CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. – For the third straight match, the No. 2 Duke women’s tennis team shut out their opponent, this time dominating No. 24 Virginia 7-0 on Sunday afternoon in Snyder Tennis Center.
Duke has now won four straight matches and improves to 10-1 overall and 3-0 in the ACC. Virginia drops to 7-4 and 2-2 in conference. It has the first time Duke has won three consecutive matches by the score of 7-0 since a stretch running from Feb. 6 to Feb. 13, 2009.
“We competed really well in singles,” said head coach Jamie Ashworth. “We mentally were really good on the whole day. We played outside with a bit of wind and our mental toughness really showed. We told them that we’re really proud of our effort on the whole weekend. To win at two top 25 and ACC teams by the score of 7-0 says a lot. I stressed that we definitely got better this weekend and it’s great to see that in March, we’re still getting better.”
Duke continued its recent strong play in doubles, taking the point for the fourth straight match. The ITA’s sixth-ranked pairing of Samantha Harris and Kelly Chen won their second ACC of the season, beating Virginia’s 14th-ranked Rosie Johanson and Meghan Kelley 6-3. It’s the team-high fifth ranked win of the season for the tandem. Meible Chi and Hannah Zhao won their third ACC doubles match by beating Teodora Radosavljevic and Erica Susi 6-4.
“We talked about the doubles today and before practice yesterday,” said Ashworth. “We talked about making good choices. Technically, everyone knows how to hit a serve and volley, but it’s a choice to put out the energy and play with intensity on every single point. We challenged them to do that and they responded well.”
Duke dominated the Cavaliers in singles play, winning in straight sets on five of the six courts. Kaitlyn McCarthy was the first Blue Devil to win for the third straight match, this time beating Cassie Mercer 6-1, 6-3. Chi continued her undefeated start to dual matches by beating Teodora Radosavljevic 6-1, 6-3. Chi has now won 11 dual matches and is on a 15 match winning streak overall.
Chen took the clinching point for Duke, beating Meghan Kelley 6-2, 6-3 to earn her team-high 22nd win. Harris earned a ranked win by defeating No. 67 Johanson 6-3, 6-4. The win gives Harris 32 career ACC wins, putting her along in third place on Duke’s all-time list.
Ellyse Hamlin cruised to 6-3, 6-4 win over Chloe Gullickson. Zhao trailed Susi after the first set, but she bounced back to win the second set and then won the third set tiebreaker for a 1-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-8) to finish the Duke sweep.
“These girls do a really good job of valuing every point they play,” Ashworth said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s the first game of singles or like today when Hannah is the last one on the court and is trying to complete a match 7-0. They do such a good job of valuing each point. Hannah was as excited winning today as when she maybe is clinching a match. It’s valuing every point and playing all the way through until the end and that will pay dividends in April and May.”
Duke will have a nine-day break before its next match. The Blue Devils will travel to Lake Nona, Fla., to play TCU at the USTA national campus on March 13.
“We’ll just work some execution stuff during the break,” added Ashworth. “We will take a couple of days off to regroup, especially with a big academic week coming up before spring break. Then getting ready for a good TCU team in Florida. We’ll try cleaning up some execution stuff, but we’re in a great place mentally. We’re excited and know we’re getting better and the girls are hungry to keep working.”
1. #6 Samantha Harris/Kelly Chen (Duke) def. #14 Rosie Johanson/Meghan Kelley (UVA) 6-3
2. #3 Kaitlyn McCarthy/Ellyse Hamlin (Duke) vs. Chloe Gullickson/Cassie Mercer (UVA) 5-5, unfinished
3. Meible Chi/Hannah Zhao (Duke) def. Teodora Radosavljevic/Erica Susi (UVA) 6-4
1. #10 Samantha Harris (Duke) def. #67 Rosie Johanson (UVA) 6-3, 6-4
2. #87 Kaitlyn McCarthy (Duke) def. Cassie Mercer (UVA) 6-1, 6-3
3. #22 Kelly Chen (Duke) def. Meghan Kelley (UVA) 6-2, 6-3
4. #47 Meible Chi (Duke) def. Teodora Radosavljevic (UVA) 6-1, 6-3
5. Ellyse Hamlin (Duke) def. Chloe Gullickson (UVA) 6-3, 6-4
6. Hannah Zhao (Duke) def. Erica Susi (UVA) 1-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-8)
Duke 10-1, 3-0 ACC; National ranking #2
Virginia 7-4, 2-2 ACC; National ranking #24
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3) Singles (2,4,3,1,5,6)