set but fell 6-1 in her second, put UVA up 3-2 by wrapping up her match against Teona Velehorschi with a 6-3 victory on No. 6. Junior Victoria Olivarez (Virginia Beach, Va.), who dropped her first set 6-4, battled back to win her second set 7-5 before securing the victory by taking the third set against Sara Remynse 6-1.
“This was exactly how we explained things to the team beforehand, that this match with two very, very good, competitive teams was going to come right down to the wire,” said Virginia head coach Mark Guilbeau. “I am really proud of how we came out in both doubles and singles. If we were playing a team that wasn’t as willing to fight as Michigan, I could see another team just going away. I give our girls a ton of credit for fighting through. We learned a lot from the fight they put forward. For us to see this, experience this and know that we can come out of it with a win is going to be good for us. The fight, effort and other things you learn in a match like this are probably even more important than actually winning. Michigan was without their number three player – a very spirited and tough player. They were extremely tough in how well they handled that adversity. We wish Kate and the Michigan team the best ahead.”
The Cavaliers will play three road matches next week beginning on Thursday, March 17 when they play at No. 3 Georgia at 2 p.m. Virginia closes out the weekend with back-to-back ACC road matches at No. 31 NC State on Saturday at 12 p.m. and No. 22 Wake Forest on Sunday at 10 a.m. UVA will not be back in action in Charlottesville again until Friday, April 1 when it hosts Duke at 3 p.m. at the Snyder Tennis Center.
#10 Virginia 4, #6 Michigan 2
- #14 Brienne Minor (MICHIGAN) def. #4 Danielle Collins (VA) 7-5, 6-0
- #18 Ronit Yurovsky (MICHIGAN) def. #13 Julia Elbaba (VA) 7-5, 6-3
- #64 Skylar Morton (VA) def. Alex Najarian (MICHIGAN) 6-2, 7-5
- Stephanie Nauta (VA) vs. Mira Ruder-Hook (MICHIGAN) 6-3, 6-7, unfinished
- Victoria Olivarez (VA) def. Sara Remynse (MICHIGAN) 4-6, 7-5, 6-1
- Meghan Kelley (VA) def. Teona Velehorschi (MICHIGAN) 6-0, 1-6, 6-3
- #25 Danielle Collins/Meghan Kelley (VA) def. #11 Mira Ruder-Hook/Brienne Minor (MICHIGAN) 6-1
- Julia Elbaba/Skylar Morton (VA) def. Ronit Yurovsky/Alex Najarian (MICHIGAN) 6-2
- Stephanie Nauta/Cassie Mercer (VA) vs. Teona Velehorschi/Sara Remynse (MICHIGAN) 4-3, unfinished