FLUSHING, N.Y. – Junior Hanna Mar will represent the Blue Devils at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships Nov. 8-11 at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. The tournament is one of the premier collegiate tournaments of the year, featuring seven of the top 10 players from the Campbell/ITA Women’s Preseason rankings. Of the 32 athletes in the tournament, 27 are ranked in the top 100 in the preseason poll, including Mar who is ranked 35th entering the weekend.
“I am really looking forward to this tournament,” said Mar. “It is going to be really good competition, and some really good matches. I feel like I have been playing well in my matches, so I just have to keep doing it and keep using the confidence that I have been able to build up so far in the matches that I have played.”
Players gained automatic entry to the tournament by winning USTA/ITA Division I Regional Championships held across the country in October, winning the USTA/ITA National Small College Super Bowl, and the consolation champions, doubles finalists, singles semifinalists from the Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Championships. Mar, ranked No. 35 in the preseason poll, earned her entry by winning the singles title at the ITA Carolina Regional Championship Oct.18-23 before teaming up with Goldfeld to take the doubles title as well.
Mar, a native of Burr Ridge, Ill., owns an 11-2 record this fall including a 3-1 record against nationally ranked opponents. In addition to winning both the singles and doubles titles at the ITA Carolina Regional Championship, Mar also won her bracket in the Duke Fab 4 Invitational and made a run to the doubles championship match at the Riviera/ITA All-American after teaming up with sophomore Beatrice Capra. Last season, Mar earned All-ACC honors while tallying a 30-15 overall singles record, including a 6-1 ledger in ACC play.
“She just has to believe in herself,” said head coach Jamie Ashworth. “She is playing well, and she is playing with confidence and she just has to realize that she can compete with the best players in the country. When she was in this situation a couple of weeks ago in California, she did not play as well as she would have liked, and it was the first time she was really in that situation on a national level, and I think she learned a lot from that.”
Play is set to begin on Thursday with Mar facing No. 89 Aleksandra Josifoska of UNLV in the first round of singles. Josifoska qualified by winning ITA Mountain Regional Championship.
While Mar travels to New York, senior Mary Clayton, junior Marianne Jodoin and sophomore Annie Mulholland will represent the Blue Devils at the Kitty Harrison Invitational No.9-11 at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center in Chapel Hill, N.C. Duke will open play at the Kitty Harrison Invitational on Friday.
Jodoin, a native of Varennes, Quebec, is coming off a trip to the USTA Collegiate Invitational in which she went 2-1 in group play, giving her a 6-6 record in singles play this fall. Jodoin, ranked 27th in the preseason rankings, owns a 3-3 record against nationally ranked opponents including wins over 71st-ranked Caroline Price of North Carolina and No. 73 Jasmine Kling of DePaul.
Clayton enters the tournament with a 7-5 record overall this fall in singles play as well as a 4-3 ledger in doubles. Clayton, ranked 44th in the preseason poll is coming off a strong 2011-12 campaign in which she closed the season tied for the team lead with a 32-11 overall singles record and a perfect 9-0 mark in ACC play.
Mulholland, ranked 108th in the preseason rankings, owns a 5-5 record this fall in singles play and an 8-3 ledger in doubles action. Last season, Mulholland posted a 19-7 overall singles record with all but two of her 19 singles wins coming in straight sets.
“It is our last event for the fall,” said Ashworth. “We have not talked a lot about lineup stuff on our team, but this is the last event we have to go off up opening up the spring. They obviously want to play well and get results, and it is the last impression that they make before we open up team play.”