ORLANDO, Fla – Rookie Margaryta Bilokin was clutch as she clinched the match for the fifth-ranked Duke women’s tennis team as they defeated fourth-ranked South Carolina, 4-1, Friday evening in quarterfinal action of the NCAA Team Championships. The late start and long night proved no match for the Blue Devils at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Fla.
The victory sends Duke to the semifinals for the second consecutive year.
“You never know what’s going to happen,” head coach Jamie Ashworth said. “She [Margaret] closed it out in the middle of the second set and did a great job in the third set. She’s a freshman out there in her first experience like this.”
The Blue Devils came out in absolute dominant fashion in the doubles to take the point for the 23rd time this season and remain undefeated in the NCAA tournament.
Kelly Chen and Ellyse Hamlin, tabbed No. 47 by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), came out strong to defeat third-ranked Mia Horvit and Ingrid Gamarra Martins, 6-3, on court one. The duo improves to 8-6 this season with their fifth victory over a ranked opponent.
Rookie duo of Bilokin and Maria Mateas cruised past Silvia Chinellato and Paige Cline on court three. Bilokin and Mateas held a 3-0 lead to take control of the court and elevate to 14-5 this spring.
Junior Meible Chi started the Blue Devils off hot in singles being the first off the court. Chi, ranked No. 33 by the ITA, defeated No. 17 Cline 7-5, 6-0 on court two. The Weston, Fla., native dominated the court in the second frame as she cruised through all six games. With the victory, Chi is now 15-3 this spring and 6-2 versus nationally-ranked opponents.
South Carolina fought back to register a point on the board as fourth-ranked Gamarra Martins defeated No. 11 Mateas 6-2, 6-1 on the top court. With the loss, Mateas drops to 12-10 in her rookie season.
Senior Kaitlyn McCarthy extended Duke’s lead to 3-1 as she picked up her 15th win this season. The Cary, N.C., native defeated Megan Davies 6-1, 6-3. McCarthy led the majority of the first set, only dropping one game to pull off the court four victory. She improves to 15-7 in 2019.
The remaining three courts all came down to third sets.
Bilokin sealed the deal for the Blue Devils to send them to Saturday’s Final Four as she defeated Rachel Rohrabacher 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 on court six. The New Canaan, Conn., native fell behind 1-4 in the first set before pulling out a 7-5 second-set victory. The final frame was tied 1-1 before Bilokin taking control to win Duke’s final point.
“We were pretty equal in the second set and I shouldn’t be looking at the scoreboard but I was,” Bilokin said. “I knew the match could end up on me and honestly, I just wanted to do it for my team.”
Duke will now take on top-ranked Georgia Saturday not before 6 p.m., at the USTA National Campus. The match will once again be broadcast on the Tennis Channel.
#GoDuke | #AllUs
Tennis Match Results
Duke vs South Carolina
May 17, 2019 at Orlando, Fla.
(USTA National Campus)
#5 Duke 4, #4 South Carolina 1
1. #4 I. Gamarra Martins (SC) def. #11 Maria Mateas (DU) 6-2, 6-1
2. #33 Meible Chi (DU) def. #17 Paige Cline (SC) 7-5, 6-0
3. #81 Mia Horvit (SC) vs. #21 Kelly Chen (DU) 2-6, 7-5, 2-3, unfinished
4. Kaitlyn McCarthy (DU) def. Megan Davies (SC) 6-1, 6-3
5. Silvia Chinellato (SC) vs. Ellyse Hamlin (DU) 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 4-1, unfinished
6. Margaryta Bilokin (DU) def. Rachel Rohrabacher (SC) 3-6, 7-5, 6-2
1. #47 Kelly Chen/Ellyse Hamlin (DU) def. #3 Mia Horvit/I. Gamarra Martins (SC) 6-3
2. #39 Megan Davies/Rachel Rohrabacher (SC) vs. #24 Meible Chi/Kaitlyn McCarthy (DU) 4-5, unfinished
3. Maria Mateas/Margaryta Bilokin (DU) def. Silvia Chinellato/Paige Cline (SC) 6-2
Duke 27-3; National ranking #5
South Carolina 23-4; National ranking #4
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (2,1,4,6)
NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals
Played on USTA Collegiate Courts 1-6, doubles played on courts 2-4
Oracle/ITA Team Rankings: South Carolina #4, Duke #5