Women’s tennis set to defend A-10 crown

Alonzo Small
Sports Editor

Freshman Darya Berezhnaya notched two victories in doubles competition in the Atlantic 10 tournament to help the team advance to the championship game. Photo by Pilar Curtis

The rising momentum of the women’s tennis team could result in the program’s third straight Atlantic 10 championship.

VCU’s women’s tennis team will defend their Atlantic 10 championship as the No. 1 seed of the tournament, a feat the team has achieved for three straight seasons.

On Thursday, April 16, the teams from the A-10 were welcomed to Boar’s Head Sports Club in Charlottesville, Virginia where, after four days of competition, a champion will be crowned.

The Rams closed out the regular season on a four-game winning streak and a 13-8 record overall. The women’s tennis team also claimed conference victories over Fordham University, University of Richmond, George Mason University and George Washington University to enter the A-10 tournament undefeated in the division.

As a top-seed, the Rams received an automatic bye to the second round, the quarterfinal round, where the winner of the George Washington and George Mason University game would play the reigning champions.

After a day off, the Rams went to work Friday, easily defeating GWU 4-0, for the shutout victory. Seniors Cindy Chala and Salome Kvitashvili, along with sophomore Ludivine Burguiere, all recorded singles victories. Chala and Kvitashvili also recorded an 8-0 victory as a unit in doubles competition. Junior Olga Barshcheuskaya and Burguiere defeated GWU’s tandem 8-4.

The quarterfinals win advanced VCU to the semifinals round against fifth-seeded Fordham University this past Saturday in the battle of the Rams. VCU’s horns were superior, defeating Fordham 4-0 to advance to their third consecutive championship game.

The semifinal victory was the Rams’ sixth straight, matching a six-game winning streak earlier in the season. After losing their first game of the 2014-15 campaign, the women’s tennis team won their sixth straight game at home to close the month of January. The Rams suffered a four-game losing streak midway through the season, eventually losing six of seven, but head coach Paul Kostin’s team has since followed through, winning seven of their last eight games.

VCU will face the University of Massachusetts in the championship game. A win this past Sunday would see VCU win their third straight A-10 championship and earn an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament.

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