NOTRE DAME, Ind. –Duke senior Chalena Scholl battled her way to a 0-6, 6-2, 6-2 three-set victory to clinch a thrilling 4-3 win for the 15th-ranked Blue Devils over No. 29 Notre Dame in ACC women’s tennis action. Duke remains a perfect 8-0 in conference action.
The Blue Devils improve to 14-3 overall and 8-0 against ACC opponents. Duke has won nine straight matches, dating back to Feb. 22.
Leading 3-0 in the overall match, Notre Dame stormed back to tie it 3-3 before Scholl took control in her third set to clinch the victory.
“I knew it was going to be a tough match playing indoors here,” head coach Jamie Ashworth said. “The courts here are so much different than our courts just speed wise. I thought we competed well in the circumstances. Notre Dame played a great match and we were able to hold them off and overcome them playing a really good match. Hopefully it is a confidence builder for us.”
Scholl struggled in the opening set, falling 6-0, but rebounded in convincing fashion 6-2 to force a third and now decisive set. The Duke senior, tied 2-2 in the third, went up 3-2 and never looked back as she rattled off four straight victories to take the final set 6-2 and the match, 0-6, 6-2, 6-2. The victory is her 10th straight and pushes her to 23-5 overall and 8-0 in the ACC.
“She did a great job of putting that first set behind her,” Ashworth said. “Those first couple games of the second set were key. The most important game for her was the first one of the second set. She played a great third set too and she should be proud of that effort.”
The Blue Devils won the crucial doubles point with the 35th-ranked tandem of Meible Chi and Kaitlyn McCarthy providing the clinching match on court one. Playing in their sixth ACC match as a pair, Duke’s Ellyse Hamlin and Samantha Harris got off the court quickly, blanking their Irish foes 6-0 at the third position.
“We played a really good match at three,” Ashworth said. “We’ve been working with those guys really hard and they came out and played a great match. And getting the doubles point today was huge for us.”
Just minutes later, Notre Dame closed out a 6-1 victory on court two over Duke’s Scholl and Alyssa Smith to leave the match in the hands of Chi and McCarthy.
Even at 2-2, Chi and McCarthy broke Notre Dame’s serve to take a 4-2 lead. The Irish hung tough, holding serve, but Duke came through with the 6-4 victory to give Duke the 1-0 lead heading into a tough singles battle.
The Fighting Irish took the first sets on four of the six courts in singles, but it was Chi and McCarthy who carried their momentum over from doubles to extend Duke’s lead to 3-0 in the early going of singles play.
Ranked 24th riding a three-match win streak, Chi battled to a tough 6-4 first set versus Brook Boda. The rookie standout cruised in the second to pick up her team-best 28th victory of the year with a 6-4, 6-1 triumph. She improves to 6-1 in league action and 28-9 overall.
McCarthy followed suit with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Zoe Spence at the fourth position. The match was never in doubt for the Blue Devil sophomore as she remained unbeaten at 8-0 against league foes. She is 19-5 overall and is riding a team-best 11-match win streak.
“They’re both playing really well,” Ashworth said. “They’re both playing smart. Meible had a tight first set, but she made the necessary adjustments and rolled. Kaitlyn was just overpowering. She was great, moving forward and having confidence in herself.”
Notre Dame, using the momentum from first-set victories, quickly evened the score 3-3, scoring victories on courts one, six and five. Monica Robinson, ranked 71st, gave the Irish its first point of the afternoon with a 7-5, 6-1 victory at the top position. Rachel Chong added the second point from court six, besting Ellyse Hamlin, 6-2, 6-4.
Mary Closs tacked on another point for the Fighting Irish to tie the match 3-3 and set up the thrilling winner take all finish on between Scholl and Notre Dame’s Allison Miller on court three.
Duke will take Saturday to travel back east to take on Boston College, April 9. First serve is set for 11 a.m. The Blue Devils return home for a midweek match April 13 against Wake Forest.
#15 Duke 4, #29 Notre Dame 3
Apr 07, 2017 at Notre Dame, Ind. (Eck Tennis Pavilion)
|1. #71 Monica Robinson (ND) def. #65 Samantha Harris (DU) 7-5, 6-1|
|2. #24 Meible Chi (DU) def. Brooke Broda (ND) 6-4, 6-1|
|3. #57 Chalena Scholl (DU) def. Allison Miller (ND) 0-6, 6-2, 6-2|
|4. #122 Kaitlyn McCarthy (DU) def. Zoe Spence (ND) 6-2, 6-1|
|5. Mary Closs (ND) def. Alyssa Smith (DU) 6-4, 7-6 (7-2)|
|6. Rachel Chong (ND) def. Ellyse Hamlin (DU) 6-2, 6-4|
|1. #35 Meible Chi/Kaitlyn McCarthy (DU) def. Mary Closs/Monica Robinson (ND) 6-4|
|2. Brooke Broda/Allison Miller (ND) def. Chalena Scholl/Alyssa Smith (DU) 6-1|
|3. Ellyse Hamlin/Samantha Harris (DU) def. Jane Fennelly/Zoe Spence (ND) 6-0|
|Duke 14-3, 8-0; National ranking #15|
|Notre Dame 16-4, 7-3; National ranking #29|
|Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (2,4,1,6,5,3)|