No. 4 Duke sweeps No. 17 Irish
Blue Devils make easy work of Notre Dame in Tampa
TAMPA, Fla. -- Fourth-ranked Duke swept 17th-ranked Notre Dame 7-0, on Thursday afternoon at the University of South Florida Varsity Courts.
“I was happy with the way we competed today against a very scrappy Notre Dame team,” said women’s head coach Jamie Ashworth. “We've had three tough matches in a row and it’s great to come out victorious in all three. We now get a much needed break before facing some really good ACC competition. Our conference is the toughest in the country and every match we play is going to be a battle. We are excited about the challenges that lie ahead for us and we will be ready to compete with everything we have.”
Duke (13-2, 2-0 ACC) grabbed an early lead in the match after winning the doubles point for the fifth consecutive match, as Mary Clayton and Monica Gorny downed Nancy Joyce and JoHanna Manningham 8-2 to win their fifth consecutive doubles match.
The Blue Devils sealed the doubles point with a win from Ellah Nze and Rachel Kahan at the number one spot over Chrissie McGaffigan and Kristen Rafael 8-1.
In the final doubles match, Jennifer Kellner and Shannon Mathews took down Nadine Fahoum and Hanna Mar from the number two spot 8-5.
With an early 1-0 lead, Duke swept all six singles matches for the first time since Feb. 4, in the sweep over Indiana. Once again Clayton was off the court first with a straight set win over Joyce, 6-0, 6-0, and has now won five consecutive matches.
Kahan picked up the second singles win with another straight set victory over Manningham to improve to 13-0 in singles dual matches, and with the win she extended her win streak to fifteen matches. Reka Zsilinszka sealed the match win for Duke from the number three spot with the third straight set win on the day. Zsilinszka down Kellner 6-1, 6-1, to also push her match win streak to six in a row.
With three singles matches remaining, the Blue Devils went on to claim victories on all three courts. Fahoum took down No. 38 Mathews in a three set tiebreaker, 6-4, 3-6, 1-0, while Nze picked up a win at the number two spot for the fourth straight set win over Rafael 7-5, 6-2. Elizabeth Plotkin clinched the sweep for the Blue Devils from the number four spot with a three set tiebreak win over McGaffigan 6-2, 5-7, 1-0, as she picked up her eighth consecutive singles win.
Up next, the Blue Devils will continue their current road trip when they resume ACC competition against Boston College on March 25 and Maryland on March 27. Duke will return home for the first time since March 2 when it hosts Virginia Tech and Virginia April 2-3.