RICHMOND, Va. – Every Saturday, the Virginia Commonwealth University women's tennis team marches onto a court somewhere in the East Coast region.  

Almost every time over the past two years (27-6 over that span), the Rams have come away with victories and Saturday afternoon was no different with the Black & Gold sweeping their in-state and conference foes, James Madison, 7-0, at Thalhimer Tennis Center.

"It was a good team win for us," Head Coach Paul Kostin said. "However, our girls have to stay hungry and focused on getting better every time they step onto the court."

The match started with the Bara sisters leading each of their doubles teams to victories and giving VCU a quick lead.

Junior Alex Bara continued her strong start to the season with a quick sweep of Katherine Bulling, 6-1, 6-1, at the third singles position. Bara is now a perfect 5-0 in dual matches this spring.

Senior Kateryna Yergina followed with a 6-1, 6-1 win of her own over Michelle Nguyen at the second singles spot.

Sophomore Josefin Hjertquist locked up the win for the Black & Gold when she took down Kinsey Pate, 6-3, 6-0 at #1 singles. It was Hjertquist's team-leading 13th singles victory of the year.

Redshirt sophomore Manuela Pietzuch and the freshmen duo of Olga Terteac and Daria Yakauleva each grabbed wins to complete the perfect sweep of the Dukes.

The Rams have a quick turnaround with the Eagles of Winthrop coming to Thalhimer on Sunday afternoon for a 2 p.m. showdown.

VCU 7, James Madison

Ana Bara/Hjertquist vs. Pate/Nguyen  8-5
Alex Bara/Yegina vs. Bulling/Andriescu  8-0
DeMasters/Nimitz vs. Yakauleva/Terteac 8-7 (7-5) 


1. Hjertquist vs. Pate 6-3, 6-0
2. Yergina vs. Nguyen 6-1, 6-1
3. Alex Bara vs. Bulling 6-1, 6-1
4. Terteac vs. Andriescu 6-4, 6-2
5. Yakauleva vs. Nimitz 6-2, 5-7, 1-0 (10-6)
6. Pietzuch vs. DeMasters 6-2, 7-5