LAKE NONA, FLA. – The No. 3 Duke women’s tennis team shut out its opponent for the fourth consecutive match, beating No. 47 TCU 4-0 on Tuesday night at the USTA National Tennis Campus.
Duke improves to 11-1, which is the Blue Devils best start since beginning the 2013-14 season 21-1. TCU drops to 9-6 so far this year.
“I thought it was a good win for us,” said head coach Jamie Ashworth. “Our doubles came out extremely focused and relaxed especially on court one. That’s something we’ve been talking with Kelly and Sam about, being relaxed on the court. They did a great job with that. We followed it up with quality singles. It was very exciting to see that all-around good effort”
Duke came out of the gates strong as the ITA’s sixth-ranked pairing of Samantha Harris and Kelly Chen did not drop a single game as they beat the 56th-ranked duo of Donika Bashota and Elizabeth Tedford 6-0. It is the team high sixth ranked win for Harris and Chen. Meible Chi and Hannah Zhao followed with a 6-3 win over Aleksa Cveticanin and Aleksandra Zenovka to clinch the doubles point.
Duke continued its strong play into singles. Five of the six Blue Devils captured their first set. Ellyse Hamlin was the first Blue Devil to win her first set and she was also the first to clinch her match, beating Meredith Roberts 6-2, 6-1. Chen was not far behind her, beating Bashota 6-2, 6-0. Chi continued her undefeated start to dual match season by knocking off 89th-ranked Marie Norris. Hamlin, Chen and Chi have combined for a 31-2 record in dual matches, with Chi a perfect 12-0.
The win was the first time the Blue Devils got a chance to play at the USTA’s National Tennis Campus. Not only were the women experiencing it for the first time, but they also got a chance to play alongside the Duke men’s tennis team, who was also in action against TCU. The doubles matches were played on six consecutive courts.
“It was a great experience,” Ashworth said. “The doubles being together, three guys and three girls playing right next to each other was a lot of fun. It was great atmosphere to be a part of. The USTA is hosting a lot of stuff in the future and we’re looking forward to coming back here to play next year. It’s great to see what they’ve built here. The people were great, they were helpful and open to anything we needed. Overall, it was a great experience.”
Duke has one more game on its road trip, traveling north to take on Boston College. That match is scheduled to begin at 3:00 p.m. on Friday afternoon.
“For us, it’s cliché to say, but we’re taking it one match at a time,” added Ashworth. “We’re playing very relaxed doubles right now, but Boston College will be a different setting. It’s indoors and has faster courts. Right now we’re playing with some confidence. The girls trust each other and believe in each other. I keep saying it, but Friday is another opportunity to play and compete and show what kind of team we can be.”
1. #6 Samantha Harris/Kelly Chen (Duke) def. #56 Donika Bashota/Elizabeth Tedford (TCU) 6-0
2. #5 Kaitlyn McCarthy/Ellyse Hamlin (Duke) vs. Stevie Kennedy/Marie Norris (TCU) 5-4, unfinished
3. Meible Chi/Hannah Zhao (Duke) def. Aleksa Cveticanin/Aleksandra Zenovka (TCU) 6-3
1. #7 Samantha Harris (Duke) vs #120 Aleksa Cveticanin (TCU) 5-7, 3-4, unfinished
2. #55 Kaitlyn McCarthy (Duke) vs #95 Aleksandra Zenovka (TCU) 7-6 (10-5), 1-0, unfinished
3. #60 Meible Chi (Duke) def. #89 Marie Norris (TCU) 6-3, 6-2
4. #26 Kelly Chen (Duke) def. Donika Bashota (TCU) 6-2, 6-0
5. #79 Ellyse Hamlin (Duke) def. Meredith Roberts (TCU) 6-2, 6-1
6. Hannah Zhao (Duke) vs Stevie Kennedy (TCU) 6-3, 5-1, unfinished
Duke 11-1, 3-0 ACC; National ranking #3
TCU 9-6, 0-0 Big 12; National ranking #47
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3) Singles (5,4,3)