DURHAM, N.C. – The No. 4 Duke women’s tennis team continued its winning streak, beating No. 19 Miami 6-1 in Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center on Sunday afternoon.
Duke has now won eight matches in a row and are 14-1 overall and 6-0 in the ACC. Miami drops to 9-6 overall and 5-3 in conference. The Blue Devils have won 20 straight home matches after winning their sixth straight to start the campaign.
“The biggest thing is we’re not overlooking any opponent at all,” said head coach Jamie Ashworth. “We come out and play with the same intensity, the same focus no matter who we’re playing. Ranked, not ranked, it doesn’t matter. We’re coming out and trying to use each match to get better and use each match to prove to ourselves and others just how good we can be. There’s really no change in our focus or preparation or anything like that. For me, that’s a sign of a really mature team that they can do that. We’ve been really good at that and hopefully we can keep doing that.”
While playing on court three for the entirety of the dual match season, Meible Chi and Hannah Zhao have not had a chance to prove themselves against a ranked opponent. The pair got the chance on Sunday when they squared off with Miami’s 50th-ranked Ana Madcur and Sinead Lohan. Chi and Zhao ran with the opportunity, taking the final four games in a 6-2 win for their first victory over a ranked opponent. Samantha Harris and Kelly Chen followed with a 6-3 win over Dominika Paterova and Ulyana Shirokova to clinch the doubles point.
In a battle between top-10 players, Miami’s ninth-ranked Estela Perez-Somarriba came out on top against seventh-ranked Harris 6-1, 6-1 to make the team score 1-1. It was the first point scored by a Duke opponent since Feb. 18.
The Blue Devils wasted little time regaining the lead. Chen dominated Daniella Rolden 6-2, 6-0 on court three. Kaitlyn McCarthy cruised to a 6-4, 6-2 win over Ilyana Shirokova to put Duke one point away from the win.
Chi stayed undefeated in dual matches by beating 71st-ranked Sinead Lohan 6-4, 6-3. Chi has now won all 15 of her dual matches and is on a 19-match winning streak overall.
On court five, Ellyse Hamlin beat Madcur 6-4, 6-2. None of Chi, Chen, McCarthy or Hamlin trailed in either of their two sets. The four have combined to play all, but one of Duke’s matches on courts two through five and have a combined 49-4 (.925) record there.
Zhao did not drop a game in her first set, but trailed Paterova 6-5 in the second set. Zhao pulled the game out to tie the set at six games apiece and then took the tiebreaker 7-4 to collect the 6-0, 7-6 (7-4) win.
“The consistency comes from the maturity of this team,” Ashworth said. “We keep working hard and keep valuing every opportunity when we play. I keep saying that over and over, but this team really does that. Before the match today, you don’t have to say a lot to them to motivate them. We know that they’re going to be ready to play and give it everything they have. They’ll play with passion and pride and I think they love competing. They love the days we play more than the days that we practice so they really value these days a ton. It comes from our upperclassmen and our seniors. It’s a great group to work with in that sense because we don’t have to go out and beg them to practice and beg them to play hard every match. They want to do that.”
Duke will have another home weekend starting on Thursday, March 29 when the Blue Devils host Florida State.
1. No. 9 E. Perez-Somarriba (MIA) def. #7 Samantha Harris (Duke) 6-1, 6-1
2. No. 60 Meible Chi (Duke) def. No. 71 Sinead Lohan (Mia) 6-4, 6-3
3. No. 29 Kelly Chen (Duke) def. Daniella Roldan (Mia) 6-2, 6-0
4. No. 69 Kaitlyn McCarthy (Duke) def. Ulyana Shirokova (Mia) 6-4, 6-2
5. No. 73 Ellyse Hamlin (Duke) def. Ana Madcur (Mia) 6-4, 6-2
6. Hannah Zhao (Duke) def. Dominika Paterova (Mia) 6-0, 7-6 (7-4)
1. No. 6 Kaitlyn McCarthy/Ellyse Hamlin (DUKE) vs. E. Perez-Somarriba/Daniella Roldan (MIA) 4-3, unfinished
2. No. 5 Samantha Harris/Kelly Chen (DUKE) def. Dominika Paterova/Ulyana Shirokova (MIA) 6-3
3. Meible Chi/Hannah Zhao (DUKE) def. No. 50 Ana Madcur/Sinead Lohan (MIA) 6-2
Miami 9-6, 5-3 ACC; National ranking #19
Duke University Women’s Tennis 14-1, 6-0 ACC; National ranking #4
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (1,3,4,2,5,6)