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WOMEN’S TENNIS

Virginia women's tennis team tops Youngstown State in NCAA Tournament opener

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The No. 5 Virginia women’s tennis team opened play in the NCAA Tournament in impressive fashion on Saturday, cruising to a 4-0 victory over Youngstown State on the indoor courts of the Boar’s Head Sports Club.

The Cavaliers (21-5), who were playing their first match since April 24, showed no signs of rust as they swept past the Penguins.

“It’s been two weeks since our last match, so it’s great to get out there playing another match,” Virginia coach Sara O’Leary said. “It definitely boosts our confidence coming out here and playing strong like we did today.”

Freshman Elaine Chervinsky and junior Natasha Subhash opened the match with a 6-0 victory on doubles court two, then sophomores Emma Navarro and Hibah Shaikh clinched the doubles point for the Cavaliers with a 6-1 victory on court one.

Navarro made it 2-0 with a 6-0, 6-2 victory at No. 1 singles. Sophomore Sara Ziodato followed with a 6-1, 6-1 win on court six. Shaikh won the clincher 6-0, 6-2 on court five.

“I thought the girls competed really well,” O’Leary said. “They played very organized, very composed tennis. That’s something we’ve been talking about doing all season and I thought they executed that really well today.”

The Cavaliers advance to play Princeton (12-10) on Sunday at 1 p.m. in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers, who earned a 4-0 win over Army on Saturday in their first-round match, are ranked No. 44 in the latest ITA team rankings. The Ivy League champions have won six straight matches

Sunday’s match is scheduled to be played outdoors at the Virginia Tennis Facility at the Boar’s Head Resort but could be moved to the indoor courts if there is inclement weather.

“We’re looking forward to [Sunday],” O’Leary said.

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