Cavalier Corner

Dec. 2019

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30 CAVALIER CORNER Cavalier Profile NATASHA SUBHASH First-Year • Tennis It didn't take first-year women's tennis star Natasha Subhash long to make a splash at Virginia. In her first event traveling with the team, the blue-chip recruit — ranked No. 5 nationally by Ten- — claimed back-to-back straight-set matches to become the first Virginia female to win the ITA Atlantic Re- gional singles championship since Julia Elbaba in 2015. "I loved the atmosphere of the whole team being there for everyone and all of the cheering during the matches," Subhash said. "I played really well during this tournament, especially in the semifinals and finals. My serve was definitely on during these matches, which helped me get a bunch of free points. "In the finals, I was playing very aggressively and trying to take time away from my opponent. This is how I want my game style to be, so it was nice to see this play out in the finals." When picking UVA as her college choice, Subhash said there were several factors that impacted her decision, including the coaching staff and Charlottesville's proximity to her hometown in Northern Virginia. "The main reason I selected UVA was the coaching staff," she added. "I really resonated with [head coach] Sara [O'Leary] and [assistant] Gina [Suarez-Malaguti]. I felt like they definitely had my best interests at heart. From the beginning of the recruiting process, I felt comfortable with them." Subhash said the involvement of the coaches during the recruit- ing process really made her feel like she mattered to the staff. "Sara and Gina were so involved, and they made sure to check in on me pretty much every week," Subhash noted. "One thing that stood out most was when Sara sent me a handwritten letter by mail. The letter was six or seven pages long, and it detailed the aspects of my game that she liked and things she wanted to work on with me. "I was so impressed by this letter, and I knew from then that these coaches would always be there for me." — Greg Waters Photo courtesy UVA

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