CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Senior Kaitlyn McCarthy pushed the third-ranked Duke women’s tennis team to victory as she clinched the match over 18th-ranked Miami Sunday evening in Coral Gables, Fla. With the win, the Blue Devils are now 2-0 in ACC play as the Hurricanes drop to 0-2 in league action.
“We switched our doubles teams around today to try to find some energy,” head coach Jamie Ashworth said. “We thought Hannah Zhao would give us a little more energy. Nothing against Maria, we just thought the combination of Kelly [Chen] and Hannah would give us energy. We had the energy but we didn’t execute. We had opportunities but we have to do a better job at finishing points and putting the ball away. We have to be a bit tougher. In singles, that was just a gritty, tough ACC road match. We didn’t play great and it took us a bit to get used to the conditions. It was the first time we’ve played in 85-degree weather and wind. Kelly’s win was huge to get us on the board quick.”
The Hurricanes rallied past Duke in doubles for the early 1-0 advantage. Duke took the first decision, on court three, where Margaryta Bilokin and Meible Chi downed Miamia’s Ana Madcur and Lucia Marzal, 6-2. The Blue Devil pair turned leads of 2-1 and 3-2 into the set.
Miami took the second match, winning 6-4 on court two as Estela Perez-Somarriba and Ulyana Shirokova defeated Kelly Chen and Hannah Zhao. Down 2-1, the Duke duo then dropped two of the next three games to slip behind 4-2. The Blue Devils never got closer than a game the rest of the way. All eyes shifted to court one, where the No. 18 pair of Ellyse Hamlin and McCarthy and Daevenia Achong and Daniella Roldan were never separated by more than a game until the Hurricane pair broke in the last game to capture the set, 7-5.
Once in singles, Duke quickly evened the score at 1-1 overall with a 6-0, 6-1 victory on court three by No. 26 Chen against Achong.
Miami regained the lead at 2-1 with No. 7 Perez-Somarriba defeated No. 22 Maria Mateas, 6-0, 6-4, on court one. After the first set, Mateas was even at 1-1, 2-2 and 3-3 in the second before Perez-Somarriba inched out to a 5-3 lead. Mateas got one back, but Perez-Somarriba picked up the last game for the match.
The Hurricanes pushed the lead to 3-1 on court six, where Marzal defeated No. 123 Hamlin, 6-4, 6-3. Hamlin trailed 3-0 and 4-1 in the opening set before climbing back into the set at 5-3, only to have Marzal close the door. In the second set, Hamlin was even at 2-2 before going up 3-2. From there, Marzal answered with the final four games for the match.
Duke clawed back with a 7-6 (4), 6-4 victory by No. 18 Chi against Roldan on court two to trail 3-2. Chi led 2-0 in the opening set and then the two were never separated by more than a game as Chi took the tiebreaker. In the second set, Chi turned a 4-4 tie into the match.
Bilokin got the Blue Devils to even in the match again with a 7-6 (2), 6-1 victory against Ana Madcur. After trailing 4-1 in the opening set, Bilokin won 12 of the next 15 games. She forced 4-4, 5-5 and 6-6 ties in the first set before capturing the tiebreaker and breezing through the second set.
It all came down to McCarthy on court four. The Cary, N.C., native dropped the first set, 4-6, before bouncing back to win the last seven points in the second set tiebreak, 7-6 (7-2). McCarthy jumped out to a quick 2-0 start in the deciding set and was able to hold on to get the Blue Devils their second ACC victory despite Girbau’s efforts.
“Kaitlyn has been great for us for four years in dual matches, especially in conference play,” Ashworth said. “I told her that I wanted her to fist pump her teammates every point … to look at them and do everything you can to involve the team because it was a team effort. She wasn’t alone. She did a great job of setting an example of what needs to be done if you’re the last person on the court. You have to play to win and not just hope to win.”
Duke returns to the court Friday at 5 p.m., hosting Georgia Tech at the Ambler Tennis Stadium.
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Tennis Match Results
Duke vs Miami
2/24/2019 at Coral Gables, Fla.
(Neil Schiff Tennis Center)
#3 Duke 4, #18 Miami 3
1. #7 E. Perez-Somarriba (UM) def. #22 Maria Mateas (DU) 6-0, 6-4
2. #18 Meible Chi (DU) def. Daniella Roldan (UM) 7-6 (7-4), 6-4
3. #26 Kelly Chen (DU) def. Daevenia Achong (UM) 6-0, 6-1
4. #108 Kaitlyn McCarthy (DU) def. Carla Girbau (UM) 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-3
5. Margaryta Bilokin (DU) def. Ana Madcur (UM) 7-6 (7-2), 6-1
6. Lucia Marzal (UM) def. #123 Ellyse Hamlin (DU) 6-4, 6-3
1. Daevenia Achong/Daniella Roldan (UM) def. #18 Ellyse Hamlin/Kaitlyn McCarthy (DU) 7-5
2. E. Perez-Somarriba/Ulyana Shirokova (UM) def. Kelly Chen/Hannah Zhao (DU) 6-4
3. Margaryta Bilokin/Meible Chi (DU) def. Ana Madcur/Lucia Marzal (UM) 6-2
Duke 9-1, 2-0 ACC; National ranking #3
Miami 6-3, 0-2 ACC; National ranking #18
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (3,1,6,2,5,4)
Match briefly halted during singles play due to rain