ATHENS, Ga. - The third-seeded Duke women's tennis team took on Virginia for the third time this season Thursday evening, and the outcome was the same as the previous two, as the Blue Devils rallied from a lost doubles point to defeat the Cavaliers, 4-1, on the McWhorter Courts at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. In addition to the victory, Duke won its 17th straight match, tied for the third longest winning streak in program history.
"Our team believed even after we lost the doubles point that we were going to win four or five singles matches or whatever we had to do," said head coach Jamie Ashworth. "We lost the doubles point to them in the regular season and came out and won four singles matches. Our team has so much belief in their singles play."
After a half-hour delay due to the length of a previous match, Duke and Virginia finally got underway with doubles action. The Cavaliers grabbed an early advantage when Lindsey Hardenbergh and Maria Fuccillo took down senior Monica Gorny and sophomore Hanna Mar, 8-4, in the No. 3 doubles match. The Blue Devils responded on court two, as 17th-ranked Beatrice Capra and sophomore Rachel Kahan defeated the nation's 43rd-ranked tandem of Hana Tomljanovic and Erin Vierra, 8-4, for the duo's 20th victory of 2012.
With the doubles point up for grabs on court one, Virginia's 31st-ranked unit comprised of Emily Fraser and Erin Vierra grabbed an early 4-2 lead over the Blue Devils' No. 21 team of junior Mary Clayton and freshman Ester Goldfeld. Duke was able to break the Cavaliers at 5-5, but Virginia went on to take the final three games for an 8-5 victory and clinched the doubles point.
"I thought we didn't play very good doubles to be honest," said Ashworth. "I thought that things that went wrong shouldn't have in the third week of May - just communication stuff."
Moments after singles play began, a two-hour and 33-minute rain delay halted the match's progress in its tracks, but following the efforts of a few dozen volunteers with squeegees and air-blowers to dry the courts, play resumed.
Trailing 1-0 in the overall match, Duke tied up the contest when Kahan, ranked 85th in the nation, defeated No. 125 Tomljanovic, 6-4, 6-0 in the No. 4 spot. Ranked No. 2 in the country, Capra put the Blue Devils ahead 2-1 with a 6-3, 6-2 win over the 22nd-ranked Fraser. Capra has now won 16 straight matches.
After trailing 5-3 in the first set to Vierra, Clayton, ranked No. 66, fought back to take four straight games and win the set, 7-5. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native went on to take the second set 6-2 and push the Blue Devil lead to 3-1 over the Cavaliers.
Freshman and No. 92 Monica Turewicz has clinched some big matches this season, including Duke's ACC Championship win over North Carolina, and last weekend's triumph over South Carolina to send the team to Athens, and Thursday was no different, as the Lake Forest, Ill., native defeated Caryssa Peretz, 6-3, 7-6 (3) to clinch the win over Virginia.
"I felt like we had to get that momemtum-wise - not giving them any momentum to feed off of," Ashworth said of Turewicz's victory. "Monica did a great job of closing it out. She played more aggressive in the tie-breaker than she did the entire second set. It was great to see when the pressure was really on her."
Duke advances to the NCAA Quarterfinals for the fourth straight year and will take on tournament host Georgia at 4 p.m., on Saturday, May 19 on the Henry Field Courts at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
#3 Duke 4, #14 Virginia 1
May 17, 2012 at Athens, Ga. (Dan Magill Tennis Complex)
1. #2 Beatrice Capra (DU) def. #22 Emily Fraser (UVA) 6-3, 6-2
2. #110 Ester Goldfeld (DU) vs. #43 Lindsey Hardenbergh (UVA) 6-4, 4-5, unfinished
3. #59 Hanna Mar (DU) vs. #118 Li Xi (UVA) 5-7, 3-2, unfinished
4. #85 Rachel Kahan (DU) def. #125 Hana Tomljanovic (UVA) 6-4, 6-0
5. #66 Mary Clayton (DU) def. Erin Vierra (UVA) 7-5, 6-2
6. #92 Monica Turewicz (DU) def. Caryssa Peretz (UVA) 6-3, 7-6 (7-3)
|1. #31 Emily Fraser/Li Xi (UVA) def. #21 Mary Clayton/Ester Goldfeld (DU) 8-5|
|2. #17 Beatrice Capra/Rachel Kahan (DU) def. #43 Hana Tomljanovic/Erin Vierra (UVA) 8-4|
|3. Lindsey Hardenbergh/Maria Fucillo (UVA) def. Hanna Mar/Monica Gorny (DU) 8-4|Match Notes
Virginia 20-8; National ranking #14
Duke 28-2; National ranking #3
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (4,1,5,6)