DURHAM, N.C. – Four members of the Duke women’s tennis team are set for the 2018 Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championships in Pacific Palisades, Calif. Competition for the Blue Devils begins Saturday, Sept. 29, and runs through Oct. 7.
“The tournament as a whole is a great opportunity to see the best players in the country,” said head coach Jamie Ashworth. “It gives us a good benchmark as to where we stand about a month into the season. For Kaitlyn [McCarthy], who plays this weekend, she had the ability to play some matches last weekend and hopefully she can build on that this week. It’s a tall task because all the matches are tough and coming out of pre-qualifying is tough. There are a lot of freshmen and players that you might not have a background on. If she plays how she’s capable of playing and stays aggressive, the results will take care of themselves.”
Senior Kaitlyn McCarthy, ranked No. 84 by the preseason Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) poll, will be the first to take the court in California, playing in the pre-qualifying singles draw on Saturday. McCarthy is 2-1 early in the fall after competing in the Debbie Southern Furman Fall Invitational last weekend. Junior Meible Chi, who owns an ITA ranking of 31, will hit the court for the first time this season in qualifying singles on Tuesday. McCarthy will open the tournament as the fourth seed and will face LSU's Keenan Johnson at 3:15 p.m., EST.
Sophomore Kelly Chen (No. 12) and freshman Maria Mateas (No. 1), who is coming off competing at the International Tennis Federation (ITF) 60k in Templeton, Calif., will compete in the main singles draw beginning Oct. 4.
“Kelly and Maria is definitely a duo that we hope can play together in the spring,” Ashworth said. “It’s an option that we hope to use and this week will give us an indication of that.”
Chen and Mateas will also be playing in the doubles qualifying draw before McCarthy and Chi take the court in main doubles. Chen and Mateas hold the 35th spot in the ITA preseason rankings.
“I’m really excited to be back out and competing again,” Chi said. “All-Americans is a big tournament in a great facility and every time I go, I always have a great experience. Kaitlyn and I played together my freshman year and I can’t wait to see how much we’ve improved since then. We already have very good communication going on and we know each other a lot better now and I’m excited to see what we can do.”
Following the All-American, the Blue Devils will travel down Tobacco Road for the ITA Regional Oct. 18 – 22 in Chapel Hill, N.C.