DURHAM, N.C. – No. 7 Duke came out strong in its first match of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend, defeating No. 62 Brown 6-1 in the Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center.
“I thought we did a really good job in doubles of coming out and playing aggressive,” said women’s head coach Jamie Ashworth. “Anytime you win the doubles point it’s great to get a quick win in singles. We wanted to put some pressure on them early on and I think we did that. Brown is one of the best coached teams in the country and they competed really well and fought back.”
The Blue Devils opened the day strong as they took the doubles point with wins on Courts 2 and 3. On Court 2 Mary Clayton and Monica Gorny continued their stellar doubles play, rolling over Misia Krasowski and Cassandra Herzberg 8-2 to improve to 3-0 this season.
The No. 34 doubles pair of Reka Zsilinszka and Hanna Mar teamed for the first time this season to close the doubles point for Duke with an 8-2 rout against Ariel Caldwell and Julie Franzer. The Court 1 doubles match wasn’t finished with the doubles point having already been decided.
Duke carried the momentum from doubles into singles, winning the first set in all six matches. Freshman Rachel Kahan picked up the second point of the day for the Blue Devils at the No. 4 spot with a straight set victory 6-0, 6-2 against Franzer and improve to 2-0 on the season overall.
“Everything worked really well for me today and I felt good,” said Kahan. “To win the doubles point is a really huge advantage and it got everyone pumped to go out and play singles.”
Clayton and Nze grabbed the final two points of the match to give Duke the victory to move into the ITA Regional Championship. Clayton played at the No. 5 spot and moved to 1-1 on the season with the win, while Nze picked up her second win this season and moved to 99 career wins to put the deciding point in the match on the board.
After the Blue Devils sealed the win, three matches remained on Courts 1, 2 and 6. Elizabeth Plotkin picked up win number three on the season at the No. 2 spot, while on Court 1 Zsilinszka closed out her opponent to move to 3-0 on the season. Monica Gorny suffered the only loss for Duke on the day in a third set tie-breaker, 6-2, 1-6, 1-0 (13-11)
Duke improved to 3-0 on the year while Brown falls to 0-2 overall.