Women’s tennis: No. 14 seed UVA faces No. 3 seed UNC in NCAA Round of 16

virginia tennisThe 14th-seeded and No. 14 UVA (18-10) women’s tennis team will face third-seeded and third-ranked North Carolina (31-2) at 10 a.m. ET on Thursday in the NCAA Tournament Round of 16.

It is the sixth consecutive season for the Cavaliers to advance to the NCAA Round of 16. Virginia’s best result in the NCAA Women’s Tennis Championship came in the 2014 season when the Cavaliers advanced to the Elite Eight.

Virginia advanced to the NCAA Round of 16 by posting a 4-0 win over Fairleigh Dickinson in the first round and a 4-2 win over LSU in the second round last weekend. The Cavaliers are 19-16 all-time in NCAA Tournament play.

The match marks the third time Virginia and North Carolina will face each other this season. Fans can follow the action live through live stats and video linked at VirginiaSports.com. Fans can also keep track of the action through the team’s official Twitter account @UVAWomensTennis.

Virginia and North Carolina played to a 4-3 result in favor of the Tar Heels in the regular-season meeting. The Cavaliers and Tar Heels then faced each other in the semifinals of the ACC Championships this season with North Carolina claiming a 4-1 win in a match that saw the Cavaliers winning on courts one and four, while court six resulted in a retirement due to an injury by Virginia.

Seniors and All-ACC performers Danielle Collins (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and Julia Elbaba (Oyster Bay, N.Y.) lead the Cavaliers into the the Round of 16. Collins, currently ranked No. 2 nationally in singles in the latest ITA rankings, holds a 31-4 record on the season and is 18-2 at No. 1 singles in dual matches this season. Elbaba, currently ranked No. 12 in the latest ITA rankings, is 34-7 on the season in singles play and is 19-4 in dual matches at No. 2 singles. She also set the career record for singles wins with 130 for her career and her 34 wins this season is the most by a senior in Virginia program history.

Senior Stephanie Nauta (Galveston, Texas) serves as a tri-captain with Collins and Elbaba and holds a 19-13 record on the season. Freshman Meghan Kelley (Falmouth, Me.) is 27-9 in singles play this season, including a 7-1 mark at No. 4 singles for the Cavaliers as she has moved up in the lineup this season. Kelley went 12-1 in ACC competition this season.

Freshman Erica Susi (Vero Beach, Fla.) and sophomore Cassie Mercer (Huntington, W.V.) are expected to round out the singles lineup at No. 5 and No. 6, respectively.

Ranked No. 18 nationally in doubles, Collins and Kelley are expected to compete at No. 1 doubles, while Mercer and Nauta are expected to compete at No. 2 doubles. Elbaba and Susi are expected to round out the doubles matches on court three.

The winner of Thursday’s match will play the winner of the match between sixth-seeded Vanderbilt and 11th-seeded Auburn in the quarterfinals on Saturday.

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