DURHAM, N.C. – Just a day after an impressive 4-3 victory over No. 27 Virginia, the seventh-ranked Duke women’s tennis team returned to Ambler Tennis Stadium and overwhelmed 60th-ranked Virginia Tech, 4-1, Saturday. The Blue Devils improve to 4-0 in Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) play this season for the fourth consecutive year and the 12th time under head coach Jamie Ashworth.
“I thought we had to get off to a good start today, especially after the emotional win yesterday,” Ashworth said. “We wanted to make sure that we didn’t have a letdown, so it was important for us to get off to good starts in both doubles and all six singles matches and show that we were going to play with emotion. I thought we did a really good job of that.”
The Blue Devils responded to losing the doubles point against Virginia Friday by coming out of the gates as the aggressor taking leads on all three courts. On court two, the duo of junior Hanna Mar and senior Mary Clayton took just 32 minutes to dispatch of Raluca Mita and Carol Kahoun, 8-1, while the 57th-ranked tandem of sophomores Ester Goldfeld and Annie Mulholland used some outstanding play at the net to down Ilinca Stoica and Kelly Williford, 8-3, on court one. In the match, Goldfeld and Mulholland traded games early to find themselves level at 2-2 with the Hokies, but broke serve three consecutive times to top the Virginia Tech duo, clinching the doubles point for Duke.
In singles action, the Blue Devils jumped out to early leads on five of the six courts, including 6-0 victories on courts one, two, four and five. Goldfeld, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., hit a number of outstanding forehand winners against Martinez-Marcos on court two, easily winning the match, 6-0, 6-1. Goldfeld now improves to 11-4 in dual matches this season, including a 4-2 mark when playing the second position.
On court four, Mulholland dropped Williford, 6-0, 6-2, to improve to 8-3 in dual matches this season. The Portland, Ore., native celebrated her birthday by winning 10 consecutive games to open the match en route to an easy victory.
“I have been working this week on putting a little more height on my shots, pushing the player back,” Mulholland said. “It’s what I do well, especially on my forehand. I also worked on moving forward and coming in, and not second guessing myself because when I go for my shots and believe in it, it just comes together.”
Lipp dropped the first set 6-2 to Ivanovic while playing on court six, but regained momentum when she leveled the match at 2-2 in the second set with a number of well-place forehands. Despite the change in momentum, Lipp was unable to slow Ivanoic, falling, 6-2, 6-2.
Jodoin, listed at No. 94 in the most recent poll, cruised through the first set, 6-0, and continued her solid play in the second, downing Kahoun, 6-0, 6-4, on court five to clinch the match for Duke. The Varennes, Quebec native has now won 20 consecutive singles matches and is a perfect 14-0 in dual matches this season, while clinching the match a team-high five times.
“It’s about doing the little things,” Ashworth said. “That’s what we continue to talk about. Good decision making, good first serves, good returns, really the start of points. We cannot give people free points and free opportunities, and I thought we did that today.”
Just a day after battling back from a 1-5 deficit in a match-deciding third-set tiebreaker against Stephanie Nauta of Virginia, Mar opened the match by winning six consecutive games, immediately eliminating any hope Stoica may have had of the upset. Mar held 6-0, 3-4, advantage when the match was decided. Clayton, tabbed at No. 99 in the latest ITA polls, dropped the first set 7-5 to Mita in the third position, but held a 3-1 advantage in the second set when the match was clinched.
The Blue Devils return to the court April 6-7 as they play host to Georgia Tech and Clemson at Ambler Tennis Stadium. The squad is slated to face Georgia Tech, Saturday, April 6 at 1 p.m. before returning to the courts Sunday, April 7 to take on the Tigers at 3 p.m.
Tennis Match Results
Virginia Tech vs Duke
Mar 30, 2013 at Durham, N.C.
(Ambler Tennis Stadium)
#7 Duke 4, #60 Virginia Tech 1
1. #19 Hanna Mar (DUKE) vs. Ilinca Stoica (VT) 6-0, 3-4, unfinished
2. #52 Ester Goldfeld (DUKE) def. Isel Martinez-Marcos (VT) 6-0, 6-1
3. #99 Mary Clayton (DUKE) vs. Raluca Mita (VT) 5-7, 3-1, unfinished
4. Annie Mulholland (DUKE) def. Kelly Williford (VT) 6-0, 6-2
5. #94 Marianne Jodoin (DUKE) def. Carol Kahoun (VT) 6-0, 6-4
6. Tea Ivanovic (VT) def. Nicole Lipp (DUKE) 6-2, 6-2
1. #57 Ester Goldfeld/Annie Mulholland (DUKE) def. Ilinca Stoica/Kelly Williford (VT) 8-3
2. Hanna Mar/Mary Clayton (DUKE) def. Raluca Mita/Carol Kahoun (VT) 8-1
3. Marianne Jodoin/Nicole Lipp (DUKE) vs. Isel Martinez-Marcos/Emily Lauten (VT) 3-5, unfinished
Virginia Tech 13-5; National ranking #60
Duke 13-3; National ranking #7
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (2,4,6,5)