ORLANDO, Fla. – Top-seeded VCU defeated sixth-seeded Massachusetts, 4-2 to claim the Atlantic 10 Women’s Tennis Championship title on Sunday at the USTA National Campus. It is the Rams' fifth title since 2013.
In doubles play, Massachusetts used victories on the No. 2 and No. 3 courts to jump out to an early 1-0 lead. Janja Kovacevic and Martina Bocchi clinched the No. 2 court by defeating Noumea Witmus and Paola Exposito Diaz-Delgado by a score of 6-1. Anna Yrazusta and Anna Napadiy followed their teammates win by quickly securing the No. 3 court with a 6-2 win.
Trailing UMass by one entering singles play didn’t faze VCU’s
In a tightly contested first set between VCU’s Sofia Sualehe and UMass’ Bocchi that ended in a tiebreak, 7-6(6), Sualehe then ousted her counterpart 6-1 in the second set. Sualehe’s win shortly after gave the Rams three straight victories and a 3-1 advantage over the Minutewomen.
Massachusetts’ Napadiy narrowed the gap for the Minutewomen with her two-set victory over Kanako Yano. In a contested first set, Napadiy dispatched Yano 6-4. In the second set, Napadiy used a 6-1 second set win to bring UMass to within one of the lead.
Playing in the No. 1 spot, Anna Rasmussen and UMass’ Ruth Crawford battled back-and-forth, forcing a close tiebreak set. Rasmussen outlasted Crawford 7-6(6) to pull the Rams within a set of claiming the A-10 title. Rasmussen secured the title for VCU by quickly defeating Crawford 6-2 in the second set.
In the only match that didn’t finish, UMass’ Yrazusta had defeated VCU’s Diaz-Delgado, also in a first set tiebreak, 7-6(10). They did not finish the second set, which Diaz-Delgado was leading 3-2 when Rasmussen secured the championship for the Rams.
With the win, VCU clinches the NCAA automatic qualifying bid to the NCAA Tournament. The NCAA selection show for women’s tennis is Tuesday, May 1 at 5:00 pm.
#1 VCU def. #6 Massachusetts, 4-2
- Anna Rasmussen (VCU), def. Ruth Crawford (UM) 7-6(6), 6-2
- Paola Exposito Diaz-Delgado (VCU) vs. Ana Yrazusta (UM) 7-6(10), 3-2, DNF
- Marina Alcaide Bakkari (VCU) def. Janja Kovacevic (UM) 6-1, 6-2
- Noumea Witmus (VCU) def. Laura Moreno (UM) 6-2, 6-1
- Anna Napadiy (UM) def. Kanako Yano (VCU) 6-4, 6-1
- Sofia Sualehe (VCU), def. Martina Bocchi (UM) 7-6(6), 6-1
Order of Finish: 4, 3, 6, 5, 1
- Anna Rasmussen/Kanako Yano (VCU), vs. Laura Moreno/Ruth Crawford (UM)
- Janja Kovacevic/Martina Bocchi (UM) def. Noumea Witmus/Paola Exposito Diaz-Delgado (VCU) 6-1
- Ana Yrazusta/Anna Napadiy (UM) def. Marina Alcaide Bakkari/Sofia Sualehe (VCU) 6-2
Order of Finish: 2, 3