TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Sophomore Annie Mulholland claimed a third-set victory to cap a gritty comeback for the Blue Devils, as the ninth-ranked Duke women’s tennis team edged No. 30 Florida State, 4-3, Friday. Despite being down 3-1, and being limited to only five players for the third consecutive match, the Blue Devils rallied in singles, claiming three straight matches to improve their record to 14-5 on the season and 5-2 in Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) play.
“You have to deserve to win matches, and I think we deserved to win this match today,” said head coach Jamie Ashworth. “We fought and competed and scrapped and did everything we needed to win the match. I told them that I was proud of them because they put themselves in a position to win and did it. We deserved it. It was great to see and I am proud of them for that.”
In doubles action, the Blue Devils were forced to forfeit the third doubles position and consequently dropped the doubles point after the duo of junior Marianne Jodoin and Mulholland fell to Mia Vriens and Amy Sargeant, 8-2. The tandem of senior Mary Clayton and junior Hanna Mar were level at 4-4 with Daneika Borthwick and Francesca Segarelli when the point was decided.
As singles got underway, the squad found themselves down 2-0 after losing the doubles point and forfeiting the match on court six. Jodoin, ranked No. 99 in the latest ITA poll, responded, however, by jumping out to a 3-1 lead on court four against Kerrie Cartwright, and carried that momentum to a 6-2, 6-4 victory. A native of Varennes, Quebec, Jodoin has now claimed 21 consecutive singles matches and improves her record to a perfect 16-0 in dual matches.
In the fifth position, senior Nicole LIpp fell to Kristina Schleich, 6-0, 6-2, giving the Seminoles a commanding 3-1 edge over the Blue Devils. Despite this setback, the squad rallied.
On court two, No. 110 Clayton traded games in the opening set with No. 118 Segarelli, but found herself down 2-6 in a first set tiebreaker. Clayton fended off four set points, and won six consecutive points to take the set, 7-6 (8-6), and continued her solid play to cruise to an easy 6-1 victory. Clayton, a recent addition to the Duke Tennis Hall of Fame, has now tallied 107 career singles victories and 28 career ACC singles wins, the third most in program history.
In the top spot, No. 23 Mar took the first set, 6-3, against No. 53 Borthwick, but faltered in the second, sending the match to a decisive third set. In the third, Mar cruised, 6-1, leveling the match at 3-3 and sending all attention to court three where Mulholland was battling Sargeant.
Mulholland, a native of Portland, Ore., dropped the first set against Sargeant, 1-6, but rallied in the second to claim the set, 6-4, and send the match to a third set. In the third set, Mulholland took a commanding 4-2 edge, but Sargeant responded by holding serve to bring the score to 4-3. Despite the slight change in momentum, Mulholland continued her solid play to take the set and clinch the match for Duke.
“[Sargeant] played really well in the first set, but the match was closer than the score indicated,” Mulholland said. “I had my chances, but once I started playing the way I wanted to, focusing on points and getting my feet moving, I had some success. This is a huge win for us confidence-wise, and I am really proud of everyone today. Everyone fought so tough and I was really proud to be out there with those girls today.”
The Blue Devils return to the courts Sunday as they travel to Coral Gables to take on No. 10 Miami at 12 p.m.
“We just need to keep believing in ourselves,” said Ashworth. “Being down 3-1, I still don’t think they really believed they were going to lose the match because they all believe in each other so much. It was a big win for us”
Tennis Match Results
Duke vs Florida State University
Apr 12, 2013 at Tallahassee, Fla.
(Scott Speicher Tennis Center)
#9 Duke 4, #30 Florida State University 3
1. #23 Hanna Mar (DUKE) def. #53 Borthwick, Daneika (FSU) 6-3, 2-6, 6-1
2. #110 Mary Clayton (DUKE) def. #118 Segarelli, Francesca (FSU) 7-6 (8-6), 6-1
3. Annie Mulholland (DUKE) def. Sargeant, Amy (FSU) 1-6, 6-4, 6-4
4. #99 Marianne Jodoin (DUKE) def. Cartwright, Kerrie (FSU) 6-2, 6-4
5. Schleich, Kristina (FSU) def. Nicole Lipp (DUKE) 6-0, 6-2
6. Porry, Laurence (FSU) def. No player (DUKE), by forfeit
1. Borthwick, Daneika/Segarelli, Francesca (FSU) vs. Mary Clayton/Hanna Mar (DUKE) 4-4, unfinished
2. Vriens, Mia/Sargeant, Amy (FSU) def. Marianne Jodoin/Annie Mulholland (DUKE) 8-2
3. Schleich, Kristina/Cartwright, Kerrie (FSU) def. No player/No player (DUKE), by forfeit
Duke 14-5; National ranking #9
Florida State University 12-6; National ranking #30
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (6,4,5,2,1,3)