NORFOLK, Va. – The Virginia Commonwealth University women's tennis program has an illustrious history including nine NCAA Tournament appearances, seven years in the top-25, seven All-Americans, the list goes on and on.
Only twice in school history have the Rams been able to capture the Colonial Athletic Association Championship, but the Black & Gold will have the chance to make that three times on Sunday afternoon as VCU dominated fourth-seeded Old Dominion, 4-0, in the CAA Semi-Finals on Saturday.
Veteran leadership took the spotlight early with senior Laura Burns (Hertford, England) teaming with junior Kateryna Yergina (Kiev, Ukraine) for an 8-1 win at #2 doubles. Sophomore Ana Bara (Oradea, Romania) and freshman Josefin Hjertquist (Spanga, Sweden) followed by securing the doubles point for the Black & Gold with an 8-4 win at #1 doubles.
The domination would continue in singles competition with senior Olena Leonchuk (Kiev, Ukraine) dropping Marija Citic, 6-1, 6-0 at #6 singles and sophomore Alex Bara (Oradea, Romania) picked up a straight set win for herself to bring VCU within one win of moving onto the CAA Finals.
Yergina would step up and deliver that win by dropping the Monarchs' Irina Dementyeva, 6-2, 6-3 at #3 singles to lock down the win for the Rams.
Sunday's CAA Finals marks the 11th time that VCU has faced the Tribe of William & Mary for the title. First serve is set for 1 p.m. #1 VCU 4, #4 Old Dominion 0
#1 Ana Bara (VCU) vs. Nadine Fahoum (ODU), 3-6, 2-2 - DNF
#2 Josefin Hjertquist (VCU) vs. Joanna Dobrowolska (ODU), 6-7 (0-7), 1-1 - DNF
#3 Kateryna Yergina (VCU) d. Irina Dementyeva (ODU), 6-2, 6-3
#4 Laura Burns (VCU) vs. Diana Ivanova (ODU), 6-3, 4-1 - DNF
#5 Alex Bara (VCU) d. Juliana Pires (ODU), 6-1, 6-0
#6 Olena Leonchuk (VCU) d. Marija Citic (ODU), 6-1, 6-0
Singles Order of Finish: 6, 5, 3
#1 Hjertquist/Ana Bara (VCU) d. Fahoum/Citic (ODU), 8-4
#2 Yergina/Burns (VCU) d. Dobrowolska/Pires (ODU), 8-1
#3 Alex Bara/Leonchuk (VCU) vs. Dementyeva/Ivanova (ODU), 4-3 - DNF
Doubles Order of Finish: 2, 1