ATHENS, Ga. – Junior Ester Goldfeld and the Duke doubles tandem of sophomore Beatrice Capra and senior Hanna Mar’s run in the NCAA tournament came to a close Sunday afternoon in the semifinal round in Athens, Ga.
With the loss in doubles, Mar’s career came to a close as a member of the Duke women’s tennis team.
“[Hanna] was a great player for us for four years,” said head coach Jamie Ashworth. “It’s the end of a little era for us here at Duke. She has a hundred singles wins, over a hundred doubles wins. She’s an All-American. She improved more than any player we’ve ever had in her four years. It’s tough to know we won’t have her on the courts again moving forward.”
Goldfeld, the 27th-ranked singles player in the nation, opened competition for Duke on Sunday, suffering a 3-6, 5-7 (3-7) to Virginia’s 32nd-ranked Danielle Collins, ending her six-match win streak. Collins proved a formidable opponent as Goldfeld fell behind 1-4 in the first set. Although Goldfeld battled back to within a game at 3-4, Collins held and broke to close out the set, 3-6. Goldfeld, a product of Brooklyn, N.Y., trailed 2-5 in the second set, but responded by winning three consecutive games. Goldfeld forced a tiebreak after exchanging games with Collins. In the tiebreak, Collins jumped out to an early 1-5 lead that Goldfeld was unable to recover from, falling in the tiebreak, 3-7.
“[Ester] swung a little bit more freely [in the second set],” Ashworth said. “Danielle [Collins] played well for six or seven weeks and I thought she did a good job of swinging on the big points. As a whole, [Ester] played a great tournament. It gives her a lot of confidence moving forward and something she should definitely be proud of.”
With the loss, Goldfeld concludes the season with an overall record of 36-10, becoming just the 21st player in Duke history to win at least 36 singles matches in a season.
“[Ester] has to understand that she’s one of the best players in the country,” Ashworth said. “She worked hard coming into the tournament. She just needs to build on it and know that she can do that when she puts in the work and the effort, going into her senior knowing that this is it and she needs to leave everything she has on the court. I know she can do it.”
In doubles, the fifth-ranked team of Capra and Mar fell to Alabama’s fourth-ranked duo of Erin Routliffe and Maya Jansen, 0-6, 6-4, 2-6, in the semifinal round of the NCAA Doubles Championship. Although Routliffe and Jansen did not drop a game in the first set, an early break from Duke allowed Mar and Capra to win the second set, 6-4. Routliffe and Jansen caught their stride in the third set, seeing a 2-6 advantage that advanced the Alabama doubles pair to the national championship.
“Alabama played flawless in the first set,” Ashworth said. “We broke Alabama’s serve early in the second set and that kind of set the tone. We had some opportunities in the third set, but they’re a good team. They played well.”
The Blue Devil pair of Mar and Capra concludes the season with a 23-7 mark, leading Duke in doubles wins.