The NC State women’s tennis team rolled over VCU and Tennessee in the first two rounds of the NCAA Championships at J.W. Isenhour Tennis Center this weekend.
The Pack made the NCAA postseason for the fourth straight year and hosted the first two rounds for the first time in program history. With the weekend wins, NC State moves through to the Sweet 16 for the first time in program history.
“First time for a lot of things this year, but right at the top of our goal sheet was this day,” head coach Simon Earnshaw told NC State Athletics. “When everything comes down to one day, or even an afternoon, that puts you under a lot of pressure… Today we managed to put in all together.”
On Saturday, NC State topped VCU (18-6) 4-1 to advance to the second round. The Pack took the doubles point easily in the first two matches by the scores of 6-3 and 6-2 and was leading the third when play was halted.
In singles, senior Bianca Moldovan took the first point for NC State, winning the match in dominating fashion 6-0, 6-1. A little more shocking was an upset of NC State’s No. 10 Anna Rogers, who was defeated 6-1, 6-4 by No. 77 Paolo Exposito Diaz-Delgado of VCU to make the score 2-1 Pack.
However, the Wolfpack won the last two singles matches to clinch the match. No. 71 freshman Alana Smith won 6-2, 6-4 and senior Amanda Rebol finished it out 4-6, 6-3, 6-0. Sophomore Liz Norman and junior Adriana Reami were both leading when play was halted.
Moving to Sunday, the Pack had to go through Tennessee to reach the third round, a feat that the men’s tennis team was unable to accomplish in its second-round match, but the women’s squad advanced with an almost effortless 4-0 sweep.
The Pack and the Volunteers split the first two doubles matches, but the pairing of Moldovan and Norman took the third doubles match 6-4 to take the opening point.
NC State didn’t need much time to take the match, winning the first three matchups that finished. Reami won 6-2, 6-2 before Smith won 6-1, 7-6 and before Rogers finished it up. Rogers avoiding defeat in back-to-back matchups by coming back from a 1-6 loss in the first set to take the next two 6-3, 6-2.
“We had a lot of fans that came out to support,” Rogers told NC State Athletics. “Each of us fought every single set of every single match. We wanted this so badly. We’ve obviously never gotten to the Sweet 16 before so this is really exciting for us.”
The Pack won't have to travel far to get to the super regional on Friday at 6 p.m. as it goes down the road to face Duke in Durham. NC State fell 5-2 to Duke at the beginning of April so it needs new-born confidence to reach the Elite Eight in Orlando, Florida.