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Courtesy: Duke Athletics
No. 18 Blue Devils Blank Seminoles, 7-0
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 03/17/2017
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—The Duke women’s tennis team picked up its fourth straight victory and improved to 2-0 in ACC play with a 7-0 blanking of Florida State Friday evening. The 7-0 victory for the 18th-ranked Blue Devils was the second this season since blanking Elon in January.

Duke improves to 8-3 overall and unbeaten in conference action, while Florida State falls to 8-7 overall and 1-4 versus ACC foes.

The Blue Devils, in the middle of their three-game road swing in Florida, got off to a fast start in doubles as they dispatched the Seminoles 6-0 and 6-3 on at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles, respectively. The 34th-ranked tandem of Meible Chi and Kaitlyn McCarthy raced out to a 3-0 lead and never looked back on their way to improving to 6-1 on the year.

Alyssa Smith and Chalena Scholl followed suit by opening up a 3-1 lead and cruising to the 6-3 victory. Smith and Scholl are 8-5 overall as partners and 1-0 against ACC foes.

“Yesterday at our practice out here in Tallahassee all we worked on was doubles stuff,” said head coach Jamie Ashworth. “We weren’t happy with how we played in doubles at Florida Gulf Coast. The only thing we did was working on different things with our doubles and it paid off today. We have to play aggressive and disciplined in our doubles and I thought we did that for the most part.”

The Blue Devils carried that momentum right into singles play, winning first sets on five of the six courts. Chi was even more dominant in singles play, getting off the court quickly with a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Gabriella Castaneda from the second spot. Ranked a team-best 23rd nationally, she improves to an impressive 24-8 overall and 2-0 in the ACC.

In a bang bang finish to clinch the team victory, Scholl made it 3-0 with her straight-set 6-3, 6-3 triumph on court three, while McCarthy was right on her heels with a 6-2, 6-3 win from the fourth position. Scholl, ranked 42nd, improves to 17-5 and a perfect 6-0 from the third spot. McCarthy, meanwhile, garnered her fifth straight victory to move to 13-5 on the year.

With the match won, the Blue Devils were determined to not to give up a single victory to the Seminoles. Elyse Hamlin battled through a tough second set and in the tiebreaker for the 6-3, 7-6 (7) win from court six and Samantha Harris also was resilient in her third-set tiebreak en route to her sixth win from the top spot. She evened the match, taking the second set 6-4 and scored the final two points in the tiebreaker to come away with a 4-6, 6-4 (11-9) win over Nandini Das.

Wrapping up the night from court five with a second-set thriller was Smith with a 7-5, 7-6 (6) victory over Andrea Garcia. The pair traded games in the second set and Smith was trailing 5-4 in the tiebreak before rallying for the 8-6 win.

“We stress to our team that every match matters in conference play,” Ashworth said. “Yes, we win the match when we get to four, but anything at the end of the year it comes down to individual matches so we’re treating every individual match the same. I was really impressed that we were 3-0 in tiebreakers today. In moments where there is the most pressure we handled ourselves really well.”

Duke closes out the road swing, Sunday, March 19 against No. 29 Miami. The match is slated to start at 12 p.m., and will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra. Fans can tune in via ESPN3 or the WatchESPN app.