CLEMSON, S.C. — No. 17 Virginia posted the biggest road win in program history on Saturday with a 4-3 victory at No. 12 Clemson at the Hoke Sloan Tennis Center. The Cavaliers improve to 17-6 overall and 6-4 in the ACC with their first ever road win over a top-15 opponent. The Tigers fell to 17-9 overall and 5-5 in the ACC.
“It is great to see the team get this win today,” said head coach Mark Guilbeau. “In a close, back and forth match like this, you never really know ultimately where your four points are going to come from, but when everyone is competing hard and is giving their best effort, it leaves you with a good bit of confidence that a good result will come. Clemson and the wind made for a very challenging match. The team showed strong focus to compete well and use the conditions to their benefit. Our unforced errors were low when we most needed it, and each of the players was also willing and confident to attack and play aggressively when it was the right play.”
Virginia opened the match strong, sweeping all three doubles matches for a 1-0 lead. Maria Fuccillo and Caryssa Peretz got Virginia started with an 8-4 win at No. 3 over Laurianne Henry and Nelly Ciolkowski at No. 3. At No. 1, Erin Vierra and Lindsey Hardenbergh upset third-ranked Josipa Bek and Keri Wong 8-6 to clinch the opening point. Hana Tomljanovic and Emily Fraser completed the sweep with an 8-6 win at No. 2 over Caroline Magnusson and Klara Vyskocilova.
In singles the Tigers tried to rally and won five of the six first sets. In the only match where Virginia won the first set, Fuccillo closed out a 7-6(3), 6-0 win over Henry at No. 6 to make the score 2-0. Clemson drew even in the match as Wong topped Fraser at No. 2 and Magnusson defeated Peretz at No. 5. The Cavalier retook the lead, 3-2, as Hardenbergh posted the biggest win of her career, rallying for a 1-6, 7-5, 6-3 win over ninth-ranked Bek at No. 1 for her first career top-10 singles win. With Clemson leading at No. 4, it appeared that the winner of the match at No. 3 between Tomljanovic and Vyskocilova would win the dual match. Tomljanovic had several match points when serving at 5-4 in the third, but Vyskocilova broke to stay in the match, which eventually went to a third-set tiebreaker. Tomljanovic opened a 6-0 lead in the breaker and closed out a 2-6, 6-1, 7-6(2) win to clinch the victory for the Cavaliers. Ciolkowski finished the match with her win over Vierra at No. 4 to make the final score 4-3.
“It always takes an entire team effort, but certainly the effort from Lindsey today to win a doubles match (with Erin) over the No. 3 ranked team in the country, and then to follow that up with a gutsy, hard-fought, come-from-behind win over the No. 9 player in the country in singles is an incredible effort,” said Guilbeau. “Bek is a great player and an extremely strong competitor. Lindsey certainly matched that and earned a couple of great wins for herself and for this team.”
The win assured Virginia of its second consecutive winning record in the ACC. It marks the first time since 1993 and 1994 that the Cavaliers had back-to-back winning seasons in the conference.
“It will be a great day again tomorrow and another positive opportunity for this team to believe and fight for a final regular season win,” said Guilbeau.