DURHAM, N.C. - As the 2013 women's tennis season season rapidly approaches, GoDuke.com takes a look at a few of the storylines for the third-ranked Blue Devils. The 2013 season begins on Wednesday as the Blue Devils take to the court at the Hawaii Invitational in Honolulu, Hawaii.
DUKE RETURNS EXPERIENCED GROUP
The Blue Devils enter the 2012-13 season with seven of eight letterwinners returning from last season's team, and a highly touted transfer from Fresno State in Marianne Jodoin. Last season, Duke ran the ACC slate ending the season with a perfect 11-0 record, and finished with a 29-3 record overall. After claiming the ACC Tournament title, the Blue Devils advanced to the Final Four of the NCAA Championship before falling to eventual champion Florida, 4-3, in the semifinal.
Jodoin joins the Blue Devils after posting a 25-15 singles record last season at Fresno State including a perfect 14-0 mark in Western Athletic Conference play. Jodoin, a native of Varennes, Quebec, is a two-time WAC player of the year, two-time WAC all-tournament team selection in both singles and doubles, and 2011 WAC Freshman of the Year.
In addition to Jodoin, Duke returns senior Mary Clayton, juniors Hanna Mar and Rachel Kahan, and last season's No. 1 ranked freshman class of Beatrice Capra, Ester Goldfeld, Monica Turewicz and Annie Mulholland.
BLUE DEVILS LISTED AT NO. 3 IN FIRST ITA POLL OF 2013
The Blue Devil's women's tennis program was listed as No. 3 in the first rankings of the season by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), after finishing both the 2011 and 2012 seasons ranked third in the country. Last season, the Blue Devils tallied a 29-3 overall record including a perfect 11-0 slate in ACC play, while making its 24th consecutive trip to the NCAA Team Championship and earning its eighth semifinal appearance in program history.
In addition to being ranked third as a team, four Blue Devils were listed individually in the first rankings, headlined by junior Hanna Mar who was tabbed as No. 10 in the country. Three other Blue Devils were also ranked in the top 70 in the poll, with sophomore Ester Goldfeld coming in at No. 40, senior Mary Clayton listed at No. 53 and junior Marianne Jodoin tabbed at No. 63.
The Blue Devils were also well represented in the ITA's preseason doubles rankings, as two tandems were listed among the top 20 in the nation. The duo of sophomore Beatrice Capra and Mar received a No. 6 ranking, followed by the team of Mar and Goldfeld tabbed at No. 17.
ASHWORTH CLAIMS ACC COACHING RECORD
Head coach Jamie Ashworth set the All-Time wins record in the ACC in 2012 after a 4-3 triumph over Virginia on March 23 to pass former North Carolina coach Kitty Harrison, who previously held the record with 352 wins. Over the past 17 years at the helm of the program, Ashworth has led Duke to a 367-83 (.815) overall record and a 124-23 (.843) ACC mark, while advancing to the NCAA Semifinals eight times, NCAA Championship match twice and collecting ACC Tournament Championships on eight occasions.
CLAYTON NEARS 100-WIN CLUB
Senior Mary Clayton is approaching the 100-win club as she enters the spring season, and currently owns a 96-31 career record overall with a .756 winning percentage. Clayton, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., tallied a 32-11 singles record in 2012, and with only four more wins, she will be one of only 21 Blue Devils to win 100 or more matches in their career. Vanessa Webb currently stands atop the list of career wins with 161 in her career.
After a perfect 9-0 ledger in ACC play last season, Clayton moved into a tie for ninth on Duke's all-time ACC wins list with 24. Reka Zsilinszka currently holds the school record with 38.
20-WIN SEASON STREAK RESUMES
With 29 wins in 2012, the Blue Devils notched their fifth straight season with at least 20 wins. In 16 seasons under head coach Jamie Ashworth, Duke has tallied 13 20-win seasons, averaging 24 wins each season, and has failed to break the 20-win threshold just two times.
Of the 18 dual matches in the spring of 2013, 12 will be against teams who were ranked in the first ITA rankings of 2011, including a 2012 NCAA tournament semifinal re-match when Duke hosts defending national champion Florida on Feb. 17. In addition to Florida, the Blue Devils will also face Northwestern, Notre Dame, Michigan, William & Mary, Princeton and Indiana during their non-conference slate.
In addition to a challenging non-conference schedule, conference play will be even more competitive as the ACC has six schools ranked in the top 25 of last season's final ITA poll including North Carolina, Clemson, Virginia, Miami and Georgia Tech.
MAR CRUISES THROUGH THE FALL
Junior Hanna Mar concluded a successful fall season with an appearance in the quarterfinals of the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championship in Flushing, N.Y. after topping No. 89 Aleksandra Josifoska of UNLV and No. 41 Katie Le of Santa Clara in the first two rounds.
In addition to the solid performance in the national event, Mar claimed three titles this fall at the Duke Fab 4 Invitational in singles, and the ITA Regional Championships in both singles and doubles play. Mar, a native of Burr Ridge, Ill., tallied a 13-3 record this fall, including a 5-2 slate against ranked opponents. DEVIL'S DOUBLES
Last season, Duke tallied a 62-26 (.705) overall record in doubles play led by the duo of Rachel Kahan and Beatrice Capra, who posted a 21-7 record on the season. With the 21 wins as a team, Capra and Kahan are currently 14th on the all-time list of wins in a season. During the season, Capra totaled 33 doubles wins, which tied for first on the team with Hanna Mar, and placed her in second on the all-time wins list in a season for a freshman. Julie Smith currently owns the record with 35 wins in the 2003 season.
This fall, the Blue Devils continued their strong play by posting a 20-8 overall record in doubles play including a 5-3 ledger against nationally ranked opponents. Junior Hanna Mar led the way for the Blue Devils with a 9-1 record in doubles, highlighted by a trip to the Riviera All-American Championship match when she was paired with Capra.
WIN STREAK ENTERING SPRING
Entering the 2013 spring season, a number of Blue Devils have winning streaks extending from last season. Sophomore Monica Turewicz enters the spring on a 15 match win streak in dual matches dating back to March 2012 while junior Rachel Kahan kicks off the season on an 11-match win streak in dual matches. In addition, sophomore Annie Mulholland is in the midst of a nine match win streak in dual matches.
In ACC play, Capra and Clayton hold a nine match win streak after going undefeated in 2012, while Turewicz enters the spring on an eight match streak. Vanessa Webb currently holds the school record with 22 consecutive ACC wins.
SEVEN RANKED IN ITA FALL POLL
Seven members of the Duke women's tennis team were listed in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's preseason rankings of the top 125 singles players in the nation, headlined by sophomore Beatrice Capra, who was tabbed No. 2 overall on the list. The seven ranked players was the most of any team in the nation, followed by UCLA who has five players ranked.
Three other Blue Devils were also ranked in the top 50 in the preseason poll, with junior Marianne Jodoin coming in at No. 27, junior Hanna Mar listed at No. 35 and senior Mary Clayton tabbed No. 44. Sophomores Monica Turewicz, Ester Goldfeld and Annie Mulholland rounded out the ranked Duke players at No. 67, 68 and 108, respectively.
The Blue Devils were also well represented in the ITA's preseason doubles rankings, as three tandems were listed among the top 60 in the nation. The duo of Capra and Mar received a No. 19 ranking, followed by the team of Clayton and Jodoin at No. 27 and Goldfeld and Mulholland at No. 43.
CAPRA PINNED AS NO. 2 PLAYER IN ITA PRESEASON POLL
Sophomore Beatrice Capra enters the 2013 spring coming off of an outstanding freshman campaign in which she tallied a 32-5 overall record in singles, as well as a 23-2 mark in dual match play, and collected All-America accolades after reaching the quarterfinals of the 2012 NCAA Singles Championship in Athens, Ga.
In addition, Capra was named the 2012 ACC Player of the Year, ACC Freshman of the Year, ACC Tournament Most Valuable Player, ITA National Co-Rookie of the Year and ITA Carolina Region Rookie of the Year. Capra's 33 doubles wins in 2012 were tied for first on the team, and were the second most by a freshman in program history.
The Ellicott City, Md., native did not compete during singles play in the fall of 2012-13 season, but tallied a 4-1 record in doubles play en route to the championship match at the Riviera All-American in Pacific Palisades, Calif.