CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Duke advanced to the semifinals of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Team Indoor Championship after downing Virginia 4-2. The Blue Devils will play No. 2 Florida for the second time in two weeks on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. ET.
“It was a good effort in a really tough environment,” said women’s head coach Jamie Ashworth. “UVa is a very good team and they showed that by beating Baylor yesterday. I thought we did a good job playing with passion and composure. We are looking forward to another tough match tomorrow against Florida and are excited about the position we have put ourselves in.”
Duke struggled again in doubles in its quarterfinal match as they conceded the doubles point for the fourth consecutive match. The Cavaliers battled the Blue Devils in all three matches as they won from the No. 3 spot 9-7 to defeat Elizabeth Plotkin and Reka Zsilinszka. Virginia needed a tiebreaker at No. 2 to take the doubles point away from the Blue Devils. Emily Fraser and Hana Tomljanovic took down Ellah Nze and Monica Gorny 9-8 (7-4).
Rachel Kahan picked up the first point for Duke from the No. 5 position in a straight-set decision 6-0, 6-1. Kahan remains a perfect 8-0 in singles and has now won seven out of eight matches in straight sets.
Mary Clayton was next off the courts to give Duke the 2-1 advantage with four matches remaining. Clayton put the Blue Devils ahead with a straight set win at the No. 6 spot 6-2, 6-1, against Caryssa Pertz.
Senior Reka Zsilinszka allowed Duke to inch closer to the semifinals after she battled back from being down 3-1 in the first set to claim another straight-set victory against Tomljanovic 6-3, 6-2.
With three singles matches remaining, Duke finally closed out the team score by getting the final point from Plotkin, who clinched the win in the first round for the Blue Devils and gave a repeat performance in the quarterfinal. She came back after losing the first set to dismantle Erin Vierra. Plotkin only gave up two points in the final two sets that pushed Duke into the semifinal with the 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 win.
Duke and Florida will face each other for the second time this season. The Blue Devils and the Gators met two weeks ago in the Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center, as Florida handed Duke its first loss of the season 4-2.
Florida advanced to the semifinal after defeating Miami in the first round 4-1, and sweeping Clemson in the quarterfinal 4-0. The Gators enter the match with an unblemished record at 9-0.