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Courtesy: Whitney Hills
Three Players Earn NCAA Individual Championship Bid
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 05/02/2013
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DURHAM, N.C. – Junior Hanna Mar and sophomore Ester Goldfeld were both selected to participate in singles in the NCAA Women’s Individual Tennis Championship May 22-27 at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex/Atkins Tennis Center in Urbana, Ill, as announced by the organization Wednesday. In addition, the doubles tandem of senior Mary Clayton and Goldfeld also earned a bid to participate in the Championship.

“I still have the team tournament at the forefront of my mind, but it’s a huge compliment to be selected,” Mar said. “I’m proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish this season, and it’s nice to get recognized for that. I have had some success this season and have gained a lot of confidence from that, and that’s half of the battle for myself or for anyone else.”

Mar, tabbed at No. 27 in the most recent Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings, has tallied a 22-9 overall singles record this season, including an 8-6 mark in dual matches. A two-time All-ACC selection, Mar has played in the top-spot for the Blue Devils this season, notching a 3-3 record in conference play. The Burr Ridge, Ill., native has demonstrated success in individual events this year, claiming titles at the Duke Fab 4 Invitational Sept. 14-16 as well as the ITA Regional Championship Oct. 18-19, while also advancing to the quarterfinals of the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championship Nov. 8-11.

“I think I play a really gritty style,” said Mar. “The biggest thing is that I try to make them hit another ball, and I think it gets frustrating. Players don’t want to have to hit two or three great shots, I don’t want to have to do that, but I really like to utilize my quickness on the court and make people hit good shots.”

Listed at 50th in the most recent ITA poll, Goldfeld notched an 18-7 overall singles record this year, including an impressive 11-4 mark during the dual match slate. The Brooklyn, N.Y., native, tallied a 3-1 record in ACC play this season, before going down with a hand injury April 6th. Due to the injury, the two-time All-ACC selection will be unable to participate in the tournament.

In doubles play, the tandem of Clayton and Goldfeld, listed at No. 21 in the ITA poll, earned their bid to the Championship by posting a 9-2 record this season, including a 7-2 ledger in dual matches.

“I’m proud of our performance, especially earlier in the season when we had time to play together,” said Clayton. “Obviously it’s unfortunate that she’s injured, but it’s great that we qualified and have something to show for it. Right now, we are really focused as a team on the NCAA Tournament and really fighting for every single point.”

The 14th-ranked Blue Devils will open the NCAA Team Championship May 11 when they travel to Lubbock, Texas to face Ole Miss in the opening round of the tournament. The winner of the match will advance to the second round to face the winner of the Texas Tech and College of Charleston match. Mar will then represent Duke at the NCAA Individual Championship May 22-27 in Urbana, Ill.