WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – Head Coach Paul Kostin has said all spring that he's been impressed by the toughness and resolve that his Virginia Commonwealth University women's tennis team has displayed.
It's only fitting that in the final regular season match the Rams showed it once again in a 6-1 defeat of conference rival, William & Mary, on Friday afternoon at Busch Tennis Courts.
For only the second time all year, the Black & Gold were swept on the doubles side and found themselves in a quick 1-0 hole.
Enter the previously mentioned resolve.
Sophomore Ana Bara (Oradea, Romania) dispatched Ragini Acharya at #1 singles, 6-1, 6-3 to get things turned around and junior Kateryna Yergina (Kiev, Ukraine) followed with a straight set win at #3 singles. Another straight set win by senior Laura Burns (Hertford, England) at #4 singles pushed the Black & Gold advantage to 3-1.
Enter the previously mentioned toughness.
Sophomore Alex Bara (Oradea, Romania), senior Olena Leonchuk (Kiev, Ukraine) and freshman Josefin Hjertquist (Spanga, Sweden) all posted three-set singles victories to help the Rams sweep the singles side on the day and lock down their 14th win in the past 16 matches.
The Black & Gold conclude the regular season with a 17-4 mark and will enter next week's CAA Tournament as the top seed. It will face the winner of the #8/#9 winner at 2 p.m. on Friday, April 16th. #24 VCU 6, #51 William & Mary 1
No. 1 – Acharya/Kargl (W&M) def. Ana Bara/Hjertquist (VCU) – 8-5
No. 2 – Cepeda/Pop (W&M) def. Burns/Yergina (VCU) – 8-5
No. 3 – Mesgarzadeh/Sabacinski (W&M) def. Alex Bara/Leonchuk (VCU) – 9-7
Finishing Order: 2, 1*, 3
No. 1 – Ana Bara (VCU) def. Ragini Acharya (W&M) - 6-1, 6-3
No. 2 – Josefin Hjertquist (VCU) def. Marlen Mesgarzadeh (W&M) – 1-6, 6-7 (5), 6-2
No. 3 – Kateryna Yergina (VCU) def. Carmen Pop (W&M) – 6-4, 6-4
No. 4 – Laura Burns (VCU) def. Katie Kargl (W&M) – 6-4, 6-3
No. 5 – Alex Bara (VCU) def. Nina Vulovich (W&M) – 2-6, 7-5, 6-4
No. 6 – Olena Leonchuk (VCU) def. Anik Cepeda (W&M) – 5-7, 6-3, 6-2
Finishing Order: 1, 3, 4, 5*, 6, 2