No. 2 Duke (13-1) vs. Old Dominion (7-3)
Wednesday, March 12 | 5 p.m.
Bradenton, Fla. | IMG Tennis Academy
DURHAM, N.C. – The No. 2 Duke women’s tennis team travels to Bradenton, Fla., Wednesday, March 12, to face Old Dominion. Duke enters the non-conference contest on a five-match win streak that dates back to Feb. 23, when the Blue Devils defeated Syracuse, 6-1. In addition to Syracuse, Duke also dispensed of No. 31 Notre Dame, No. 12 North Carolina, No. 55 Virginia Tech and No. 46 Wake Forest over the five-match stretch. Wednesday’s contest marks Duke’s first non-conference match since the Blue Devils defeated UCLA on Feb. 10 to clinch the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Team Indoors title.
Wednesday’s contest features United States Tennis Association (USTA) rules, with singles preceding doubles.
Old Dominion Series History
The Blue Devils lead the series against the Monarchs, 7-0. Duke’s seven-match winning streak dates back to March 17, 1981, when the Blue Devils defeated Old Dominion, 7-2, in the first-ever meeting between the two teams. In the most recent contest, Duke upended the monarchs, 6-1. The Blue Devils outscored Old Dominion, 50-5, over the seven-match stretch.
Scouting the Monarchs
The Monarchs enter Wednesday’s match with a 7-3 record this season, posting wins over Howard, Norfolk State, Penn, West Virginia, Richmond, Temple and James Madison. Old Dominion returns an experienced group for the 2014 season, with five of the seven team members competing for the Monarchs last season. Melissa Esnal Olguin led Old Dominion last season with a 15-6 mark, including a 13-5 record at the No. 5 position.
Hanna Mar has proven herself to be a resilient tennis player in 2014, with numerous come-from-behind victories this season. After falling behind, 2-5, to North Carolina’s 52nd-ranked Caroline Price, Mar won five consecutive games to take the first set, 7-5. Mar would close out the match in the second set, winning, 7-5, 6-4. One week later, while playing against Virginia Tech’s Kelly Williford, Mar once again found herself down early. The Burr Ridge, Ill., native battled back after dropping the first set, 6-7, by taking the second set, 7-6, and winning the third-set tiebreak to maintain an undefeated season at the No. 2 position. Mar is currently 10-1 in dual matches for 2014 and enters Wednesday’s contest on a five-match win streak.
Strong Doubles Play
The Blue Devils continue to excel in doubles play during the 2014 season, with all 11 doubles pairs owning a record of .500 or better. The duo of Marianne Jodoin and Alyssa Smith lead Duke with an 11-1 record. The Duke pair is currently on a six-match win streak entering Wednesday’s contest, including a perfect 6-0 mark at the No. 3 position. The 27th-ranked tandem of Ester Goldfeld and Annie Mulholland own the second longest winning-streak among Duke’s doubles pairs, with three matches. Over the weekend, Goldfeld and Mulholland twice clinched the doubles point for the Blue Devils.
Duke in the ITA Rankings
The Blue Devils remain in the top five of the ITA’s rankings, released Tuesday, March 11, as Duke garnered the No. 2 ranking in the nation. Four Duke singles players appeared among the nation’s top 125, with No. 6 Beatrice Capra highlighting the Blue Devil contingent. In addition to Capra, No. 24 Ester Goldfeld, No. 31 Hanna Mar and No. 94 Alyssa Smith also earned top-125 rankings. Mar saw the largest change in ranking, moving up 13 positions from No. 44. Two Duke doubles pairs joined the three tandems previously appearing among the ITA’s doubles rankings. Capra and Mar remained in the No. 4 position while Goldfeld and Smith appear at No. 22, the first time this season the team ranked among the top 80 in the nation. The team of Goldfeld and Mulholland ranked 29th while the No. 42 pair of Goldfeld and Marianne Jodoin and the No. 66 team of Annie Mulholland and Chalena Scholl round out the Duke doubles pairs.