DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke women’s tennis team dominated the final Oracle Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s (ITA) fall rankings, placing four players on the singles list and claiming the top two spots on the doubles ledger. The top seeded doubles pairing of senior Samantha Harris and freshman Kelly Chen are the first Blue Devils to lead the ITA Rankings since Mallory Cecil was the number one ranked singles player in the final poll of the 2009 season.
After a strong fall, Duke’s top two doubles tandems are ranked as the ITA’s top two pairings, the first time one team has held the top two spots since Stanford did in the final rankings of the 1990 season. Harris and Chen claim the top spot after they reached the semifinals of both the Riviera/ITA All-American and the Oracle ITA Fall Nationals. Overall, Harris and Chen were 9-2 this fall with a 4-1 record against nationally ranked opponents. Right behind them in the second spot are juniors Kaitlyn McCarthy and Ellyse Hamlin who also went 9-2 this fall with a perfect 4-0 record against nationally ranked duos. McCarthy and Hamlin won Duke’s major trophy this fall as they brought home the title at the Riviera/ITA All-American.
On the singles side, Harris is the top ranked Blue Devil as she stands seventh on the ITA’s list. Harris closed out the fall by reaching the finals of the ITA Carolina Regional Championships and the Oracle ITA Fall Nationals. Chen and McCarthy are both inside the top 65 as Chen ranks 58th and McCarthy is 64th. Rounding out the singles for Duke is sophomore Meible Chi who is tied for 100th. Duke trails only North Carolina and UCLA in total number of players ranked on the singles list.
“These end of fall rankings provide a great reflection as to where our players are today as they head into the spring,” said head coach Jamie Ashworth. “To have the top two ranked doubles teams in the country is something we should be proud of. Our players have put in a lot of hard work on and off the court and this helps validate everything we have been doing. By no means should we be satisfied with these mid-year rankings, but instead we should be motivated to be even better come January.”
Duke will begin the spring portion of its schedule when the Blue Devils take the Hills Family Trip to Honolulu, Hawai’i, for the Rainbow Invitational, starting on Jan. 17.