DURHAM, N.C. – Head coach Jamie Ashworth collected his 500th-career victory Sunday afternoon as the fourth-ranked Duke women’s tennis team defeated Illinois, 7-0, in Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center. Ashworth owns a 500-125 record at Duke in his 22 years as the Blue Devils are now 5-0 this season and 4-0 in Durham.
“Five hundred wins means we have had a ton of great players in my time here,” Ashworth said. “They are the ones that go out and compete. They do a majority of the recruiting. They’ve done a great job of selling our program. It’s great for me but it’s great for our program. It means we’ve had a lot of success in my time here. So many people should take credit for it … not just me. Our players, coaches, athletic trainers … everyone that surrounds our program … it’s for them as well.”
For the fifth time this season, Duke collected the doubles point to jumpstart Sunday’s match. Kelly Chen and Meible Chi were first off the court by defeating Asuka Kawai and Mia Rabinowitz (6-2) on court three before senior tandem Ellyse Hamlin and Kaitlyn McCarthy picked up a 6-2 victory on court two over Emilee Duong and Jaclyn Switkes.
Chen and Chi are now 3-1 in 2019 while Hamlin and McCarthy are 4-1.
“This was a very important match for us,” Ashworth said. “We had a week of practice to work on different things before we head to Seattle and I thought we did a really good job. Illinois is a team where we’re more talented but they compete really well, are scrappy and fight. They play a lot of close, tight matches. We did a really good job of running through the finish line and not playing to a certain point. I told our girls before the match that we need to play every point to the finish, every game to the finish and every set to the finish and I think we did a good job of that.”
Duke carried its momentum into singles by collecting wins on all six courts with 10th-ranked Chi first off on court two. The Weston, Fla., native defeated Switkes (6-2, 6-0) to give her a 4-0 record this spring.
Chi’s doubles partner 37th-ranked Chen was next on the board for Duke with a 6-2, 6-0 victory on court three over Dani Pedraza Novak. Chen is now 4-0 in 2019.
Duke’s next three points came within minutes of one another as Hamlin secured a 6-2, 6-2 win over Rabinowitz on court five while Margaryta Bilokin defeated court four’s Emilee Duong (6-2, 6-2). Seconds later, Hannah Zhao closed her match on court six versus Sasha Belaya (6-1, 6-4). Hamlin is a perfect 5-0 this season followed by Bilokin (3-1) and Zhao (2-0).
It was eighth-ranked freshman Maria Mateas last off the court for the Blue Devils with a 6-4, 3-6, 1-0 (10-8) tiebreak win over Kawai on court one. It was a back-and-forth matchup between the two the entire game as Mateas ultimately sealed the deal to give her a 3-0 record in 2019.
Duke will now travel to Seattle, Wash., for the ITA Team Indoor National Championships slated for Feb. 8-11.
Tennis Match Results
Illinois vs Duke
Feb 03, 2019 at Durham, N.C.
(Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center)
#4 Duke 7, Illinois 0
1. #8 Maria Mateas (DU) def. Asuka Kawai (ILL) 6-4, 3-6, 1-0 (10-8)
2. #10 Meible Chi (DU) def. Jaclyn Switkes (ILL) 6-2, 6-0
3. #37 Kelly Chen (DU) def. Dani Pedraza Novak (ILL) 6-2, 6-0
4. Margaryta Bilokin (DU) def. Emilee Duong (ILL) 6-2, 6-2
5. Ellyse Hamlin (DU) def. Mia Rabinowitz (ILL) 6-2, 6-2
6. Hannah Zhao (DU) def. Sasha Belaya (ILL) 6-1, 6-4
1. Maria Mateas/Margaryta Bilokin (DU) vs. Sasha Belaya/Dani Pedraza Novak (ILL) 3-3, unfinished
2. Ellyse Hamlin/Kaitlyn McCarthy (DU) def. Emilee Duong/Jaclyn Switkes (ILL) 6-2
3. Kelly Chen/Meible Chi (DU) def. Asuka Kawai/Mia Rabinowitz (ILL) 6-2
Duke 5-0; National ranking #4
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (2,3,5,4,6,1)