DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke women’s tennis team will close out its fall season by participating in two tournaments this weekend. Four Blue Devils will travel to Indian Wells, Calif., for the International Tennis Association’s (ITA) Fall National Championships. The remaining team members will head to Chapel Hill, N.C., for the Kitty Harrison Invitational.
First up will be the ITA Fall Nationals. Duke will have a pair of doubles duos among the 32 team draw. Juniors Kaitlyn McCarthy and Ellyse Hamlin will try to stay undefeated as a tandem and are coming off the doubles title at the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships. McCarthy and Hamlin will be the top seed in the doubles draw. Senior Samantha Harris and freshman Kelly Chen will also participate after the pair reached the semifinals of the All-American Championships. The pair will be the third seed.
“With our doubles play, we want consistency,” said head coach Jamie Ashworth. “The last time out we were very good, so whether we win or not, that’s a different thing, we let the results take care of themselves, but we want to keep our level of play high and keep it consistent with the level we’ve been playing at. Along with that, being accountable with making sure that our level is high and taking ownership of that.”
Harris also clinched a spot in the singles draw when she reached the finals of the ITA Carolina Regional Championships and will be the 11th seed in the singles draw. Harris will be joined by two teammates in the singles bracket after McCarthy and Chen were awarded at-large bids.
“For singles play, we want just keep improving,” Ashworth said. “Two weeks ago at UNC in the regionals, our play was better, but I think we can keep getting better. Hopefully this weekend can be kind of a culmination of everything that we’ve worked on this fall. Our players have understanding that it’s their last chance to play this fall and being excited about taking advantage of that opportunity.”
The remaining three Blue Devils will have a chance to close out their season on a high note at the Kitty Harrison Invitational. Senior Rebecca Smaller, sophomore Meible Chen, and freshman Ema Lazic will all play in the singles draw with Chen and Smaller adding on doubles duty.
“The competition is good, the level of play is very good with some very good teams,” said Ashworth. “There’s some great competition and a lot of opportunities. We’ve had some wins in this tournament in the past that have propelled us in the national rankings in the spring. The girls that are playing here need to take advantage of those opportunities. For them, being consistent and being accountable for how they play, taking ownership of how they play with effort is what we want.”
The Fall Nationals will begin on Wednesday morning with the first singles matches starting at 11:00 a.m. Live scoring can be found at itatennis.com. The Kitty Harrison Invitational will get underway starting on Friday.