March 2, 2012
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Following a mid-week victory over Richmond, the No. 48 Maryland women's tennis team returns to the court Sunday, March 4 at 1 p.m. to take on Virginia Tech at the Tennis Center at College Park.
The Terps (6-4, 0-1 ACC) have won four in a row and five of their last six to climb to No. 48 in the ITA National Team Rankings.
Maryland has leaned on its singles play during the run. The squad is 19-5 in the last four matches and is undefeated at the No. 1, 2, and 3 positions.
Since dropping a match to Hilary Bartlett of Princeton, No. 36 Cristina Stancu is undefeated in her last four matches, all of which were straight set victories.
Junior Ana Belzunce is also unbeaten in her last four singles contests playing at the No. 2 position. Belzunce has not dropped a set since losing to Princeton's Lindsay Graff. At the No. 3 position, sophomore Welma Luus has improved her record to 5-5 with four consecutive wins.
After dropping her first match of the season at No. 4, junior Vroni Van Berlo bounced back with a straight-set victory over Alexandra Smyth of Richmond on Thursday.
Senior Jordan Hansbrough has occupied the No. 5 position since the Princeton match and is 1-4.
Freshman Mikele Irazusta has been a rock at the No. 6 position. Irazusta has won five consecutive matches and is 6-3 overall.
In doubles, 25th-ranked Belzunce and Luus are 6-4 at the No. 1 position, while Stancu and Van Berlo have won four straight matches with back-to-back wins at the No 2 position. Hansbrough and Irazusta have split time at No. 2 and No. 3, but played the past two matches at the No. 3 spot.
Last Time Out
The Terps improved to 6-4 with a 5-2 defeat of Richmond Thursday afternoon.
Maryland swept doubles play and picked up wins at the top-4 singles spots. Stancu, Belzunce and Van Berlo all won in straight sets and Luus won in three sets over Helen Cunningham to wrap up the day for the Terps.
Maryland and Virginia Tech have split 14 meetings. Last season in Blacksburg, the Hokies edged the Terps 4-3, and have won five straight in the series. The Terps last victory came in College Park on April 13, 2006.
|Virginia Tech Hokies (7-4, 0-1 ACC)|
The Hokies lost two consecutive matches to Missouri and Minnesota last weekend. Virginia Tech's only ACC match was a 7-0 defeat against Virginia.
Virginia Tech has utilized the same singles lineup for the majority of its matches. Martha Blakely is the Hokies No. 1 singles player. Blakely is 7-3 after dropping back-to-back matches last weekend.
At No. 2, Isel Martinez-Marcos is 4-6 and Shannon Betts has been the primary player at No. 3.
Blakely and Courtney Rauscher is the squad's top doubles team, while Betts and Katie Blow have occupied the No. 2 spot recently.