RAMS BLOW PAST IN-STATE RIVAL VIRGINIA TECH, 5-2

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Head Coach Paul Kostin talked about his concern with the speed of the courts at Virginia Tech.

On Saturday afternoon, Kostin's Virginia Commonwealth University women's tennis team settled those nerves pretty quickly as the 29th-ranked Black & Gold rolled to a 5-2 decision over its in-state rival in Blacksburg.

"I'm proud of our girls," Kostin said. "Indoor can be tricky because you run into so many different courts and Virginia Tech is one of them. The courts play very fast, but our girls did a great job adjusting and picking up the win."

After sophomore Alex Bara (Oradea, Romania) and senior Olena Leonchuk (Kiev, Ukraine) won their doubles match, veterans Laura Burns (Hertford, England) and Kateryna Yergina (Kiev, Ukraine) locked up the doubles point with an 8-6 win over Virginia Tech's Yasmin Hamza and Holly Johnson.

Burns and Yergina kept the momentum going in singles, rolling to straight set victories at #6 and #3 singles respectively.

After the Hokies finally got on the board with a win at #1 singles, Alex Bara locked up the win for the Black & Gold with a 6-4, 7-5 win over Shannon Betts at #4.

Freshman Josefin Hjertquist (Spanga, Sweden) added a straight set tough 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 at #2 singles  to wrap up the scoring for the Rams.

The Rams return home on Sunday afternoon for a 1 p.m. showdown with the University of Pennsylania at the Thalhimer Tennis Center.

#29 VCU 5, #61 Virginia Tech 2

Doubles:
1.Blakley/Lauten (VT) def.  Ana Bara/Hjertquist, 8-6
2. Burns/Yergina def. Hamza/Holly Johnson (VT), 8-6
3. Alex Bara/Leonchuk def. Betts/Rauscher (VT), 8-4
Order of finish: 3,1,2

Singles:
1. Martha Blakley (VT) def. Ana Bara, 6-4, 1-6, 6-3
2. Hjertquist def. Christin Newman (VT), 6-3, 2-6, 6-4
3. Yergina def. Yasmin Hamza (VT), 6-4, 6-1
4. Alex Bara def. Shannon Betts (VT), 6-4, 7-5
5. Courtney Rauscher (VT) def. Leonchuk, 3-6, 6-4, 2-1 ret.
6. Burns def. Emily Lauten (VT),  6-2, 6-2
Order of finish: 6,3,1,4,5,2

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