No. 4 Duke slips by No. 3 UNC
Zsilinszka's three-set victory clinches match for the Blue Devils
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – No. 4 Duke captured a 4-3 victory against No. 3 North Carolina on Wednesday afternoon at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center. With the win the Blue Devils moved into first place in the ACC.
Duke (18-2, 7-0 ACC) got on the board first against North Carolina as it won two out of three doubles matches to claim the doubles point and an early 1-0 lead.
The Tar Heels tandem of Shinann Featherston and Lauren McHale recorded a win on court one with an 8-3 decision over Ellah Nze and Rachel Kahan, while on court two Mary Clayton and Monica Gorny evened doubles at one apiece with an 8-3 win on court three over Gina Suarez-Malaguti and Zoe De Bruycker.
The deciding doubles match and the doubles point came down to court two, as the Blue Devil duo of Nadine Fahoum and Hanna Mar clinched the doubles point over the Tar Heels. Fahoum and Mar picked up an 8-5 win over Jelena Durisic and Jennifer Stone as they have now won five doubles matches in a row.
North Carolina (18-4, 7-1 ACC) evened the score in singles action with a win on court one. De Bruycker downed Fahoum in straight sets 6-3, 6-2, while Tessa Lyons gave the Tar Heels a 2-1 lead with a three set win over Clayton by a score of 6-4, 0-6, 6-2.
With matches remaining on courts two, three, four and five, Duke and North Carolina battled until the end. Kahan evened the score at 2-2 for Duke with a straight set decision on court five. Kahan downed McHale 7-6 (8-6), 6-2, and remains undefeated at 18-0 in the dual match season.
North Carolina took the lead again with a win on court two as Durisic took down Nze in three sets 3-6, 6-2, 6-1. Senior Elizabeth Plotkin once again evened the score for the Blue Devils at 3-3 with a win on court five. Plotkin took down Suarez-Malaguti 7-5, 1-6, 6-2, and remains undefeated in the ACC and improved to 19-1 overall in the dual match season.
In the final match of the day, Reka Zsilinszka and Featherston battled throughout the full tree sets. Zsilinszka dropped the first set 6-2 but battled back in the second set to claim a 6-2 win. In the final set, Zsilinszka sealed the match win for the Blue Devils in stellar fashion after Featherston evened the score at 3-3. Zsilinszka went on to win the next three points to pick up the 2-6, 6-2, 6-3, win.