DURHAM, N.C. – The No. 4 Duke women’s tennis team concluded the season with five singles players and two doubles teams appearing among those ranked by the International Tennis Association (ITA) as announced by the organization on Wednesday. Duke never saw fewer than four members of the team ranked in singles throughout the year, while no less than two doubles duos ranked among the top-15 throughout the season.
Recent graduate Samantha Harris highlighted the Duke contingent of ranked singles players throughout the season, finishing the year ranked No. 7. Harris served as the Blue Devils’ competitor on court one in singles, posting a 15-6 record there. Overall, the Melbourne, Australia native complied a 30-12 ledger, including 15-9 against ranked opponents. Harris reached as high as fourth in this year’s ITA singles rankings and secured a spot in both the NCAA Singles Championship and the NCAA Doubles Championship. She garnered first-team All-ACC honors, the fourth time in her career she was named All-ACC and capped her senior season by being named the ITA National Most Improved Senior as well as the ITA Carolina Region Most Improved Senior and Senior Player of the Year.
Joining Harris on the final ITA singles poll is rising sophomore Kelly Chen, who appears at No. 24. The ACC Freshman of the Year provided an immediate impact for Duke’s 2018 squad, registering the most singles wins (40) of any Blue Devil this year. Chen amassed an overall ledger of 40-8, with nine victories coming against top-125 opponents. The Cerritos, Calif., native played into the Round of 16 of the NCAA Singles Championship, defeating second-ranked Makenna Jones of North Carolina in straight sets during second-round action.
Rising junior Meible Chi moved up to No. 49 in the final poll after reaching the second round of the NCAA Singles Tournament. Chi finished her second season in Durham with a 36-8 record and played the majority of her matches on court two, going 14-4 there. She was 13-1 in the ACC and 26-4 in dual matches. She was named second-team All-ACC, the second consecutive year she has been named All-ACC. Chi knocked off Oklahoma’s No. 41 Lily Miyazaki in the NCAA Singles first round before falling to Florida International’s Andrea Lazaro in the second round.
Rounding out Duke’s representation on the ITA’s singles poll was rising seniors Ellyse Hamlin and Kaitlyn McCarthy. Hamlin checks in at No. 85 while McCarthy is No. 121. Hamlin went 32-6, including a dominant 19-2 on court five and was 13-1 in the ACC. McCarthy concluded the season at 28-11 and spent most of the season on court three, going 10-4 there. Both were named third-team All-ACC this year, the second time for each that they had been named to an All-ACC team.
McCarthy and Hamlin finished the season where they started, at No. 2 on the ITA’s doubles poll. The pair went a team-best 33-9 and reached the semifinals of the NCAA Doubles Championship, earning All-America honors. McCarthy and Hamlin combined to win 13 matches against top-50 doubles pairs and went 10-2 in the postseason, beating five top-15 duos in that span. They won Duke’s first collegiate Grand Slam title since 2009 when they won Riviera/ITA All-American Championships in the fall.
Harris and Chen paired together to garner the No. 10 ranking in the final national poll, ensuring they stayed in the top-10 for the entirety of the season. The duo combined to amass an overall record of 25-9 and were 8-1 in the ACC. The pair split time between courts one and two, going 6-3 and 9-4, respectively. Harris and Chen earned All-America honors by being named a No. 5 through No. 8 seed in the NCAA Doubles Championship.
As a team, the Blue Devils finished with an overall record of 27-4 and earned the ACC regular season title by going 13-1. Duke qualified for the NCAA Team Championships for the 30th time in program history and reached the semifinals for the first time since 2012, where they fell to Stanford 4-2.