HONOLULU, Hawaii - In her first two matches since the NCAA semifinal matchup with Florida last spring, sophomore Monica Turewicz returned to the court to lead the third-ranked Blue Devils to a perfect 8-0 record on the first day of the Hawaii Invitational Wednesday hosted by the University of Hawaii. With the wins, Duke now owns a 51-24 singles record in the 2012-13 season, to go along with a 23-8 tally in doubles play.
"It feels really amazing (to be back)," Turewicz said. "I just went out there and tried my best to play for my team. I had nothing really to lose because I haven't played in a while, but it feels really good and hopefully we will all be back on the court really soon."
Turewicz, a native of Lake Forest, Ill., captured her first victory of the 2012-13 season when she teamed with junior Hanna Mar to cruise past Kelsey Daguio and Rebecca Faltusz, 8-2, before downing Petriskova, 6-0, 6-0 in her singles match.
In other doubles action, sophomore Ester Goldfeld and senior Mary Clayton paired up to take on the duo of Katarina Poljakova and Xenia Suworowa. Goldfeld and Clayton dropped the first game, but quickly rebounded to win the next two. The tandem extended their lead to 7-4, and Clayton was able to close out the match with a number of big serves.
While their teammates cruised in their matches, sophomore Annie Mulholland and junior Marianne Jodoin were stuck in a tight match against Martina Kostalova and Petriskova. After going down 7-6, Mulholland was able to bring the match back to level with a number of well-placed serves. The Duke duo then carried that momentum and rolled in the tie-breaker to claim the match 8-7 (7-1).
After a 3-0 start to the day in doubles play, the Blue Devils returned to the court for the opening round of singles, where No. 63 Jodoin was able to quickly dispatch Faltusz, 6-0, 6-0. Goldfeld, ranked No. 40 in the first ITA poll, broke consecutive serves in her match, jumping out to an early 4-1 lead in the first set against Kostalova, and was able to continue her solid play cruising to a 6-2, 6-2 victory. Mulholland topped Suworowa, 6-2, 6-3, while No. 53 Clayton was caught in a tight match against Poljakova.
With the sun setting in the Hawaiian sky, Clayton took the first set, but was down 4-3 in the second. Clayton was able to break serve to tie the match up, and the two players exchanged games before becoming tied at 6-6 and sending the set into a tiebreaker. The Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., native dropped a few points early in the tie-breaker but rallied scoring four consecutive points to claim the match, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5).
"I thought we played pretty well on the first day of the Hawaii Invitational," said head coach Jamie Ashworth. "To get wins in all five singles matches and all three doubles was good. I thought we competed well, and I thought we got better than we were yesterday. We were a little more used to the conditions, the wind, and being outside which is something we haven't done in a while, so all-in-all it was a good effort."
The Blue Devils conclude play at the Hawaii Invitational Thursday at 7 PM ET. For live updates, follow the team on twitter (@duke_WTEN).