DURHAM, N.C. -- The draws for the 2014 NCAA Individual Championships were released Tuesday, May 20, with Duke represented by three singles players and two doubles pairs in the first round of competition beginning Wednesday, May 21, at the University of Georgia’s Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga.
Junior Ester Goldfeld, sophomore Beatrice Capra and senior Hanna Mar are also slated to participate in the singles competition while the pairings of Capra and Mar and Goldfeld and freshman Alyssa Smith will return to competition one day later for the doubles competition.
Goldfeld is scheduled to participate in the first set of singles matches, which begin at 9 a.m., as the Brooklyn, N.Y., native faces No. 30 Denise Starr of California in the first round of the competition. The two met in doubles competition earlier this season, when Goldfeld partnered with Smith to upend California’s pair of Starr and Kelly Chui, 6-3, in the semifinal round of the ITA National Team Indoor tournament. Goldfeld enters the match with a singles record of 32-9, which leads the Blue Devils this season. Of those 32 victories, 10 came against nationally ranked opponents. Starr owns a 21-11 ledger, with 12 wins coming in tournament play. In her most recent contest, the California freshman fell to third-ranked Kristie Ahn of Stanford, 6-4, 6-2.
Capra follows Goldfeld’s match at 1 p.m., taking on Pepperdine’s 26th-ranked Lorraine Guillermo. Capra, who garnered the fifth-seed in the tournament, amassed a 27-9 record this season, including a 16-7 mark against nationally ranked opponents. Capra faced stout competition throughout the season, including in her most recent match in which she fell to UCLA’s second-ranked Robin Anderson, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3. Capra reached the quarterfinal round of the 2012 NCAA singles tournament before falling to Mallory Burdette of Stanford. Capra’s opponent, Guillermo, leads Pepperdine this season with 29 singles wins in 39 contests. Guillermo’s last match, played against Starr from California, remained unfinished at 4-6, 6-2, as Pepperdine fell to the Bears, 4-0, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Mar concludes the first round of singles competition for the Blue Devils with her match against 19th-ranked Zoë Scandalis of Southern California set for 2:30 p.m. Mar, who enters the contest on a three-match winning streak, not only improved her previous personal-best mark by reaching 31 singles wins in a season, but she also surpassed the 100-win mark with her victory against UCLA’s 38th-ranked Kyle McPhillips, 6-1, 6-3, Saturday. Mar became the 48th Blue Devil to earn 31 or more singles wins in a season and just the 23rd player in Duke history to reach or surpass the 100 career win barrier. In last season’s NCAA singles championship, Mar fell in the first round to Samantha Vickers of Tulsa, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2. Scandalis amassed a 21-9 record this season heading into Wednesday’s competition, however fell to sixth-ranked Lauren Herring of Georgia, 5-7, 6-1, 7-6 (5-3) in the round of 16.
The fifth-ranked Duke team of Capra and Mar are slated to face South Carolina’s 26th-ranked duo of Dominika Kanakova and Elixane Lechemia one day later in the doubles competition. Capra and Mar are familiar with Kanakova and Lechemia, downing the South Carolina’s pair, 8-2, in the second round of the NCAA Team Championship earlier this season. Capra and Mar accumulated 20 victories in 2014 and enter Thursday with a 9-1 ledger in their last 10 matches. Kanakova and Lechemia suffered their fifth defeat of the season after falling to Mar and Capra, however the pair won 10 of its 15 matches this season.
Joining Capra and Mar in doubles is 36th-ranked Goldfeld and Smith. The tandem is set to compete against tough competition in Georgia’s second-ranked and second-seeded team of Lauren Herring and Maho Kowase. Goldfeld and Smith, 2-2 when facing nationally ranked opponents, most recently faced the ninth-ranked duo of Catherine Harrison and Kyle McPhillips of UCLA, with Duke trailing 5-2 before the match was abandoned. In their most recent match, Herring and Kowase left a match unfinished against Florida’s Alexandra Cercone and Kourtney Keegan, 7-6. Herring and Kowase notched 32 doubles victories this season while dropping just six matches.
As a team, the Blue Devils reached the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Team Championship before falling to UCLA, 4-2, Saturday, May 17.