CARY, N.C. – It was senior Ellyse Hamlin who pulled out the victory to send the third-ranked Duke women’s tennis team to the finals of the ACC Championships, defeating 11th-ranked Florida State, 4-3, Saturday afternoon at Cary Tennis Center.
“Ellyse has been in a lot of big matches,” head coach Jamie Ashworth said. “I felt it was a really good matchup for Ellyse, even before the match started. I thought that she handled it well when there was pressure on her in the end. She made some really good shots. You have a senior on the court who has been in a lot of big matches, maybe not in that situation that often but she’s been in a lot of big matches. Throughout her four years, she knows how to play big points and she did a good job.”
After dropping the doubles point for the first time in 11 straight matches, Duke secured the point heading into singles play. Kelly Chen and Hamlin were first off the court for the Blue Devils with a 6-3 upset over No. 31 Emmanuelle Salas and Ana Oparenovic on court one. Minutes later, Duke captured the doubles point as No. 28 Meible Chi and Kaitlyn McCarthy defeated Carla Touly and Ariana Rahmanparast (6-3) on Duke’s second court.
The singles competition proved to be a back-and-forth battle on each court.
The Seminoles bounced back with a win on court four as Petra Hule defeated McCarthy (6-3, 7-5). McCarthy drops to 11-6 in dual matches.
Rookie Maria Mateas dropped court one, falling to No. 42 Touly (6-4, 6-3), giving the Seminoles a 2-1 lead. Mateas is now 12-8 this spring.
Duke was able to pull out the next two courts, starting with No. 27 Chen on court three. Chen defeated Oparenovic (6-3, 7-6 ) in the second-set tiebreak. Chen fell behind 2-4 in the tiebreak but was able to win five consecutive points to take Duke’s third court. With the win, Chen elevates to 18-4 this spring.
Freshman Margaryta Bilokin took down Andrea Garcia (6-2, 7-6 ) in another second-set tiebreak on court six. Bilokin cruised in the first set before falling behind 0-2 in the second and ultimately defeating Garcia 7-4 in the tiebreak to take the court. Bilokin is now 19-5.
As Duke led 3-2, the Seminoles captured their third point as Salas defeated No. 25 Chi (2-6, 7-5, 6-2) on court two. Chi drops to 13-3 this spring.
The match came down to Hamlin on court five. Hamlin ultimately defeated Nandini Das (6-3, 7-6 ) in another second-set tiebreak. The senior from Fairfield, Conn., led 2-1 in the second set before falling behind 2-3 before pulling out a 7-4 victory in the tiebreak. Hamlin improves to a team-leading 20-2 record this spring.
“This is a great opportunity,” Ashworth said. “When we set out for the weekend, our goal was to be playing on Sunday. We have to take advantage of that opportunity. Hopefully we have a good match tomorrow against UNC for the third time. Hopefully, we come out with nothing to lose and play aggressive tennis. We want to have fun too.”
Duke will face North Carolina in the finals of the ACC Championship Sunday at 2 p.m., on ACC Network Extra at Cary Tennis Park. This match marks the third meeting between the Blue Devils and Tar Heels this season, as well as a rematch of the 2018 ACC Championship final.
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Florida State vs. Duke
Official NCAA Tennis Dual Match Results (Final)
#11 Florida State (20-6) vs #3 Duke (23-2)
Apr 20, 2019 at Cary, NC -- Cary Tennis Park
Duke 4, Florida State 3
1. #42 Carla Touly (FS) def. #12 Maria Mateas (DU) 6-4, 6-3
2. Emmanuelle Salas (FS) def. #25 Meible Chi (DU) 2-6, 7-5, 6-2
3. #27 Kelly Chen (DU) def. Ana Oparenovic (FS) 6-3, 7-6 (10-8)
4. Petra Hule (FS) def. Kaitlyn McCarthy (DU) 6-3, 7-5
5. Ellyse Hamlin (DU) def. Nandini Das (FS) 6-3, 7-6 (7-4)
6. Margaryta Bilokin (DU) def. Andrea Garcia (FS) 6-2, 7-6 (7-4)
1. Kelly Chen and Ellyse Hamlin (DU) def. #31 Emmanuelle Salas and Ana Oparenovic (FS) 6-3
2. #28 Meible Chi and Kaitlyn McCarthy (DU) def. Carla Touly and Ariana Rahmanparast (FS) 6-3
3. Maria Mateas and Margaryta Bilokin (DU) def. Petra Hule and Andrea Garcia (FS) 6-3
Order of finish: Singles -- 4 1 3 6 2 5 ; Doubles -- 1 2 3
Start Time: 2:04 p.m