DURHAM, N.C. – The No. 17 Duke women’s tennis team trailed No. 15 TCU 3-1 before mounting a three-match comeback and winning 4-3 Saturday evening at the Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center. The Blue Devils are 5-0 at home this season and 6-3 overall while the Horned Frogs slip to 6-2 with the setback.
Duke dropped the doubles point and evened the match with freshman Meible Chi’s win on court two. TCU captured the next two matches to take a 3-1 lead, but Kaitlyn McCarthy, Samantha Harris and Chalena Scholl rattled off three straight wins to push the Blue Devils to the victory. After losing the opening set, Scholl trailed 4-5 and 5-6 in the second set on court three before coming back for a 6-7 (4), 7-6 (4), 6-4 victory to clinch the match.
“That was a great match to be a part of either way,” head coach Jamie Ashworth said. “The coaches from TCU said the same thing. That was a well-played match on both ends. I thought we did a really good job of, again, being tough in pressure situations. After the doubles point, we talked about making this our house. We had to control the tempo and playing with a lot of energy. TCU is a very high energy and emotional team. We couldn’t let them get on top of us from an emotional level. Because of how they played in doubles and how hard they hit the ball, we didn’t want to let them keep riding that rhythm through singles. Meible played a great match to get us on the board. The other gutted it out. Sam had a huge win. Even the matches with lost with Alyssa [Smith] and [Rebecca Smaller] being able to stay on the courts for an extended period of time was huge. It was an all-around mentally strong match for us.”
“I happened to be the last one on court, but everyone fought through and did a great job,” Scholl said. “I took such support from my teammates and everyone who was here. That was so helpful. I didn’t want to let anyone down.”
TCU captured the first two doubles decisions to take an early 1-0 lead in the match. On court two, Seda Arantekin and Olaya Garrido-Rivas defeated Scholl and Alyssa Smith 6-1. Scholl and Smith are now 6-5 overall and 4-4 in dual action.
Court three had Harris and Rebecca Smaller fall to Aleksandra Zenovka and Alexis Pereira 6-2. After a 2-2 tie, the Horned Frog duo won four straight games finish out the match. Harris and Smaller dip to 2-6 overall, all in dual matches.
On court one, the match between No. 29 McCarthy and Chi and Donika Bashota and Caroline Wegner was stopped with TCU leading 5-2.
Duke evened the match at 1-1 overall with No. 20 Chi’s 6-2, 6-2 win versus No. 94 Arantekin on court two. The first set was tied 1-1 and 2-2 before Chi ran away with the last four games. The second set had Chi turn a 1-1 tie into a 5-1 lead to seize control en route to the win. Chi lifts her overall record to 22-8 and is 7-2 in dual matches.
The Blue Devils’ lead did not last long as TCU went back ahead at 2-1 with Sofiko Kadzhaya’s 7-5, 6-4 victory against Smaller on court six. The first set was a back-and-forth affair as Smaller led 2-0, trailed 4-2 and was even at 4-4 and 5-5 before dropping the set. The second set had Kadzhaya jump out to a 4-1 lead. Smaller rallied the cut the deficit to 4-3 and 5-4, but Kadzhaya served out for the match. Smaller dips to 4-9 overall and 3-5 in dual action.
The Horned Frogs made it a 3-1 advantage on court five, where Marie Norris topped Smith 6-2, 3-6, 6-0. Norris hopped out to a 3-1 lead in the first set. Smith got a game back, but Norris won the last three. The second set was tied at the first three points before Smith took the final three. Norris rebounded to sweep the final set. Smith drops to 8-12 overall and 3-4 against dual competition.
Duke started the comeback to make it a 3-2 deficit with No. 103 McCarthy’s 7-5, 6-3 victory against Zenovka on court four. McCarthy trailed 3-0 in the first set before making it a 3-2 deficit. Zenovka pushed the advantage out to 4-2 and led 5-3 before McCarthy rattled off four straight games to take the set. The second set had McCarthy trail again early, falling behind 2-0 before evening the match at 2-2. She won four of the last five games to capture the match. McCarthy improves to 11-5 overall and 6-1 in dual matches.
Evening the match was Harris on court one, who overcame Bashota 6-3, 2-6, 6-3. Harris took command early in the first set, leading 4-1. Bashota got it to a 4-3 deficit, but Harris took the last two. The second set was even at 2-2 before Bashota ran off the last four games. In the deciding set, a 2-2 tie turned into a 4-2 Harris advantage. Bashota broke to make it a 4-3 set, but Harris broke back and held to end the match. Harris evens her record at 6-6 and is 4-5 in dual matches.
It all came down to No. 38 Scholl’s win against Garrido-Rivas on court three. The first set was even at every point and went to the tiebreaker, where Scholl led 4-2 before dropping the final five points. The second set had Scholl lead 3-1 and 4-2 before Garrido-Rivas rallied to make it a 4-4 set and then go ahead 5-4. Scholl dug in and evened the set at 5-5. Garrido-Rivas went back ahead 6-5 and Scholl answered again to force another tiebreaker. Scholl led 2-1 before falling behind 4-3 in the tiebreaker. Garrido-Rivas did not score another point as Scholl took the final four to force the deciding set. In the third set, Scholl led 2-0 before Garrido-Rivas held and then led Scholl 40-15 before Scholl captured three consecutive points to hold and take a 3-1 lead. Garrido-Rivas rallied again and won three straight games to go up 4-3. It was then Scholl’s turn to respond, winning the final three games to take the match and give Duke the win. Scholl is now 15-5 and 5-1 in dual matches.
The Blue Devils have a lengthy break with their next match at Florida Gulf Coast on March 15. First serve is set for 5 p.m. Duke has its next home match on March 24 at 3:30 p.m. against Virginia.
No. 17 Duke 4, No. 15 TCU 3
February 25, 2017 at Durham, N.C. (Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center)
- #29 Meible Chi/Kaitlyn McCarthy (DU) vs. Donika Bashota/Caroline Wegner (TCU) 2-5, unfinished
- Seda Arantekin/Olaya Garrido-Rivas (TCU) def. Chalena Scholl/Alyssa Smith (DU) 6-1
- Aleksandra Zenovka/Alexis Pereira (TCU) def. Samantha Harris/Rebecca Smaller (DU) 6-2
Singles competition 1. Samantha Harris (DU) def. Donika Bashota (TCU) 6-3, 2-6, 6-3
- #20 Meible Chi (DU) def. #94 Seda Arantekin (TCU) 6-2, 6-2
- #38 Chalena Scholl (DU) def. Olaya Garrido-Rivas (TCU) 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (7-4), 6-4
- #103 Kaitlyn McCarthy (DU) def. Aleksandra Zenovka (TCU) 7-5, 6-3
- Marie Norris (TCU) def. Alyssa Smith (DU) 6-2, 3-6, 6-0
- Sofiko Kadzhaya (TCU) def. Rebecca Smaller (DU) 7-5, 6-4
TCU 6-2; National ranking #15
Duke 6-3; National ranking #17
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3); Singles (2,6,5,4,1,3)
Official: Rod Realon T-3:38 A-214