DURHAM, N.C. – Although conditions were cool, the competition was heated as the No. 1 ranked Duke women’s tennis team defeated No. 14 Miami, 6-1, Sunday, April 6, in Ambler Tennis Stadium. Sunday’s victory moved Duke to 20-1 on the season, the 14th time in 18 years Duke won 20 or more matches. The Blue Devils also earned their 10th conference win of the season Sunday, marking the fourth time in school history Duke won 10 or more ACC matches.
“Miami threw everything at us in the doubles that they possibly could,” said head coach Jamie Ashworth. “The way they attacked. Their emotion. Their energy. They played with a ton of passion, and that’s how they win matches. They won the ACC tournament that way last year. I told our team after the doubles, ‘we took their best punch right there,’ and we were able to stand up afterwards. I thought we just kept battling. We just kept fighting and competing. I thought we held our composure really well and that was big for us.”
The match opened with both teams fiercely competing to earn the doubles point. Ultimately, with wins on court two and three, Duke clinched the point.
Junior Annie Mulholland and freshman Chalena Scholl led the Blue Devils off the courts with a hard-fought 8-6 victory over Miami’s duo of Lina Lileikite and Stephanie Wagner. Although the Duke doubles pair sat tied with Miami at 2-2, 4-4, 5-5 and 6-6, the Blue Devils never held the lead until seeing a 7-6 advantage. With the 7-6 lead, the Duke tandem served out the match to earn its fifth win of the season.
Duke clinched the doubles point following a tight contest on court two between Duke’s No. 24 team of junior Ester Goldfeld and freshman Alyssa Smith and Miami’s 28th-ranked pair of Melissa Bolivar and Kelsey Laurente. Goldfeld and Smith outlasted the Miami pair in a tiebreak, winning 8-7 (7-2). After taking a 4-2 lead over Bolivar and Laurente, the Miami team won three straight games to take a 4-5 lead. After the Duke pair tied the match at 5-5, both doubles teams exchanged two games each to bring the match to 7-7, requiring a tiebreak. The Blue Devils asserted themselves in the tiebreak, taking a 3-2 lead and winning four straight to clinch the doubles point. With the victory, Goldfeld and Smith own an 8-1 overall record and a perfect 5-0 mark in conference play.
The matchup between two top-25 doubles teams, including the fifth-ranked tandem of sophomore Beatrice Capra and senior Hanna Mar and Miami’s No. 23 pair of Monique Albuquerque and Clementina Riobueno, was abandoned with Duke trailing, 7-4.
The Blue Devils caught their rhythm in singles, posting wins on courts two, three, four and five to clinch the victory.
“We used the momentum from doubles to get a good start in the singles,” Ashworth said. “[Miami] is feisty. You know it’s going to be competitive and a fight in every situation, because of their energy. Winning the doubles definitely gave us momentum heading into singles.”
Scholl won her fourth consecutive singles match after defeating No. 49 Laurente, 6-2, 6-3, on court two, to lead the Blue Devils off the courts. Scholl took an early 3-2 lead and did not surrender another game to win the first set, 6-2. The second set played out in similar fashion to the first. After trailing 0-1, Scholl won three straight to take a 3-1 advantage. With the second set at 5-3, Scholl broke Laurente’s serve to win her sixth match of the season.
On court three, No. 24 Goldfeld extended her win streak to eight matches after upending Riobueno, 6-2, 6-4. Goldfeld took early leads in each of the two sets and never relinquished her advantage. After winning the first set, the Brooklyn, N.Y., native jumped out to an early 4-2 lead in the second set. With Riobueno tying the match at 4-4, Goldfeld settled in and won two straight, leading to her 25th win of the season.
The 89th-ranked Smith clinched the victory for the Blue Devils with a 6-2, 6-2 defeat of Miami’s Bolivar. Smith fought back from an early 1-2 deficit in the first set by winning five straight games. In the second set, Smith took an early 3-2 advantage and never relinquished the lead. Smith sits at 22-8 on the season and owns a near-perfect 7-1 ledger in conference play.
Mar, the 31st-ranked singles player in the nation, earned her 22nd win of the season with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Lileikite on court four. Mar trailed only twice in the contest, 0-1 at the start of each set. Mar won nine of her last ten matches.
The fifth-ranked Capra outlasted Wagner, 6-2, 4-6, 1-0 (11-9) on court one. Capra cruised in the first set, however neither singles player gained a significant advantage over the other in the second set, with three ties and numerous lead changes. Wagner, winning the second set, forced a third-set tiebreak. Capra led early in the tiebreak, however Wagner stormed back to take a 7-3 lead. Unfazed, Capra tied the tiebreak at 7-7 before holding off Wagner en route to winning the tiebreak and the match, 11-9.
Redshirt junior Rachel Kahan dropped just her fifth match of the season after falling to Albuquerque, 2-6, 2-6, on court six. Kahan sits at 12-5 on the season and 6-2 in conference matches this season.
Duke closes out home competition next Friday, April 11, facing Boston College at 3 p.m. The team’s two seniors, including Marianne Jodoin and Mar will be honored during the final home contest of the season as part of Senior Day.
1. #5 Beatrice Capra (DU) def. #61 Stephanie Wagner (UM) 6-2, 4-6, 1-0 (11-9)
2. Chalena Scholl (DU) def. #49 Kelsey Laurente (UM) 6-2, 6-3
3. #24 Ester Goldfeld (DU) def. Clementina Riobueno (UM) 6-2, 6-4
4. #31 Hanna Mar (DU) def. Lina Lileikite (UM) 6-2, 6-2
5. #89 Alyssa Smith (DU) def. Melissa Bolivar (UM) 6-2, 6-2
6. Monique Albuquerque (UM) def. Rachel Kahan (DU) 6-2, 6-2
1. #5 Beatrice Capra/Hanna Mar (DU) vs. #23 Monique Albuquerque/Clementina Riobueno (UM) 4-7, unfinished
2. #24 Ester Goldfeld/Alyssa Smith (DU) def. #28 Melissa Bolivar/Kelsey Laurente (UM) 8-7 (7-2)
3. Annie Mulholland/Chalena Scholl (DU) def. Stephanie Wagner/Lina Lileikite (UM) 8-6