Tulsa, Okla. – Duke’s doubles tandem of Amanda Granson and Melissa Mang saw their run in the NCAA Doubles Championships end in the quarterfinals on Saturday at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center in Tulsa, Okla.
The two Blue Devils, ranked No. 7 in the ITA doubles rankings, suffered a straight set loss to No. 2 Melanie Gloria and Tinesta Rowe of Fresno State. The battle of top-10 teams went in favor of the Bulldogs as they took the match 6-2, 6-4 to move on to the semifinal round as one of four teams remaining in the field.
“I think they (Granson and Mang) have grown a lot as a doubles team,” said Duke head coach Jamie Ashworth. “Going back to the first time we put them together at the end of October, it wasn’t really a combination we were thinking about for doubles. I think they have done a good job as a team of getting better. They played their best at the end of the year and making the NCAA quarterfinals is the best result we have had at Duke in a long time.”
Gloria and Rowe got off to an important fast start taking an early 2-0 lead over Granson and Mang. Then with the score at 2-1 they rallied off three more games to gain a 5-1 advantage. They would eventually close off the first set by a 6-2 count.
The second set started out the same way with the Fresno State duo winning the first two games. They led 4-2 before Granson and Mang fought back to even the score at 4-4. However, Gloria and Rowe broke Duke’s serve to regain the lead at 5-4 and then served out to finish the match in straight sets.
“I thought we did a good job of getting the lead in games but we just couldn’t capitalize on our break points,” said Ashworth. “Every time we had break points Fresno State came up with a big serve or an aggressive play at the net. We finally were able break them on the second set down 4-3 and they did a good job of coming back with some great returns. They are No. 2 for a reason.”
The loss was just the 11th of the year for Granson and Mang who end the season with a 28-11 overall record in doubles. The 28 doubles victories in one season are the sixth highest single season total in school history.