DURHAM, N.C. – The third-ranked Duke won a battle of undefeated teams in Atlantic Coast Conference play, defeating seventh-ranked Miami (Fla.) 4-0 on Friday. The Blue Devils’ win snapped the Hurricanes’ streak of 14 consecutive wins.
“I think that we competed well, but I don’t think we played as well as we could,” said Duke head coach Jamie Ashworth. “The conditions weren’t the easiest. That was the first time we’ve played in any kind of unfavorable condition with the wind, and I think you could tell we got a little frustrated with that in the beginning of doubles.”
Miami (16-2, 7-1 ACC) took an early advantage with an 8-4 victory in No. 1 doubles, as the 24th-ranked duo of Liat Zimmerman and Melissa Bolivar took down Duke’s 42nd-ranked tandem comprised of junior Mary Clayton and freshman Ester Goldfeld.
The Blue Devils responded however, as sophomore Hanna Mar and freshman Annie Mulholland fought off a resilient effort by Anna Bartenstein and Brittany Dubins, 8-6, in the No. 3 spot, while the 25th-ranked duo of freshman Beatrice Capra and sophomore Rachel Kahan outlasted 37th-ranked Gabriela Mejia and Lina Lileikite 8-4 in the No. 2 spot to clinch the doubles point.
“We didn’t give away a lot of free points,” Ashworth said. “If we can compete like that, and then play well, we’ll be a really tough team to beat. I’m happy we got off to a good start after winning the doubles because we’ve had some really tough matches with Miami in the past.”
Freshman and 92nd-ranked Monica Turewicz notched a 6-2, 6-2 victory against Dubins in the No. 6 spot to open singles play, while the 86th-ranked Kahan cruised to a 6-3, 6-0 win over Zimmerman in the No. 5 spot. With Duke ahead 3-0, Clayton, ranked 70th, outlasted Bolivar, 6-1, 7-5, in the No. 4 spot to clinch the match.
“We still have four matches left and not one of them is going to be easy,” Ashworth stated. “A lot can happen in four matches. Our goal at the beginning of the season was to be 11-0 in the ACC heading into the (ACC) tournament. We just have to keep winning matches.”