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Courtesy: Duke Athletics
Alyssa Smith
Duke Tops VT 6-1, Remains Undefeated in ACC Action
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 03/26/2017
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DURHAM, N.C. – The No. 17 Duke women’s tennis team extended its ACC win streak to 5-0 after defeating Virginia Tech 6-1 Sunday afternoon in Ambler Tennis Stadium in Durham, N.C. The Hokies are now 0-6 in ACC action.

“Three doubles was big for us, to get out early,” said head coach Jamie Ashworth. “We played a great match at two doubles, a quick doubles match. I thought that Alyssa Smith did a great job in singles. She had played that girl a year ago and it was a tight match. She did a great job of staying focused, even when she was up. She won the first set pretty easily and the beginning of the second set was really important … She a great job of closing that out. And following that, Ellyse [Hamlin] is getting better every match she plays. She’s only played four or five matches since October so every time she gets on the court she’s getting better. It was a good match for us and obviously a good weekend with wins against both Virginia and Virginia Tech, so we can keep building and getting better, which is what we’re trying to do this time of the year.”

Duke captured the doubles point to take an early 1-0 lead in the match.

On court two, Chalena Scholl and Alyssa Smith topped Elena Cerezo-Codina and Natalie Novotna, 6-1. After a 1-1 tie, the Blue Devil duo took control to finish out the match and improve to 3-0 against ACC opponents.

Court one saw Virginia Tech’s Caroline Daxhelet and Francesca Fusinato hand Duke’s No. 26 Meible Chi and Kaitlyn McCarthy a 6-1 loss.

Samantha Harris and Ellyse Hamlin secured the doubles point with a victory on court three over Sansitha Nandakumar and Luisa Uscocovich, 6-4. After taking an early 2-0 lead, the Hokie doubles pair fought back to tie up the game 4-4. The Blue Devils won the final two games to close out doubles action.

The Blue Devils extended their lead to 2-0 with a singles win on court five, where Smith cruised to a 6-0, 6-0 decision over Nandakumar.  The win moved Smith to 7-5 in dual match play and 4-1 against conference opponents.

Hamlin followed Smith off the courts in singles with a quick 6-0, 6-2 match. Hamlin led through the entire first set before Nandakumar tied up the second set 2-2. Hamlin reeled off six straight games to claim the point for Duke. Hamlin is now 7-3 overall and 4-0 in ACC matches.

Court three brought Duke’s lead to 4-0 as Scholl moved past Cerezo-Codina, 6-3, 6-3. Scholl got out to a quick 4-1 lead in the first set before Cerezo-Codina attempted to come back with a 4-3 deficit. Scholl cruised through the second set and is now 20-5 on the season and 5-0 in ACC action.

The Hokies got on the board with a Fusinato victory over Harris on court one (6-2, 7-5). No. 108 Fusinato did not falter through the first set and Harris was down 1-3 in the second set before rallying back to tie the set at 5-5. Ultimately, Harris couldn’t secure the point, slipping to 9-8 overall and 3-2 against ACC competition.

Chi rallied back against No. 97 Novotna (6-3, 3-6, 1-0 [9]) on court two to bring the Duke lead to 5-0. Chi was down 1-3 in the first set before winning five straight games to win the first set (6-3). Novotna secured the second set (3-6) and it was a back-and-forth rally between the Blue Devils and the Hokies in the third set super tiebreak. Chi led 9-7 before Novotna tied it up 9-9. Chi clinched the final two points to take the second set 1-0 (9). Chi is now 26-9 overall and 4-1 against league foes.

The final point came down to a showdown between No. 76 McCarthy and Daxhelet on court four (6-0, 7-6 [8-6]). McCarthy cruised to a 6-0 first set lead before Daxhelet tied up the second set 4-4. The Hokies battled back to force a third set. McCarthy led the entire second set, which included two tied scores. It came down to the last two points as McCarthy took the third set, 8-6.

Duke will be back at home in Ambler next weekend, welcoming Pittsburgh Saturday at 12 p.m. and Clemson Sunday at 12 p.m.

No. 17 Duke 6, Virginia Tech 1
March 26, 2017 at Durham, N.C. (Ambler Tennis Stadium)

Doubles Competition
   1. Caroline Daxhelet/Francesca Fusinato (VT) def. #26 Meible Chi/Kaitlyn McCarthy (DU) 6-1

  1. Chalena Scholl/Alyssa Smith (DU) def. Elena Cerezo-Codina/Natalie Novotna (VT) 6-1
  2. Ellyse Hamlin/Samantha Harris (DU) def. Sansitha Nandakumar/Luisa Uscocovich (VT) 6-4

Singles Competition
   1. #108 Francesca Fusinato (VT) def. #49 Samantha Harris (DU) 6-2, 7-5

  1. #25 Meible Chi (DU) def. #97 Natalie Novotna (VT) 6-3, 3-6, 1-0 (11-9)
  2. #52 Chalena Scholl (DU) def. Elena Cerezo-Codina (VT) 6-3, 6-3
  3. #76 Kaitlyn McCarthy (DU) def. Caroline Daxhelet (VT) 6-0, 7-6 (8-6)
  4. Alyssa Smith (DU) def. Sansitha Nandakumar (VT) 6-0, 6-0
  5. Ellyse Hamlin (DU) def. Katherine Butler (VT) 6-2, 6-2

Match Notes:
Virginia Tech 7-8 (0-6)
Duke 11-3 (5-0); National ranking #17
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (5,6,3,2,1,4)