CARY, N.C. – In this season’s third edition of the Battle of the Blues and a trophy on the line, the third-ranked Duke women’s tennis team fell short to second-ranked North Carolina, 4-2, Sunday in the finals of the ACC Tennis Championships.
“Firstly, North Carolina is a great team, but we are also a great team,” head coach Jamie Ashworth said. “I love where our team is right now. Even though we lost that match, we proved to ourselves today that we can beat them. I know we’ve lost to them three times but we learned a lot about ourselves today and where we are. We’ve gotten better throughout the year and this was the first time we really had opportunities to win the match against them. They’re a great team and did a better job in pressure situations than we did.”
The Tar Heels captured the doubles point to have a lead heading into singles action. Seventh-ranked Jessie Aney and Alexa Graham defeated Kelly Chen and Ellyse Hamlin on court one (6-3) before Maria Mateas and Margaryta Bilokin fell to Sara Daavettila and Alle Sanford (6-3) on Duke’s third court.
North Carolina extended its lead quickly into singles as Sanford defeated Bilokin (6-3, 6-2) on court six. With the loss, Bilokin drops to 19-6 this spring.
After clinching yesterday’s semifinal match versus Florida State, Hamlin was the first Blue Devil on the board with a 7-5, 6-1 victory on court five. Hamlin trailed 4-5 in the first set before reeling off three-straight games to take the first set and cruised to a 6-1 second-set victory. With the win, Hamlin improves to 21-2, which continues to lead the team.
North Carolina picked up its third point of the match on court one. No. 6 Makenna Jones defeated No. 12 Mateas (6-2, 7-5). The Chapel Hill, N.C., native trailed 1-5 in the second set and battled back to win four-straight games and fell just short of a forced third set.
Chen, ranked No. 27 by the ITA, picked up her 19th victory of the season Sunday afternoon as she defeated No. 14 Daavettila (6-7 , 6-0, 6-1) on court three. Chen fell behind 3-5 in the first set before winning three games to force a tiebreak. Chen cruised to 6-0 and 6-1 victories in the second and third set, respectively to give Duke its second point of the match.
North Carolina picked up its final point of the match as No. 41 Cameron Morra defeated Kaitlyn McCarthy (4-6, 6-2, 6-3) on court four. McCarthy fell behind 1-3 in the deciding set and was able to win two games to come within reach but couldn’t hold off Morra.
The Blue Devils drop to 23-3 overall as the lone three losses have come from the Tar Heels.
Duke will wait to hear its fate in the team portion of the NCAA Tournament. The selection show is slated for 6:30 p.m., on April 29 at NCAA.com. Individual selections will be announced Tuesday, April 30 at 6 p.m.
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Duke vs. North Carolina
Official NCAA Tennis Dual Match Results
#3 Duke (23-3) vs #2 North Carolina (29-1)
Apr 21, 2019 at Cary, NC -- Cary Tennis Park
North Carolina 4, Duke 2
1. #6 Makenna Jones (NC) def. #12 Maria Mateas (DU) 6-2, 7-5
2. #7 Alexa Graham (NC) vs. #25 Meible Chi (DU); match was unfinished: 7-6 (7-5), 3-6, 0-4
3. #27 Kelly Chen (DU) def. #14 Sara Daavettila (NC) 6-7 (1-7), 6-0, 6-1
4. #41 Cameron Morra (NC) def. Kaitlyn McCarthy (DU) 4-6, 6-2, 6-3
5. Ellyse Hamlin (DU) def. #118 Jessie Aney (NC) 7-5, 6-1
6. Alle Sanford (NC) def. Margaryta Bilokin (DU) 6-3, 6-2
1. #7 Jessie Aney and Alexa Graham (NC) def. Kelly Chen and Ellyse Hamlin (DU) 6-3
2. #28 Meible Chi and Kaitlyn McCarthy (DU) def. #6 Makenna Jones and Cameron Morra (NC) 6-4
3. Sara Daavettila and Alle Sanford (NC) def. Maria Mateas and Margaryta Bilokin (DU) 6-3
Order of finish: Singles -- 6 5 1 3 4 ; Doubles -- 1 3 2
Start Time: 2:04 pm